The following is a portion of an article titled, Is There Hope For American Marriage?, by Family Life author, Dave Boehi:
Few people know much about what the Bible says about marriage. They are surprised to learn that, as described in the first two chapters of Genesis, marriage is the first institution created by God.
1. God desires that a husband and wife complete each other (Genesis 2:19-22). When God calls you to marry, He gives you a spouse who, by divine design, will complete you. Together you will be stronger and more effective than when you are apart.
2. God desires that a husband and wife multiply a godly legacy (Genesis 1:28). Children are a key part of God’s plan. Although some couples are not able to have biological children of their own, part of God’s intent is for every married couple to be ministering down into the next generation–passing on their faith in God so others can pass it on to still others. Psalm 78:1-4 makes it clear that the family is one of the best environments in which this can happen.
3. God desires that a husband and wife experience oneness. Genesis 2:24 says that a husband and wife shall become “one flesh” and God wants us to experience all the excitement and pleasure and romance that is part of a committed relationship. But oneness involves even more. As Dennis and Barbara Rainey write in Staying Close:
A Oneness Marriage is a husband and wife who are crafting intimacy, trust, and understanding with one another. It’s a couple who is chiseling out a common direction, common purpose, and common plan for their lives. A Oneness Marriage demands a lifetime process of relying on God and forging an enduring relationship according to His design. It’s more than a mere mingling of two humans–it’s a tender merger of body, soul and spirit.
4. God desires that a husband and wife mirror His image (Genesis 1:26-27). God chooses to reveal to us a part of His character and being through our relationships. For example, God is love, therefore we can love. When we forgive others, we reflect Him who forgave us in Christ (see Ephesians 4:32).
Why is this important? Because God created us to know Him and to live within the context of His plan for our lives. When a man and woman come together in a marriage with God at the center of their relationship, they will reflect His image. The world will see in that relationship a representation of who God is and how He loves.
Marriage was created by God for our good, for the good of our society, and for His plan to be fulfilled. It’s about companionship, pleasure, responsibility, commitment, romance, raising the next generation–the whole package. It’s the most difficult and yet the most fulfilling relationship we experience during our time on earth.
What a great list Dave provides for us at the end of his excellent article. Romance is only a small part of what makes a strong marriage, but it is a vital part. We’ll continue looking at these six aspects of a healthy marriage in the coming weeks.