The Christian home today is under assault. There are over 1,000,000 divorces in our country each year with devastating effects. One million divorces means two million spouses plus several million children are effected each year by divorce. Perhaps as many as six million a year are directly affected by divorce. The bitterness, and the emotional turmoil is felt by a wide circle of family members and friends. The Bible speaks of the mourning and pain that is experienced by a broken marriage relationship. Proverbs 5:11-12 says, “And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, and say, how have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof.”
Genesis is the book of beginnings. There in the book of Genesis, God gives us his intentions for marriage at the very beginning. “And the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone: I will make him an help meet for him (Genesis 2:18).” The first time we find the phrase “it is not good” in the Bible is here in Genesis 2:18 when God sees man without a companion. The animals did not give Adam the companionship that Adam needed. “And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him (Genesis 2:20).”
Here we find the first reason for marriage. That reason is companionship. Adam was alone! He needed a companion! Man needs companionship. God said that he would make a companion that would be a help meet to Adam. Note “help” and “meet” are two separate words. The word “help” is the Hebrew word “ezer”, meaning “a supporter”. The word does not imply inferiority. In fact the same Hebrew word is also used in reference to God himself. He is our helper, our support in time of difficulty. Note Psalm 41:7 and Psalm 70:5, “thou art my help and deliverer.”
The word “meet” means “agreeing to him”. Woman was created to be a helper suitable for man, compatible with him spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. She is his compliment, providing what he lacks and fulfilling his potential.
Augustine wrote, “If God had meant woman to rule over man he would have taken her out of Adam’s head. Had God designed her to be his slave, he would have taken her out of his feet. But God took woman out of man’s side, for he made her to be a help meet and an equal to him. A man’s wife is his partner.”
Marriage is a covenant of companionship. In Proverbs 2:17, the writer is dealing with a prostitute who has forsaken the marital relationship: “which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God.” She had forsaken the guide, or companion, of her youth and abandoned the covenant she made with God. God says in Malachi 2:14, “Yet ye say, wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.”
The second reason for marriage is for procreation. In Genesis 1:28 God brought a man and a woman together, married them, and told them, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” Also the Lord said in Psalm 127:3-5, “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man: so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” God created man for procreation.
“Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge (Hebrews 13:4).” A third reason: Marriage is for pleasure. Nothing done in the marriage bed is defiled. The Bible talks about satisfaction and pleasure of the physical relationship of marriage. Proverbs 5:18-19 says, “Let thy fountain (womb of thy wife) be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.” I Corinthians 7:4 says that the husband’s body is the wife’s, and the wife’s body is the husband’s. They both belong to each other.
Marriage is a divine institution established by God for man’s good. It is created to bring glory and honor to God. The blessing of man is a derivative or by-product. The family is where God’s word is to be embraced and passed on from generation to generation. God said of Abraham, “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment (Genesis 18:19).” Parents, like Abraham, are to obey this command, “…these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).” The families of Noah’s day had all become corrupted spiritually except for Noah’s family. The fourth reason for marriage is to be a strong spiritual testimony for God’s glory. Strong spiritual families will be the means of the gospel being carried to their children which should be born: who should arise and declare them to their children: that they might set their hope in God.
A fifth reason is for provision! All family members needs are to be provided both material and spiritual. Ephesians 5:25-33 says that the husband is to nourish, cherish, provide for, care for, and be like a savior to his wife. God created the family for provision.
The family belongs to God. He created it. He determined its inner structure. He appointed its purpose and goal. “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain (Psalms 127:1).” God established the family and it is His. By God’s divine permission a man and a woman may cooperate with God’s purpose and become a part of it and experience God’s blessing.
What we see today is a world that is rejecting God’s Word. When God’s Word and principles are rejected or ignored then those who build the home labor in vain (Psalm 127:1). One million divorces each year bear witness to this truth.
God’s plan is one man; one woman; one lifetime. Jesus said, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder (Matthew 19:6).” We see a world today reaping the results of ignoring God. We need to be building strong families today upon the Word of God. His Word is the blueprint for building the family. Let’s pray for Godly families!