Contrary to what some might think, the Bible is very clear and authoritative regarding the institution and purpose of marriage. In Genesis 2:18 we are told about the first marriage; officiated by God between the first man and first woman to ever exist. In making one mature man and one mature woman as the first humans, God brought them together to form the very foundation for all of human life and interaction that would follow. Marriage is therefore the very core of any social structure. Genesis 2:18 specifically mentions the problem of loneliness as the reason for marriage. Marriage was instituted that day by God to fill the loneliness that Adam felt as the only man. God made woman to be a companion to man.
Because God instituted and officiated the first marriage, God alone has the authority and right to establish what constitutes marriage and what the exceptions to marriage are. Matthew 19:6 shows that Jesus Himself taught that marriage was something that God had put together which was then also the reason to deny divorce based on man’s whims and desires. Because God instituted marriage, only He had an authoritative say in how it was created and dissolved.
In Genesis 2, God instructed that marriage would be the leaving of father and mother and the joining of a man and a woman as one. Being married, they would then be united in their thoughts, plans, efforts, desires, emotions, and bodies. Marriage is more than sex. It is more than propagation of the human race. It is more than a mere technicality. Marriage is intimate and unique companionship. Malachi 2:14 and Proverbs 2:17 specifically mention this companionship principle of marriage. In these two instances marriage is regarded as the covenantal agreement between one man and one woman to be each other’s companion for life.
Thus, marriage is not a mere human custom. It is also not merely a moral or civil requirement for the sake of conscience or official record-keeping. Marriage is not a convenience to make life easier or a cover up for premarital pregnancies. Rather marriage is God’s solution to mankind’s problem of loneliness. The Biblical purpose of marriage is so that a man can have a companion in the person of a woman. Consequently, they then participate in the many blessings of such a union (friendship, help, oneness, sexual relations, children, commitment). To enjoy these blessing, marriage must be regarded as God’s creation and practiced according to God’s design.