Often, in my times in my studying to preach, I end up with material that doesn’t make it into my sermon. It doesn’t get cut because it’s bad (though sometimes it is), but usually because it doesn’t enhance the primary purpose or focus of the passage. When it’s good I like to post it here…you know, for those of you who like a little bit extra.
In studying for our college group relationship series I ran across this bit from a John MacArthur study guide on marriage. Below are a few thoughts from that guide…
Six Reasons for Marriage
In Genesis 1:28 God brought a man and a woman together, married them, and told them to be fruitful and fill the earth. One of the primary reasons for marriage is God’s desire for believers to reproduce godly people. Psalm 127:3-5 says, “Lo, children are an heritage from 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 one’s youth. Happy is the man who hath his quiver full of them.” God created marriage for procreation.
Marriage is also for pleasure. Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled.” You cannot do anything in the marriage bed that is defiling. Marriage was designed by God to be an honorable and enjoyable experience. I Corinthians 7:4 says that the husband’s body is his wife’s, and that the wife’s body is her husband’s. They both belong to each other! The Old Testament also talks about the satisfaction and pleasure of the physical relationship of marriage (e.g. Prov. 5:18-19; The Song of Solomon).
God wants a man to provide what a woman needs. I Peter 3:7 says, “Ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel.” God knows that a man can be a strength to his wife’s weaknesses. Ephesians 5:25-33 says that the husband is to provide and care for his wife, being a savior in a sense.
Marriage is also for partnership. When God made Eve, He said He made for Adam a helper–someone to come alongside. In marriage, you don’t do things alone; you do them together. In our spouse, God gives us a good friend–and friendship–a key ingredient in marriage.
According to Ephesians 5:22-33, marriage is a picture of Christ’s relationship to His church. It is a graphic demonstration in the face of the world that God has an ongoing, unending relationship with the bride whom He loves, and for whom He died and forever lives.
Marriage is also designed by God to keep us from committing fornication. In 1 Corinthians 7:2, Paul says, “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife.” (The word “own” prohibits polygamy). Marriage is designed for the purity of believers.