Weddings are a holy convocation where God joins together a man and a woman to become husband and wife. What are some of the best Bible verses we could include in a marriage ceremony and the purpose behind them?
Genesis 2:22-24 “And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
God created us and God was the Creator of the institution of marriage. It is a God-ordained joining of a man and a woman to become husband and wife. The two actually “become one flesh” meaning that they are now one in spirit, unity, mind, body and family. Adam realized that they are now one because Eve “is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.” The fact that one of Adam’s ribs was taken to help create Eve might indicate that she is to stand side-by-side with him. Also it’s important to note that “a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife” to mean that the family that we come out of should stay out of the affairs of the new couples family. Interference by in-laws can be detrimental to the new family and may even cause friction or possibly divorce. Adam was told to “hold fast” or cling to his wife as opposed to clinging to his old family. Of course the same thing applies to the woman. She must ensure that she holds fast to her husband and that she leaves her father and mother in the sense of leaving them out of the new family’s affairs.
Matthew 19:4-6 “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Since God created male and female, He also created marriage. Jesus says here that “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” To not let man separate is to mean that no one should try to separate them after God has joined them together. This means anyone outside of the family, including parents, other family or friends, should not interfere or try to cause them to divorce. This “no man” also means that the husband and wife should not separate after they marry. The only exception is ongoing, unrepentant adultery or the death of the spouse. God hates divorce and He wants us to hate it too (Mal 2:16).
Colossians 3:18-19 “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
When a couple is joined together by God, He expects the wife to submit to the husband. Of course this doesn’t mean that the wife is inferior but only that the husband is the head of the family. Jesus was co-equally God in the fullest sense yet He willingly submitted to the will of the Father. The husband is commanded to not be harsh with His wife. Jesus was never harsh with the Father Whom He submitted to and He loved the Father and so the husband must also love His wife. We cannot be harsh with someone and claim that we love them (1 John 4:20). Paul wrote that wives are to submit to their husbands “as is fitting in the Lord” which means that if the husband tells a wife to do something that is contrary to the Word of God, she does not have to submit to him in this regard for God must be obeyed over mankind (Acts 5:29).
Proverbs 5:18-19 “May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer– may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love.”
At the wedding reception, it is easy to see husband and wife rejoice in each other but months or years later, this may wane. Husbands, the fact is that we should not stop rejoicing in our wives even if we have been married for many years. To rejoice is a choice. Just as love is a choice and not just a feeling, we must choose to rejoice in our wives. To rejoice is like love; both are verbs…it’s what you do…not so much what you will always feel. Even though this Proverb speaks of rejoicing in the wives of our youth, this has no proper time limit. God has joined them together for a great purpose. Let’s enjoy each other to the fullest for this is the will of God.
Hebrews 13:14 “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”
The sanctity of marriage is in the fact that it is a God-ordained institution. It should “be held in honor among all” which includes staying faithful to our spouse and not straying from our mates into other relationships. The fact that the writer of Hebrews ties in marriage as being honorable and then stating that “God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous” means that if we commit adultery, we are not holding marriage in an honorable fashion. If we are unfaithful, the marriage is defiled, the marriage bed is defiled and the unfaithful partner is defiled. God will not hold those guiltless who commit adultery. He will judge them justly in this life and the life to come.
Romans 7:2 “For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage.”
When a couple marries, it is with the express intent for being for life or as some marriage ceremonies state “Till death do us part.” Remarriage is sin unless a spouse dies for a woman or a man are “bound by law” to their mates while they are still living but if their husband or wife dies, they are released from this law and are free to remarry. If this simple Bible command were upheld, the divorce rate would plummet, even among Christians. Sadly, the divorce rate among believers and unbelievers is just about the same.
Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.”
Ephesians 5:22-29 “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.
It is highly unlikely that these Bible verses will ever be read during a wedding ceremony but I believe that they should. Even so, I have been to many Christian marriages and this is never even mentioned. I believe it should be because it gives critical commands that are beneficial for the marriage’s survival. Wives are commanded to submit to their husbands. This is not politically correct in this day but God is never concerned with being politically correct. He is concerned about truth and the truth is the wife must submit to the husband but it must be “as to the Lord” and never contrary to the Word of God. Husbands, you’ve got a tough act to follow because you are commanded to love your wife as Christ loved the church and this means a self-sacrificing love of service. Husbands must care for their own wives as they do their own bodies and rarely does anyone neglect their own bodies. They nourish it, feed it, care for it, sacrifice for it…so too must the husband do for his own wife.
The church is called the Bride of Christ. Someday the church will meet and marry Christ, the Bridegroom. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:2 that he “betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ” so “that you may be married…to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God” (Rom 7:4). Believers have a wedding invitation and they are the Bride and as Revelation 19:7 says we are to “rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”—for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” We will not only rejoice but we will live happily ever after because not even death will make us part.
Jack Wellman is Senior Writer at What Christians Want to Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design