Marriage is a Divine Institution.
Read Genesis 2:18-25
“For This reason, a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife.”
In recent years the definition and meaning of marriage have been redefined. Today marriage is not a social, relational, and economic relationship determined by social norms and popular opinion. Our definition of marriage is radically shifted from the historical understanding. Today, depending on who you talk to, marriage has multiple definitions and is now regarded as temporary rather than permanent.
In contrast to our cultural views of marriage that sees marriage from a social construct governed and determined prevailing attitude, the Bible points to marriage as a divine institution established by God. In Genesis 2, God initiates not only the first marriage, but he is the one who establishes the institution of marriage itself. In Genesis 2, God establishes marriage to provide the answer to man’s need for companionship and the need to propagate the world. This institution then is to serve as the foundation upon which the whole of society was built. Throughout scripture, we find that the stability and sustainability of any society are grounded in the health and stability of the marriage. While God would later provide for governments and judicial authorities to provide further structure for society, these never replaced the marriage foundation. From the outset, God established marriage to be a lifelong, monogamous relationship between one man and one woman who would then form a new family.
However, what God establishes, sin corrupts. When Adam and Eve chose to rebel against God, the first destructive effect was upon the marriage and family. Instead of unity and love, the relation became marred by mutual accusation and conflict (see Genesis 3:9-16). It did not take long until marriage became distorted by polygamy and immorality (4:19). The Bible continually points out that any distortion of marriage always brings disastrous results to the family. The audacity of sinful man is that we believe we can determine right and wrong and we can define and change the institution of marriage to fit our modern ideas.
But this brings us back to the heart of marriage. Marriage is not an institution fabricated by man to be altered by the latest whims of humanity. Marriage is a divine institution established by God to be unchangeable and unalterable. In Mark 10:9, Christ points out that God is the one who governs marriage, not humanity. We are not to change it by redefining what marriage is nor undermining the permanence of marriage. Tragically not only have we sought to redefine the scope of marriage, but we have redefined the purpose and nature of marriage. We no longer see marriage as a permanent relationship established by God. Instead, we see it as a temporary relationship that can be broken when our felt needs are no longer satisfied. To uphold the sanctity of marriage, we must enforce the scope of marriage (between one man and one woman) and the permanence of marriage, and the purpose of marriage. In the church, we rightfully stand firm on the scope but have undermined the permanence and purpose of marriage. We have removed God from the center. We are not to treat it lightly. To uphold the biblical sanctity of marriage is to uphold God’s intent for marriage.