Marriage in the Bible - It's Purpose and Importance (2023)

“Marriage is what brings us together today”: a famous quote from the romantic classic The Princess Bride, as the main character, Buttercup, begrudgingly is set to wed a man she despises. However, in today’s generation, marriage is usually a happy event where two people are joined together through vows and the promise to love one another until death parts them.

Marriage is also very important to God, as He was the one to establish the first “marriage” when He created Eve for Adam. There are several marriages mentioned within the pages of the Bible and while some cater well to our ideals of marriage (Boaz saw Ruth in the fields and promised to take care of her through marriage), there are others that reflect more the realities of marriage.

The union of marriage is not always easy or joyful, but what these five marriages from the Bible reflect are important truths of marriage and how it is a collaborative effort of the man, woman, and God to create a blessed union that will last a lifetime and beyond.

Before we take a look at the marriages, let's see a few verses on marriage in the Bible.

Genesis 2:24: "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."

Ephesians 5:25: "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her."

Proverbs 31:10: "An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels."

Photo credit:©Getty Images/Rawpixel

What Does the Bible Say about Marriage?

Marriage in the Bible - It's Purpose and Importance (1)

As was stated earlier, God was the one to establish the covenant known as marriage, determining in the Garden of Eden that it was not good that “man should be alone” and that God would “make a helper comparable to him” (Gen. 2:18). The Lord even went further to say that in marriage, the man and woman should leave their fathers and mothers and join together as one flesh (Gen. 2:24).

The Book of Ephesians also gives special text for husbands and wives to follow in relation to respect for one another and loving each other as Christ loves them. Proverbs 31 celebrates the treasures of a “virtuous wife” (Prov. 31:10), while 1 Corinthians 13 focuses on what love should resemble, not only between a husband and wife but also between all of us as the body of Christ.

Marriage, in God’s eyes, is something sacred and appointed by Him, as He weaves people’s lives together to facilitate the meeting, courtship, and ultimate wedding between a man and woman. It is not something to be thrown away when the “feelings” have subsided, but to be fought for daily and to mature one another as both grow in love.

Five Marriages to Learn From

These five marriage examples from the Bible are those that didn’t begin with romantic first meetings, nor did they have days filled with endless happiness and zero hardships. Each of these marriages either came with challenges, or the couple had to overcome obstacles together that turned their marriages from ordinary to extraordinary.

Photo credit:Pexels/Alejandro Avila

Marriage 1: Abraham and Sarah

Marriage in the Bible - It's Purpose and Importance (2)

One of the most recognized marriages in the Old Testament is that of Abraham and Sarah, who were promised by God to have a child that would be significant in his covenant with the Lord (Gen. 15:5). Prior to this discussion between God and Abraham, Abraham and Sarah already had a moment of weakness when Abraham lied about Sarah being his wife, instead calling her his sister, so Pharaoh wouldn’t kill him and take her as his wife (Gen. 12:10-20). Let’s just say their moral compass may not have always been pointing north.

Back to the discussion of a child, Abraham pointed out to God that he and Sarah were too old to bear a child, so an heir wouldn’t be possible for them. Sarah even laughed about God saying she would have a child in her old age, which of course God called her on (Gen.18:12-14). They took matters into their own hands, out of God’s, and brought an heir for Abraham through intimacy with Sarah’s maid, Hagar.

Although God did bless the couple with a long-awaited child, Isaac, what their marriage teaches us most is that we shouldn’t take matters into our own hands, not trusting God for outcomes in our situations. In both the mentioned situations involving the two, if they hadn’t taken the course of action they did, they wouldn’t have had to go through unnecessary trouble and stress, even harming the lives of innocence (the innocent being Hagar and her son Ishmael).

What we can take from this story is, as a married couple, it is better to take matters to God in prayer and believe He can do the impossible (even have a child as a senior citizen) instead of causing more harm handling a situation your way. You never know how God will intervene in your situation.

Photo credit:©Getty Images/Airdone

Marriage 2: Elizabeth and Zacharias

Marriage in the Bible - It's Purpose and Importance (3)

Continuing on with another story of having miracle children late in life, we find ourselves in the story of Elizabeth and Zacharias, the parents of John the Baptist. Zacharias, a priest in Judea, had prayed for his wife to conceive and his prayer was answered through the arrival of the angel Gabriel.

However, because Zacharias doubted the words of the angel Gabriel, he was made mute until Elizabeth would bear their son (Luke 1:18-25). Fast forward to after the arrival of their new son, when he was to be named and circumcised. Tradition had it that he was to be named after his father, but Elizabeth voiced that the baby’s name would be John, as probably was told to her by the Lord. After protest from those around her on the name choice, Zacharias wrote on a tablet that this would be his son’s name and instantly, his voice returned (Luke 1:59-64).

