What does the Bible say about marriage? Thankfully, God’s Word contains much wisdom and guidance on this subject; which makes sense, given that marriage is God’s idea! This article will discuss the concepts behind five different Bible verses about love and marriage.
Whether you are about to get married, are a newlywed trying to figure out the journey ahead, or have been married for many years, there are Bible verses about love and marriage that will speak to you in your exact context through the Holy Spirit.
5 Bible Verses about Love and Marriage
Here are five Bible verses about love and marriage relating to broader concepts that define God’s plan for married life.
Made for each other
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. – Genesis 2:24
In Genesis, we read of God creating Adam and describing that it is not good for man to be alone. He says he will create a helper suitable for him, and, when no living creature is deemed fit, the Lord causes Adam to fall into a deep sleep in which he removes one of his ribs and uses it to create a woman.
In marriage, a husband and wife become united physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Reading through these Bible verses for married couples can remind them that they are in a covenant that is viewed as sacred by God. The fact that they are married means that they are in an ordained relationship, ordained by the Lord!
He is actively involved in your marriage and knows that marital discord hurts, and should hurt, to the very core of one’s being. His plan for marriage is oneness and unity, and he can help to restore that.
In Mark 10, when the Pharisees are testing Jesus and asking him about divorce, Jesus quotes the Genesis verse above and adds, “therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Mark 10:9). Marriage is for life and the most serious commitment that two people can make to each other. Knowing that the Lord is overseeing and helping you daily in your married life can be a huge encouragement!
Roles and needs
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior…Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy – Ephesians 5:22-23;25,26a
As you read about marriage in the Bible, you can be assured that God has a specific role in mind for each member of the marriage. Submission, such a commonly misused word, is what God requires of wives; that they should fall under the headship of their husband.
In the context of this passage, Paul is describing the perfect relationship between husband and wife. According to Paul, a faithful husband lays down his life for his wife. He is by no means a tyrant forcing her to submit to his sinful human desires, but he abandons his own will, affections, and needs for her sake.
A loving husband submits his will to that of Christ, and, in doing so, imitates him in the marriage relationship. As the wife is willingly led by her husband, this submission based on love brings peace and harmony to the family.
One of the most instructive and insightful Bible verses for married couples must surely come at the end of Ephesians 5 when Paul says, “each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
Why does Paul instruct husbands to love their wives, and wives to respect their husbands? Perhaps it is because it is difficult for men to show their partner tender love, and equally challenging for women to demonstrate respect?
After all, the curse on Eve in Genesis 3:16 is that her desire would be for her husband – that she would naturally want to dominate him. What was true then is true now, and results in much marital strife when a wife assumes authority in the marriage or when a husband fails to be a loving leader.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
Can there be anything more inspirational than these Bible verses as they are applied to married couples? When we read these descriptions of the characteristics of love, we are filled with fuzzy notions of these positive characteristics. Until we realise two hard truths about our married life: we married a sinner, and we are sinners, ourselves.
God uses marriage as a tool for our sanctification, and that process can be hard difficult. In ourselves, we are not patient or kind, especially when someone, even our dearly beloved spouse, is proving to be an obstacle against something that we have our heart set on.
In marriage, it can be the smallest thing such as a carelessly strewn towel, or a comment interpreted as a slight, and our ugly fleshy side quickly reveals itself in pride, anger, and self-seeking. So what are we to do?
Ephesians 4:2-3 exhorts us to bear with one another in love, with humility, gentleness, and patience, “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Through prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit, we can actively fight the sin that shows itself in myriad ways in our marriage and put on these noble virtues.
Enjoying each other
You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride; you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace. – Song of Solomon 4:9
Song of Solomon is full of Bible verses for married couples that encourage husbands and wives to share their adoration for each other with joy. We need the fresh perspective on love and sexuality that this book offers.
It follows the bride and her beloved on a journey from courtship to consummation and beyond, with God superintending it all. The relationship captured is God’s Word for his children’s understanding of love and marriage; the love that they share is “the very flame of the Lord” (8:6).
God is love
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. – 1 John 4:16
While we can read up as much as possible on marriage in the Bible and be grateful that God’s Word provides much wisdom on love and marriage, we need to remind ourselves and our spouses that this wisdom is not attainable apart from Christ. It is only through faith in the Son of God, “who loved us and gave himself for us” (Galatians 2:20) that we can live an authentic life of faith and experience change in our relationships.
And it is only by continuing in Christ, by studying Scripture, praying and keeping in fellowship with the Christian community, that we can have any hope of conducting ourselves in a manner worthy of what God calls us to in marriage. Ultimately, the marriage relationship is a picture of Christ. Jesus is our beloved, and we are his bride. And the more intimately we are acquainted with him, the more our marriages will reflect health and holiness.
“Wedding Season”, Courtesy of Samantha Gades, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Happy Couple”, Courtesy of Priscilla Du Preez, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Holding Hands”, Courtesy of Wilson Sanchez, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Snuggles in the Snow”, Courtesy of Savs, Unsplash.com, CC0 License