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Marriage Preparation and Improvement: The Purpose of Marriage

Purpose of marriageWhat are proper reasons why one should choose to marry? How important are love, companionship, sexual affection, and raising children? What are improper reasons why some people marry?

This is part of a ten-part series about marriage preparation and improvement. This article should be studied in context of the whole series of articles. To start at the beginning of the series, please click here: Marriage_Improvement.php

If we understand the proper purposes for marriage, we are far more likely to accomplish those goals and to choose a mate with whom we can accomplish them. If we do not understand those goals, we are almost sure to fail to achieve what marriage is about.

A. The Main Goal of Marriage Is To Help One Another Serve God.

We have already discussed this under "Religion." However, there are also other legitimate reasons for marrying.

B. Marriage Is for Companionship and Love.

Genesis 2:18,21,22 - Woman was created because it was not good for man to be alone and because animals were not suitable companions for him. So God created woman to be a companion and helper to man. [Proverbs 18:22; 19:14]

Malachi 2:14 - The wife is a companion with whom the man has entered into the marriage covenant. [Proverbs 2:17]

Ephesians 5:25-29; Titus 2:4 - Husband and wife are both instructed to love one another.

When man and wife are proper companions loving one another as the Bible teaches, they fulfill one of the strongest desires and greatest needs people have. No one should ever marry until they are ready to love and care for their spouse at least as great as they care for themselves. However, this requires understanding what love really is. We will discuss this later in depth.

C. Marriage Is To Bear and Raise Children.

Genesis 1:27,28 - God told the first man and woman to reproduce and replenish the earth.

Psalms 127:3-5; 128:1-6 - Children should be appreciated as a gift from God.

Malachi 2:15 - God makes man and woman one, because He seeks godly offspring.

Ephesians 6:4 - Parents have a duty, in the family, to raise and train the children they bring into the world [Genesis 3:16].

No institution or arrangement, other than the family, can produce the same benefits for children. This is one reason why it is immoral to bear children out of wedlock or to refuse to care for them after we have given them birth. If children can be raised acceptably by child-care arrangements or government facilities, why did God insist that they be raised in a family?

One of life's greatest fulfillments is the sense of accomplishment that comes from knowing you have brought into this world and brought up children who honor God and are a blessing to people around them. Young couples should not marry unless they are both willing to make the sacrifices and put forth the effort to do the very best they can to achieve this goal.

D. Marriage Is to Express Sexual Affection.

Hebrews 13:4 - The sexual union is holy and pure only within marriage.

Proverbs 5:15-20 - Man should find fulfillment for his desires only in his lawful wife.

1 Corinthians 7:2-5,8,9 - Husband and wife should express sexual affection, not tempting their companion by "defrauding" them. Satisfying this desire is one legitimate reason for getting married.

Note that the sexual union is not just for procreation. It is a basic urge created by God. It is pure and holy, but it can properly be fulfilled only within the God-ordained institution of marriage. Hence, it becomes a natural expression of the love and companionship of marriage.

Most people marry for a combination of the above reasons. When we understand the proper reasons for marriage, we also understand why it is a mistake for people to marry for other reasons, such as:

* To attain wealth, influence, popularity, or social status

* To escape serious problems in their previous home life

* Because all ones friends are getting married

* Just so you can feel like somebody wanted you - some people have felt unloved and rejected or inferior all their lives, so they just want to feel like somebody wants them.

* Because we are "on the rebound" from a broken relationship

* Because we want someone to provide for us or to keep house for us, etc.

* Because our family or friends think we make a good couple

When people enter marriage for these improper reasons, they usually find their marriage dissatisfies them, their companions, and especially God.

This is part of a ten-part series of articles about marriage preparation and improvement. To continue with the next article in the series, please go to /family/marriage-permanence.php  To start at the beginning of the series, please click here: Marriage_Improvement.php

(C) Copyright 2007, David E. Pratte;
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