What we learn from their marriage is that in a time where Zacharias was one seen with authority and power as a priest, Elizabeth had to be the one to show strength and authority in their relationship in naming their son when her husband couldn’t speak. Perhaps he was made mute because God didn’t feel Zacharias would choose to name his son John and follow God’s will, so Elizabeth was chosen to stand up and proclaim the name. In marriage, it’s important to stand together in marriage and realize only God can determine your path, not others in power or tradition.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/monkeybusinessimages

Marriage 3: Gomer and Hosea

Marriage in the Bible - It's Purpose and Importance (4)

This marriage is one that seems hard to fathom that helpful marriage advice could come of it. In a nutshell, Hosea was instructed by God to marry, of all people, a promiscuous woman (possibly a prostitute) named Gomer and have her bear his children. However, God warned Hosea that she would leave him constantly and he would always have to find her and take her back (Hos. 1:1-9).

God’s example of Hosea’s unfailing love for Gomer, even when she left and cheated on him, was to show His unfailing love that He had for Israel (God’s people), who was regularly unfaithful to Him. God continued to offer love and mercy to Israel and, in time, Israel returned to God with loving arms again (Hos. 14).

So, what does that mean for our marriages? In light of the relationship between Hosea and Gomer, it paints the picture of the reality with marriage. Sometimes your spouse messes up, from simple things like forgetting to lock the door, to extreme problems like addiction. But if God has called the two of you together, forgiveness and love must be offered to show this isn’t a fleeting love connection, but a love that will endure and continue to grow with time. Everyone messes up, but it is in forgiving and moving forward that marriages will last.

Marriage 4: Joseph and Mary

Without this union, the story of Jesus would have had quite a different beginning. Mary, betrothed to Joseph, was found to be with child and Joseph had determined not to shame Mary publicly over the pregnancy, but to end their engagement away from prying eyes. However, that all changed when Joseph was visited by an angel in a dream, who told him Mary’s child was actually the son of God (Matt.1:20-25).

As we later see in the book of Matthew, as well as the other three gospels in the New Testament, Mary gave birth to Jesus, thanks to the love and help of her beloved husband, Joseph.

Although our marriages may not be chosen by God to bring His son to earth, Joseph and Mary’s marriage shows that we should see our marriage as having a purpose set by God. Each marriage is a testament of God’s ability to bring two people together and use their union to glorify who He is and the faith of the couple. No matter how ordinary you think your marriage is (which probably Joseph and Mary may have thought at one time), God has purposes you never dream would take place in your relationship because each marriage is significant to Him. Sometimes you have to roll with what God has planned for your marriage, even if it is unbelievable.

Photo credit: Unsplash/Frank Mckenna

Marriage 5: King Xerxes and Esther

Marriage in the Bible - It's Purpose and Importance (5)

This marriage is one that began in unusual circumstances in today’s perspective: an arranged marriage set when Esther was brought to King Xerxes’s castle and was chosen to be his next queen. However, even with a marriage not brought together by love, the king and Esther grew in mutual respect and love, especially when Esther told the king of a potential assassination plot against him that her uncle, Mordecai, overheard.

The true test of their relationship emerged when, after learning of the evil Haman’s plot to kill the Jews (her people), Esther went unannounced to the king to ask him and Haman to attend a banquet she was preparing. At the banquet, she revealed Haman’s plot and her people were saved, while Haman was hanged and Mordecai promoted.

What stands out most in their relationship is that Esther, while understanding where her place was as queen of King Xerxes, boldly but respectfully went forward to the king and made her requests known when she felt he would listen and be agreeable. The contrast in how Esther made her opinions known to King Xerxes and how his former queen, Vashti, made her opinions known is clear in that Esther understood the king’s reputation in society and that important matters needed to be handled away from the prying eyes and ears of others.

As a wife of a husband, it is important to understand that to be respected is highly appreciated by men and that if a man feels loved and respected by his wife, then he will return that respect and love to her in the same manner. Esther showed this love and respect to the king, which he returned to her in kind.

Marriage is a covenant set by God between two people, a man and a woman, who understand that marriage is not just for fame, pride, and needs being met but is to show God’s love to others through their mutual love to each other and God. The marriages described above are ones that may seem, at first, to not portray strong principles to aid one’s marriage. However, with closer examination, it is clear that their marriages demonstrate ways God wants us to lead our marriages in collaboration with Him.

Marriage is not for the faint of heart and takes real work, love, and patience to establish lasting love, but it is also worth pursuing and knowing that God brought you two together for a purpose that is greater than you’ll ever know.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Yurii Kifor

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rev. Leonie Wyman

Last Updated: 25/09/2023

Views: 6248

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (79 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rev. Leonie Wyman

Birthday: 1993-07-01

Address: Suite 763 6272 Lang Bypass, New Xochitlport, VT 72704-3308

Phone: +22014484519944

Job: Banking Officer

Hobby: Sailing, Gaming, Basketball, Calligraphy, Mycology, Astronomy, Juggling

Introduction: My name is Rev. Leonie Wyman, I am a colorful, tasty, splendid, fair, witty, gorgeous, splendid person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.