The Origin of Marriage

February 6, 2017

Last week, we began what will be an in-depth series on the topic of marriage. Our first subject will be its origin, and to begin, we want to consider Jesus’ thoughts on marriage.

Some people say, in regard to same-sex relations, that Jesus never addressed this topic. Yet, Jesus definitely had a very specific understanding of marriage. The first miracle that He performed was at a wedding. In John chapter 2, we have the story of the feast in Cana of Galilee where Jesus turned the water into wine. Jesus was invited and attended. His mother was also there and she came to Jesus, saying, They’ve run out of wine. Jesus said, What does that have to do with Me? Mary was suggesting that Jesus could do something about it, which in fact, He did. Why would Jesus perform His very first miracle under these circumstances? I believe He did it in order to reaffirm that marriage was indeed God’s institution.

Jesus Taught About Marriage

Jesus also taught about marriage, often in the context of questions being asked. He said,

“From the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Mark 10:6–9).

We can take three things from this statement regarding marriage and God’s origin and intention for it. First, marriage goes back to the beginning of history. In the beginning, God created them male and female (Genesis 1:1, 27). Marriage originated with and was instituted by God Himself. Marriage did not evolve from human society, and this is why we as Christians are not going to let go of this issue. It’s something that was given to man by God. It’s the domain of His people.

Marriage Is In the Bible

Second, by its very definition, marriage is heterosexual. In the beginning, God created them male and female, and therefore, a man shall leave his father and mother and cling to his wife. The Bible knows absolutely nothing of same-sex marriage. There are hundreds of references to marriage in the Bible. Some Christian leaders suggest that a truly loving, same-sex relationship or marriage would be something that God would bless, but there’s no support for that scripturally. Marriage is always and only heterosexual in the Scriptures. The suggestion that it could be something other than that, from a Christian point of view, is incorrect.

Third, we see from this passage in Mark that marriage is a unique union that is intended to be permanent. A man shall leave his father and mother, cling to his wife, and the two shall become one. Something happens in marriage that’s almost indefinable. A bonding takes place, a deep union occurs that is unlike any other relationship. We see this worked out when we have children. In a physical sense, you see the two becoming one. But Jesus is not referring only to the physical sense. Something more mystical occurs. Break-ups prior to marriage can be hurtful, but it’s different when a marriage is torn apart. People say divorce is more painful than death, and I’ve seen that lived out. When someone dies, there’s finality, but divorce is ongoing. Two people, who were once in this indefinable union, have been pulled apart.

God Is the One Who Created Marriage

As Jesus said, what God has joined together, let man not separate; so only under the very rarest of circumstances does God allow divorce. Because marriage is God’s institution, it is not to be replaced with something more culturally relevant. Marriage is not to be redefined to suit the fancy of a supposed sexually liberated society. As God’s people, we are accountable to what God has said, and we want to look at marriage from the position of faith. Regardless of what the world says about marriage, we know the truth. God is the One who created it. Marriage originated with Him. Since God created it, then He has a purpose for it, which will be addressed in our next issue.