The Bible answer to a contemporary question of the definition of marriage
"Does the Bible only define marriage one way?" That's a question that was recently asked of me. It gave me an opportunity to study and reflect on a very contemporary and important topic. I was glad that their question basically asked, "What does the Bible say about marriage?"
It doesn't really matter what I think about the matter because I am not the authority, nor is the federal or state government, or my neighbor. God and God alone has the jurisdiction in this matter. It wasn't our government that created the institution of marriage. It was God.
First, God created Adam in his own image. However, God did not say he was completely pleased with this lone-man arrangement. In fact, God said, "It is not good for man to be alone; I will create a helper comparable for him." Now remember, Adam was made in the image of God, perfect and complete. But God took from Adam's side; he took part of the image of God and created Eve. It was only then that the Bible records that God saw everything that he had made and called it very good. The Bible says that God created mankind in his image.
The complete image of God is not in man or woman alone. Man is only half the picture. God is neither male nor female, he is both. God has the attributes of both male and female. Marriage is the union of those two parts, as together they display the image of God.
So, God's design for mankind was for a union of one man with one woman to display the image of God. He started history with a man and a woman in a marriage union because of communicating truths as to who he is and his relationship with the church. He calls himself the husband, and the church is the bride.
We can only understand our relationship with God as we understand the relationship laid out in scripture of a man and a woman in union through marriage. It is as if God wanted to tell a story, so he stamped the image on our very being, imprinted that on our bodies. Male and female complement each other in many ways, physically, socially and spiritually. It is the natural, God-ordained, creative order of things. Marriage is to show the image of God.
One day we will see the consummation of that story to which this picture points to. The reality of what ultimately will be is Christ's union with the church for all eternity.
We cannot change the meaning of marriage. God has already established that. Romans, chapter one, states that even creation has a way of honoring and showing who God is. Then it goes on to say what is contrary to that manifestation, that being same sex unions. I didn't write the Book, God did.
Now, let me hasten to add that we all are sinners and fall short of the glory of God. There is not a marriage alive today that adequately illustrates the union between a perfect husband God and a loved, developing, sanctified Bride, the church. There are many, many male-female marriages that are actually a reproach to God because of the lack of true love, faithfulness, commitment and companionship. Those are wrong in God's eyes too. But in this article I am not addressing that. I am merely answering the question, "Does the Bible only define marriage one way?" The answer is yes, only one way - male and female.