What does the Bible say about marriage?

Question: “The world says much about marriage and it is often confusing.  What does the Bible say about having a strong, loving marriage?”


Bible Answers

Marriage is an important issue in the lives of most people. Unfortunately, most gain their perception of what a marriage should be first from their parents’ marriage and then what friends say and what is perceived from the entertainment industry. We all want to have a good marriage, but what does the most knowledgeable source, the Bible say?  The Bible has over 500 occurrences related to marriage and the relationship between a husband and wife. Let first look at the original source of marriage, what God wants of a marriage, and then some misconceptions about marriage.

The first indication of God’s intent for man is found in Genesis 2:18.  And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make a suitable helper for him.

After God made a woman, He said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh (Genesis 2:24). The first marriage was created by God to provide help, companionship and intimacy so tight that when a couple comes together in marriage they are considered as one flesh by God.

Marriage structure in the eyes of God.

1 Peter 3:1-5, 7 provides instruction in character and living in a marriage.

We learn some valuable instruction from these verses.

Ephesians 5:23-25, 28-29, 31

Husbands are to so love their wives that they would lay down their lives to protect them.  In such a safe and protective embrace, what wife would not be willing to submit to her husband’s leadership?  While the roles of husband and wife are different, they are equal in importance.

• Wives - demonstrate godly character and quiet inner    beauty.

• Husbands - honor your wives and be kind and gentle.

• Husbands and wives are equal partners.

Some misconceptions about marriage

Misconception 1: “If you are no longer compatible, find someone who is.”

God’s truth says that marriage is permanent.  You have made a covenant commitment before God and have become one flesh.  It is not a matter of how you feel. You are to love the spouse you chose to marry. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate (Mark 10.9).

Misconception 2:  “My spouse no longer makes me happy.”

This points the full attention to me.  What I want.  Make me happy. This type of selfishness will never provide a happy marriage. There is no love, to concern for the other person.  If you want to be loved and be happy, start showing love.

The truest picture of marriage is that it symbolizes the love of Christ for us.  And His desire for all of us is that we be made more into the image of Him. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful (1 Corinthians 13:4-5).

Misconception 3:  Marriage is a 50/50 relationship.

A 50/50 relationship is only half an effort.  It is always comparing my 50% effort with their 50% effort.  It is never enough to make a marriage work well.  This is not what God intended.  He expects a loving covenant relation that is centered in Jesus, in which both members of the team are giving 100/100. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:7-8).

What about sex in marriage?

First, sex is only for marriage. It is God’s will that you keep away from sexual sin as a mark of your devotion to him” (1 Thessalonians 4:3).

Sex in marriage should always be by agreement, by love. Sex in a marriage should never be forced or coerced. The acts of sex should always reflect love, and not be demeaning. Hebrews 13:4 says, Marriage must be respected by all, and the marriage bed kept undefiled.  

The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife (1 Corinthians 7:1-3).


When a husband and wife put Christ first and their spouse is more important than their one interest (100%/100%), each fulfilling the role that God intended for a husband and wife, a solid healthy marriage results. The biblical concept is similar to the love between Christ and His church. When the church permits Christ to lead, you have a strong and healthy church. When the husband will lead with love and the wife will follow with love, you have a strong and healthy marriage.

Next Section - What about divorce and remarriage?

Marriage and what is required in a marriage

Marriage Section

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