The Bible declares that the marriage relationship is from God. He designed it for man’s benefit. The purpose is seen from Genesis 2:18, 22-24 where it is stated, “ Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him." And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. ” (Genesis 2:18, 22-24).
If God created the marriage relationship for man’s good, why is the marriage relationship not desirable? Why do we find such abuse within that relationship? How would you describe the stability within the marriage relationship today? Stable marriages make for stable societies. The Bible shows repeatedly that the stability of any society is in direct proportion to the stability of the marriage relationships within that society. In connection with this, we read in Psalms 11:3, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” This is true of any institution. When thinking about our society, our homes, or our government, what can the righteous do if the foundations are destroyed? Has God’s foundation for marriage been destroyed? What is a foundation and what is God’s foundation for marriage? Foundations consist of those things that give support. Houses are placed upon foundations to give them strength and stability. Relationships must have a good foundation in order to meet hard times. For marriage to be the relationship that provides man the benefit that God intended, it must be likewise be built upon a solid foundation. A proper foundation will provide support for those who enter a marriage relationship. God has laid the ‘foundation’ for the marriage relationship. That foundation is love. Love is also of God, for God loved man first. How do we know this? We know it because God showed His great love to man. The greatest evidence of love is sacrifice . God’s love for man is seen in the sacrifice of His Son (John 3:16). Thus we can learn from God, how to show our love in the marriage relationship. It will be in the sacrifice made between the husband and his wife. The love that will provide a solid foundation for marriage is seen from the love that Christ had for the church. His sacrifice for the church is seen in Acts 20:28, He g ave His life (shed His blood) for the church. It is further illustrated in Ephesians 5:22-33 where we find:
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
Such a foundation will make the marriage relationship what God intended it to be. Our happiness in this life is greatly affected by how successful we are in our marriage relationships. However, when this godly foundation is destroyed, what remains? Society suffers when relationships are fostered thru the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life? (1 John 2:15-17). “If the foundations be destroyed, What can the righteous do?”
In a society wherein the marriage bond is about as treasured as Esau treasured his birthright, what can those who respect God’s view of marriage do? We can exemplify the happiness within our marriages by having the same love for our spouse like as Christ had for man and for the church. We can respect and fulfill our God-given role in the marriage relationship: “Wives be in subjection unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord…in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it.” (Ephesians 5:22, 24-25). When we stay within the boundaries prescribed, and build upon God’s foundation, then we will truly have a “marriage made in heaven”.