Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Relationship Series: What's the Point of Marriage?

Hey everybody!  As many of you have noticed, there haven't been any posts on Not Just a Teen for over a month.  This is due to the crazy business of my life for the past few months, but (prayerfully) things are slowing down a bit!  To the best of my ability, I hope to be back to the regular, weekly posts.  Thank you all so much for your support, and God bless! :D
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With so many varying definitions and implications of “marriage” in the world today, everyone seems to have their own idea of what the purpose of marriage truly is. Some might say it’s to enhance both individual’s gifts and abilities in improving the world. Some might say it’s to provide a necessary social structure for the family and community. Some might say it’s to bring you enjoyment. Some might even say that marriage has no purpose at all.

But from a worldview centered on God’s Truth, what is the real purpose of marriage?

Pastor Voddie Baucham, in his sermon “Love and Marriage,” gives two primary purposes for marriage: Procreation and Representation. Now, that may seem a bit daunting at first, but let’s explore these purposes and discover how they apply to marriage:


You’re probably saying, “Duh. Obviously God designed marriage so that we could have kids. So what?” The idea of procreation in marriage, however, is so much more than just “having kids.”

Marriage was designed, in part, to provide a solid basis for raising up the next generation – more specifically for Christians, to raise up the next generation of disciples of Christ. Procreation isn’t over when a child is born. It’s over (I say “over” quite loosely here) when the child begins their own household (see Genesis 2:24).

Thus, procreation is about discipleship. Fathers and mothers have the serious role of training their children, in word and action, to be unwavering followers of Christ in every facet of life (see Deuteronomy 11:19), enabling them to one day to train up their own children to do the same. Getting goosebumps yet? You should; it’s not a task to take lightly!

I could go on in detail about exactly how parents are supposed to train up their children, but that’s not necessarily a topic for this post. The main idea is that we are supposed to train up our children, and marriage is perfectly and beautifully designed to facilitate that process.


Where the last purpose may have seemed obvious at first, this one might have left you scratching your head. What is marriage supposed to represent, and why is that so important? As it turns out, marriage represents at least two crucial things.

Firstly, marriage is a representation of Christ’s relationship with His Church (whom, quite fittingly, He calls His “Bride”). Ephesians 5 gives a wonderful explanation of this representation. In this symbol, the husband represents Christ and the wife represents the Church.

Accordingly, the husband is the head of the marriage and the family; he is called to love, serve, and sacrifice for his wife and children just as Christ loved, served, and sacrificed His very life for His Bride. Likewise, the wife submits to her husband as the Church submits to Christ, honoring his authority and embracing the protection, provision, and cherishment that he brings.

Often, people will object to this so-called “male dominance,” saying that it devalues the woman. However, the second representation of marriage clearly demonstrates otherwise.

Marriage represents not only the Church and Christ, but also God Himself – the Trinity. God the Father is the authority, God the Son submits to the Fathers will, and God the Holy Spirit is sent from the Father and the Son. None is greater or more valuable than the other, yet each fulfill their specific roles. In the same way, a father is the authority of the family, the wife submits to the authority of her husband, and from them the children are sent into the world.

Now we know that marriage represents Christ and His Bride as well as the Trinitarian nature of God Himself, but what’s the point? The point becomes quite evident when we realize one thing:

It’s entirely possible – and is in fact normal – to be married and yet still not fulfill the purposes of marriage.

On the one hand, this means that many couples, among other things, completely miss out on one of the greatest blessings of life: raising and discipling the next generation of believers. Perhaps more importantly, however, if we fail to fulfill the second purpose of marriage by not properly representing Christ’s relationship with His Bride and His nature of the Trinity, we’re misrepresenting God. We’re muddying the Gospel. Thus, it is crucial that we take these purposes very very seriously.

Now, before we wrap up our discussion the purposes of marriage, it’s important to note that there are some purposes to marriage that I didn’t specifically mention. These are things such as helping each other grow closer to the Lord, ministering to His people, and of course enjoying each other. However, if you look deeply enough, you’ll realize that these other purposes relate in some way to the two we’ve discussed.

Marriage is an incredible, beautiful, and marvelous gift from our Creator. It gives us the wonderful opportunity to train up another generation to glorify Him and it also gives us the amazing opportunity to become a living reflection of Who He is. When we understand the true purpose of marriage, we can much better participate with Christ in the awe-inspiring work He is doing in this world!