Biblical Concept: God’s Plan for Successful Marriages


1. God wants a Christian to marry another Christian:


NAS 2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?


NAS 1 Corinthians 7:39 A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.


Conclusion: Marriage must consider the spiritual aspect of human existence.  If one partner has accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his or her personal Savior, and the other has not, this will cause problems in the marriage.


2. God has designed marriage to be enjoyable:


NAS Ecclesiastes 9:9 Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He (God) has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life, and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun. (The parenthesis is mine.)


NAS Proverbs 5:18 Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19 As a loving hind and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; Be exhilarated always with her love.


NAS Proverbs 18:22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the LORD.


Conclusion: God has designed marriage to be an enjoyable, profitable, situation for men and women.


3. God considers the married couple to be one flesh:


NAS Ephesians 5:28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 FOR THIS CAUSE A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND SHALL CLEAVE TO HIS WIFE; AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.


Conclusion: Marriage is not a competition to get one’s way.  Marriage is a one flesh team effort that considers the wishes of the partner with their own.  When the husband leads in treating his wife as one flesh, then his wife will respond in kind.  What you give is what you will get back.


4. God considers the one flesh union as permanent:


NAS Matthew 19:5 and said, 'FOR THIS CAUSE A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND SHALL CLEAVE TO HIS WIFE; AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH'? 6 "Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."


NAS 1 Corinthians 7:10 But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband 11 (but if she does leave, let her remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not send his wife away.


NAS Malachi 2:14 "Yet you say, 'For what reason?' Because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant..” (The underline is mine.) NAS Malachi 2:16 "For I hate divorce," says the LORD, the God of Israel, "and him who covers his garment with wrong," says the LORD of hosts. "So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously."


Conclusion: Marriage is God’s invention and He has designed it to be permanent.  Marriage is primarily a mental attitude “covenant” relationship. Couples learn to fall in love and also learn to fall out of love.  It is always God’s will to keep the original “covenant” intact and learn to fall in love again!


Note: Biblical grounds for divorce include: 1) Sexual immorality (Matthew 19:9). 2) Desertion (1 Corinthians 7:15, 27-28 cp. with Matthew 18:17).


5. God considers the one flesh relationship to be a monogamous relationship:


NAS Hebrews 13:4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.


Conclusion: God has designed sexual activity to be one man with one woman for life.  Open marriages (sexually promiscuous agreements) are out of God’s will.


6. God considers sexual activity in the one flesh relationship a mutual activity:


NAS 1 Corinthians 7:1 Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2 But because of immoralities, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. 3 Let the husband fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again lest Satan tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Conclusion: Sex is never to be used as a manipulative weapon in marriage.  The partner who uses this technique could be tempting their mate to do something unfortunate.


7. God says that the one flesh relationship must be grown into:


NAS 1 Corinthians 7:32 But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; 33 but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. (The underlines are mine.)


NAS 1 Peter 3:8 To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; 9 not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. (This is a conclusion addressed to husbands and wives, see verses 1-7.)


Conclusion: Marriage is not a contest to see who can get their way a majority of the time.  Marriage is a process of learning to please one another!  This will take real lifelong communication.


8. God considers the husband as a leader in marriage and the wife a helper in marriage:


NAS Genesis 2:18 Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him."


NAS 1 Corinthians 11:8 For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; 9 for indeed man was not created for the woman's sake, but woman for the man's sake.


Conclusion: Every aspect of God’s plan for humanity includes chain of command.  Government, military, education, church and family all include chain of command.  The husband has the basic responsibility to lead and the wife has the basic responsibility to help her husband in this chain of command process.  “Leader” does not mean “dictator” and “helper” does not mean “slave” or “power lusting nag.” The husband and wife are to be a “one flesh” team as their family functions in society.


9. Marriage is not a competition, because God views believing men and women as equals in Christ:


NAS 1 Corinthians 11:11 However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God. (The underline is mine.)


Conclusion: Salvation in Jesus Christ is the greatest equalizer among humans: NAS Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  If you want true equality in marriage, and in life accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.


Final Conclusion: Husbands and wives that apply these Biblical marriage principles will have successful, satisfying marriages.  Marriage should not be a self-centered battle of wills.