Primary Purpose of MarriageThe primary reason marriage is significant to God is because it is part of His ordained plan to provide the world with a picture of His love for men and women. Marriage becomes the means for married couples to demonstrate their love for God. Wilson states: “The wedding ceremony is not an end in itself. In fact, marriage is not an end in itself. Marriage is a means of serving and glorifying God. Young women who view marriage as their chief goal are turning the wedding and the married state into an idol. God planned for marriage to be a blessed state of mutual service to Him.” God established marriage as a covenant, not a contract (Malachi 2:14; Proverbs 2:16-17). It is important to understand the difference between these two. Three important differences exist:
- A covenant is based on trust between parties. A contract is based on distrust.
- A covenant is based on unlimited responsibility. A contract is based on limited liability.
- A covenant cannot be broken if new circumstances occur. A contract can be voided by mutual consent.
Secondary purposes of marriageOnce the wise woman embraces God’s primary purpose for marriage, she will encounter numerous secondary purposes or blessings of a Christ-honoring relationship. Many women have the tendency to pursue these secondary purposes over God’s primary purpose. While secondary purposes are good and worthy of pursuit, they should be viewed as blessings resulting from God’s primary purpose for marriage—that of modeling Christ’s love for His church through the development of Christian character. Secondary purposes for marriage could include:
- Companionship. The affection, love, and true companionship which grow out of a oneness of spirit as each partner models Christ’s unconditional love (Amos 3:3).
- Enjoyment. The physical relationship is a reflection of the loyalty and affection shared among marriage partners who have become “one flesh” (Hebrews 13:4).
- Fruitfulness. The blessing of children in a marriage relationship allows that relationship to reproduce itself physically. It is an example of the “oneness” that results in a marriage (Genesis 1:28; 1 Peter 3:7).
- Protection. The husband protects the wife by laying down his life for her (Ephesians 5:25). The wife is to protect the home (Titus 2:4-5) and the parents together protect their children to raise up a godly seed (Malachi 2:15; Psalm 112:1-2).
Maintaining a Godly perspective of marriageMaintaining a godly perspective of the purpose of marriage provides the foundation for a successful marriage relationship. Marriage becomes a spiritual endeavor rather than being dependent on financial status, bearing children, or securing a specific employment. Being able to fulfill God’s intended pattern and purpose for marriage should motivate wise women to develop Christlike character. My husband made a good point: “God intended for the marriage relationship to be the hallmark of the Christian home. The love relationship between husband and wife should provide the clearest picture of Christ’s love. The model it provides to children, the church, and the world would effectively draw others to the love of Christ.”
This article was taken from Becoming a Woman Who Pleases God, Copyright © 2003, by Pat Ennis and Lisa Tatlock. Used by permission of Moody Publishers.