Man was created to be fruitful and multiply and subdue the earth. It is not good for Man to be alone, so Woman was created from Man as Man’s helper. Once united in marriage the two become one flesh, indivisible. This union is as the union of Christ and the Church. The sex act, by itself, is enough to create this union. Any sexual relation outside of this union of this is a sin against God and against one’s own body, the temple of the Holy Spirit, and is taken very seriously by God. Marriage is to be held in honour by all and the marriage bed is not to be defiled by sin.
The fall led to Man’s work being unyielding and ultimately fruitless and Woman’s submission being to a fallen Man who can never fully be what she needs. Yet, in Christ and His kingdom, Man can build a home eternal where his treasures never rust or decay. In Christ, Woman can submit to Man as to Christ.
Marriage is not eternal; it is made for this world. The dead and the resurrected do not marry for they cannot die. Marriage does not carry from this world to the next; marriage ends with death, and with death alone.
Some men are meant to be alone; they are made eunuchs by birth, by men, and for the sake of the kingdom. It is good for a man not to have sex and not to marry, for he can devote himself fully to the Lord. But not every man is given the gift to remain chaste, remember, Man was not meant to be alone. It is better to marry than burn with passion; if a man cannot exercise sexual self-control, he should marry. Each man unable to do so should each take his own wife. Both marriage and celibacy are good, neither is a sin, but neither Man nor Woman should primarily be focusing on either marriage or being free from marriage. Young women, particularly widows, are given extra encouragement to marry. One should not be burdened or restrained whatever one’s choice, as the choice of whether to marry is for a person’s own benefit, to best promote order and devotion to the Lord. Those who forbid marriage are deceitful; each man should live as he is called. The unmarried should be devoted to the Lord, while the married will necessarily split their devotion.
Marriage has two biblical purposes: to sate passion to avoid sin and for man to have a helper in his mission (to be fruitful and multiply and subdue the earth). In addition to the commandment to be fruitful, Women will be saved from responsibility for the fall through child-bearing. Any marriage taken should be for one, but optimally both, of these purposes.
To marry a divorced man or woman is to commit adultery. For a man to marry a prostitute or non-virgin or marry more than one woman is less sanctified and may prevent a man from having a position of leadership, but is not necessarily sin.
Christ is the head of man and the husband is the head of his wife for Woman was created for Man. A wife is to submit in everything to her husband, as the Church to Christ, for the Church is Christ’s bride. No woman should have spiritual authority over a man, yet a wife has authority over her husband’s body, while the husband has the same over hers. Likewise husbands should love their wives as Christ does the church and as they love their own bodies. A Christian’s submission to Christ and God is to be total and absolute, so should a wife’s submission to her husband. As well, Christ’s love for the church was absolute and self-sacrificing, so should a husband’s love for his wife. Neither man nor women are independent.
To divorce and remarry is sin. A woman is bound to her husband until he dies and a husband should not divorce his wife, for it is to commit violence. There are only two acceptable justifications for divorce and remarriage: adultery and abandonment by a unbelieving spouse. Separation without remarriage and with attempts to reconcile is acceptable, but not recommended.
With all the discussion of marriage around these parts I decided to create a summary for myself of what I could find in the Bible on the issue.
Marriage is both a less important and more important than much of modern Christianity makes of it. It is less important In that being married is not necessary to the faith, as some seem to advocate.
But it’s more in that if you do become married, it is a major dedication for both men and women. Men are to be as Christ, women are to fully submit; there are no outs and there is Biblically no such thing as asking too much in a marriage, for either men or women. Also, Simon is right, Woman was created for Man, and a married woman does not submit to God and is not accountable to God, but to her husband.
The common manosphere meme of divorcing if your wife doesn’t provide sex does not seem to have any support, unless adultery is defined far more broadly than would seem prudent. You have to love her anyway.
So, before you marry, count your costs and be prepared to carry your cross. Biblically, it is a huge, irreversible step with very limited escape clauses.