Christian Marriage

Not all people should marry. But those who are led to marry—if they establish their marriage on the cornerstone of Christ—are in for a most glorious adventure. Yet, even with faith, marriages still require effort (i.e. proper choices) to bloom.

Sadly, it is possible for a marriage to end, even when one of the members is unreservedly devoted to “making it work.” Still, when wife and husband focus their eyes heavenward . . . when they recognize their marriage is, in a sense, a figure of the Trinity, including God as well as themselves . . . it can weather any storm the world throws at it. That’s one consequence of possessing that earnest love which “covers a multitude of sins” (I Peter 4:8).

And, never doubt it, the world and the lord of this world, love few things more than destroying a marriage. All of that holy promise, crushed. The joy and peace that come from living in lifelong intimacy, devastated. The miracle of two becoming one, forfeited.

One of the things that often surprises young Christian converts as they enter the Church, is the longevity of the marriages there. In some congregations, the thirty-five years my wife and I have been married still qualify us as “newlyweds.”

In light of these thoughts on this Valentine’s Day, the following quotation from C.S. Lewis is extremely apropos.

The Christian idea of marriage is based on Christ’s words that a man and wife are to be regarded as a single organism . . . The male and female were made to be combined together in pairs, not simply on the sexual level, but totally combined. The monstrosity of sexual intercourse outside marriage is that those who indulge in it are trying to isolate one kind of union (the sexual) from all the other kinds of union which were intended to go along with it and make up the total union. The Christian attitude does not mean that there is anything wrong about sexual pleasure, any more than about the pleasure of eating. It means that you must not isolate that pleasure and try to get it by itself, any more than you ought to try to get the pleasures of taste without swallowing and digesting, by chewing things and spitting them out.

As a consequence, Christianity teaches that marriage is for life.

8 thoughts on “Christian Marriage

  1. I love this post about a Christian Marriage. My parents randomly met 30 years ago in a bible study group. They base their 28 years marriage on their everlasting faith. They have unknownly taught me that there are only 3 people who will every make a marriage work, God, your spouse and yourself. I hope to carry this into my marriage when that happens one day. Thanks again for sharing this heartfelt post! :-)

  2. Thanks for the like on my blog! Like Matt, I love this C.S. Lewis quote. It does raise some questions for me that I haven’t quite sorted out yet though. For example, if partaking of the sexual unity in the absence of all the other forms of unity is ruled out, then why don’t we rule out partaking in some of the other forms of unity in isolation form total union (say, emotional union or the spiritual union that comes from Bible study and prayer together every night). I think it is often times these kinds of unions that cause many Christian couples who date to feel “imbalanced” in their relationship and seek the physical union too. Not saying it’s not wrong. I’m just wondering about that fuller picture of union and how we can better deliver it into the context of marriage.

    1. Just a quick response to the question about the balance between emotional, spiritual and physical intimacy in our relationships…

      The first two are often experienced outside marriage, and even among the same gender. Lewis wrote about that intimacy (phileo) that empowers deep friendships.

      When it comes to courting couples who are sharing those intimacies (e.g. through Bible study and prayer) but long for the physical intimacy that lies “ahead,” well, there are different levels of physicality and the Scriptures expressly forbid fornication. That’s a subject that requires more than a post to address.

      Those of us who waited to “consummate” are confident that choice is consistent with God’s express guidance. But it is easy, of course not. I think you and I are on the same wavelength with trying to help young people today understand that God’s “laws” are not arbitrary, but are written for our own good. And maintaining sexual purity in a world sliding ever deeper into the cesspool of its own creation, gets more challenging every day.

      Thanks for your comment!

  3. Rob, love the post on marriage and the quote from CS Lewis. I have one request/suggestion, would you please reference the source of the quotes you share. This is helpful not only in regards to copyright issues, but in case a read wants to explore the source more deeply. Thank you. Rus

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