Marriage, along with family responsibilities in this world, is a heavenly design for couples for a loving relationship (“It is not good for the man to be alone” Gen 2:18), procreation (“Be fruitful and increase in number” Gen 1:28) and growing up of children (“Train up a child in the way he should go” Prov 22:6). This setup is necessary on the earth to perpetuate the mortal human race. Human life, especially in childhood and old age, is vulnerable and need help. Hence marriage is a divine call, a God-assigned privilege, and noble responsibility.
God instituted marriage with Eve’s creation and handing her over to Adam. The first parents did not meet each other or marry themselves. God selected them as partners and blessed their marriage. Adam received Eve stating, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” (Gen 2:23). God took Eve out of Adam. Though they became two, they were one in spirit and moved as a team in their success and failure.
THE DIVINITY OF MARRIAGE
The Biblical analogy of God’s relationship with his chosen people both in the Old and New Testament illustrate the sacredness and seriousness of the marriage relationship.
The Old Testament presents the covenantal relationship between God and Israel like the spouses (Jer 3:14). God’s intention of the divine covenant with Israel was for the salvation of all the nations. “I will also make You a light of the nations, so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth” (Isa 49:6).
In the New Testament, the church is the bride of Jesus who made a new covenant (betrothal) with her at the Last Supper. Their spiritual wedding and banquet will take place at the second coming of Christ. Paul advises: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” (Eph 5:25-33).
A single person cannot give birth to a child. The child needs the care of the father and the mother for a balanced and healthy upbringing. Hence, Mary received Joseph to care for Jesus. Both worked as a team in the Holy Family, facing challenges and taking care of the Infant Jesus. Luke wrote on the early Christian community: “The whole community of believers was one in heart and mind. No one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but rather they shared all things in common” (Acts 4:32). A Christian family shall have the same spirit of this early Christian community.