On Marriage and Related Relationships


Marriage was not invented by man:

Gen 2:20-25: The institution of marriage was created for us by God to be enjoyed while we are here on this earth. The woman was given to Adam by God. Similarly, a man “takes a wife” by asking her father for her. The father gives the girl to the man, just as God gave Eve to Adam.

Gen 29: Jacob asks Laban for his daughter Rachel. Laban gives Leah and Rachel to Jacob. Note the role of Laban, Jacob, Leah and Rachel. Jacob makes the request, Laban makes the decision and determines the conditions of marriage.


Covenant relations and One Flesh:

Gen 2:24: Marriage creates “one flesh” between the man and the woman, and each are “separated” from their parents.

-         He starts his own “household”.

-         A man’s household is beyond the limits of the walls of his home. It includes and covers all those for whom he is responsible for and has covenant relations with.

In other words, for the man, the covenant relationship between the man’s father’s household is terminated when the new covenant is created between the man and the woman when they become one flesh.


Matt 19:3-6;  Mark 10:6-9

Eph. 5:31

1Cor 6:16: Sexual relations creates the covenant of marriage, e.g. our legal term “consummation of the marriage”.  Example: Darva Conger, the bride on “Marry a Millionaire” was granted an easy divorce because their marriage was never consummated. Note: the first time a man has sexual relations with a woman, he creates a covenant relation with her, as they become one flesh.

- John 4:15-19, 29, 39: Sexual relations creates the covenant of marriage. The woman’s past relationships are referred to as “husbands” but there is an implication that they may have been unwed.

Malachi 2:14: You have a covenant relationship with your wife.

1Cor. 7:14: Your children are covered by your holiness (if you are born again) until they are either born again or reject God. (Rom. 3:32, 3:10)

1Cor 7:36-38: A father has the right to determine whether or not his daughter marries. This is the basis for the tradition in which the young man who wants to court a young lady will first approach the father to obtain permission to begin the courting process. The relationship between the two young people will be as per the guidelines designated by the father. (Again, Gen 29 and Laban/Jacob serve as a good example).


In covenant relationships, mothers do not have the same God-given responsibility for the children as the fathers do. All members of the family are part of the father’s household. All exist in their covenant relationship to the father. This is analogous to our relationship with our heavenly father. There is no heavenly mother!


Women are described in the bible in the following manner. Note that all are relevant to their covenant relationships to a man:

  1. Virgin daughter: her covenant relationship to her father (until she either is married or sleeps with men without the approval of her father).
  2. Wife/mother: her covenant relationship to her husband (until she is either widowed or divorced).
  3. Widow: her covenant relationship to her husband.
  4. Divorcee: her covenant relationship to her ex-husband.
  5. Harlot: her covenant relationship to each man she has sex with.



Marriage is to satisfy the longings of our body and for companionship:

Matt 22:24-33: Marriage is not a heavenly institution. Our bodies are not the same when we get to heaven.

Mt 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as angels in heaven.

1Cor. 7:1-2: Sex is reserved for marriage.

1Cor. 7:3-5: You are “one flesh”, not singular, and have relinquished your body to your spouse in the covenant of marriage.

Hebrews 13:4: Your marriage should be a covenant that you honor.  Let the marriage bed be undefiled.

-         Fornication and adultery will bring God’s judgement: 

 Heb 10:31 Schrecklich ist's, in die Hände des lebendigen Gottes zu fallen.

                   It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

                        Schrecklich = very bad, very bad; terrible

1Cor 7:6-9: Paul tells us that it is best to serve the Lord as a single person. However, he recognizes that marriage is appropriate for those who “do not have self control”. (c.f. 1Cor 7:24-35.)


Sex Outside of Marriage:

1Cor 6:16, 18

1Cor 6:13: The body is the Lord’s property.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Or don't you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit,
who lives in you and was given to you by your God?
You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price.
So you must honor God with your body.

We should treat our bodies as the holy dwelling of the Spirit of God.


Matt. 19:5; Mark 10:8-9 (becomes one flesh)

John 8:41: Sex outside of marriage is “fornication”.

1Cor 6:9-11: Fornicators or drunkards shall not inherit the Kingdom of God, but you may be washed clean if you come to Christ (1Cor 6:11) !!!

Hebrews 13:4: Fornicators will receive the judgment of God.

Gen 1:26: we are made in the image of God. Sexual sin to our bodies is a most serious egregious to the Lord.



1 Peter 3:7:  Be understanding, honor her. Otherwise, your prayers will not be heard!

Ephesians 5:25: Love your wife, even unto your own death.

Ephesians 5:33: Love your wife as yourself.



1 Peter 3:1-6:  Be submissive, just as those who are in Christ Jesus follow Him.

Ephesians 5:22-24: Be subject to the husband.

Ephesians 5:33 Respect your husband.

1Cor 7:39: You are bound for life.

1Cor 11:3-12: Illustrates the Christ-Man(Husband)-Woman(Wife) relationship and hierarchy.

-         In 1Cor 11:3, the Greek word used for man is the Greek word for “husband”. The Greek word used for woman is the Greek word for “wife”.

-         The Husband is the image of God, and the wife is the glory of the husband


The woman belongs to the man:

The history of the traditions of our society shows an understanding of this principle:

-         Marriage utilizes an engagement ring and wedding ring

-         The man gives the woman an engagement ring to signify his covenant to her. (Note that the man does not receive an engagement ring from the woman)

-         The man gives the woman a wedding ring (different than the engagement ring) which signifies (to her and the rest of society) the covenant that he has confirmed with her

o       She receives the wedding wing on the same day they are married and become one flesh.

-         Note that the practice of mutual wedding rings is one of relatively modern times. The original tradition only had the woman wearing the rings, never the man. Some couples still hold to this tradition and there is nothing wrong with this.

-         1Peter 3:6 Abraham was called “lord” by Sarah. (c.f. Gen 18:12)

-         Gen 31:35 Rachel called her father “lord”




Malachi 2:16: God hates divorce.

Matt 5:32: Fornication of a married person is the only acceptable reason for divorce.

Matt 19:1-12: Fornication of a married person is the only acceptable reason for divorce.

Mark 10:1-12: Fornication of a married person is the only acceptable reason for divorce.


Advice, Counsel, and Principles to Live By:

- 1Cor 13: Learn the real principle of love. Recognize that love grows with time and as infatuation diminishes. Tolerance is required.

- Ephesians 4:26-27; 29; 31-32: Learn the principle of forgiveness. Learn to be the first one to say “I am sorry”.

- Marriage to each other is for life; being a parent is not! Don’t dedicate yourselves to your children more than to your spouse.