When it comes to marriage, many Christians believe if they go to a good church, take a marriage enrichment course and occasionally read marriage books, they will have a strong marriage.  Their focus tends to be on solving tactical problem areas such as communication, sex and finances.  Yet, in His Word, God provides strategic purposes for Christian marriage that are vitally important for all to know. 

The Fall of Satan and Your Marriage

God’s purposes for marriage are related to the fall of Satan.  The original oneness and harmony of eternity past was a wonderful reflection of God’s image in all of creation. The angels, beings created by God, depended entirely on Him and were completely one with God and His will. But Satan’s pride and fall became a threat to this oneness. The most beautiful angel of God’s creation decided that he did not need God. Since then Satan has challenged God’s will and purposes continually.

The creation of the earth and Adam and Eve was not just an afterthought of God’s, but a response to Satan’s challenge. It demonstrated to all of creation, that only complete dependence on God results in true life. Adam and Eve, and every person who followed, has a tremendous stake in God’s plan and purpose for man.

In this context, God gives three mandates for Christian marriage: to reflect, reign, and reproduce. And, because of the importance of these purposes, Satan works hard to keep Christians from accomplishing them.  Let’s look further at these purposes.

1.  Reflect God’s Image

Christian marriages are to reflect God’s image:

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So, God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:26-27

Notice the emphasis on “image” and “likeness.”  God creates “them” as a unit to reflect Him. It takes both a man and woman, in oneness, to truly reflect His image.  When we criticize our spouse, or foster division and competition, we are actually reflecting the disunity of Satan and dishonoring God.  On the other hand, when we recognize our purpose is to reflect the image of God, we are convicted by Holy Spirit when we don’t meet that standard and protected from hardening our hearts toward one another.

2. Reproduce Children in God’s Likeness

God’s second purpose for marriage is to reproduce:

       God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in
        number
; fill the earth and subdue it.”  Genesis 1:28a

God wants married couples to reproduce children – in His “likeness.” Couples who are competitive, angry and divided, are not fully able to nurture children in God’s image. Why? In order to teach children the principles of agape love, godly discipline, and good morals, it must first be modeled by parents. Words are not enough! As parents puts aside their innate selfishness and trust God to meet their needs, petty disagreements fade in comparison to their love for their children.  The Christian couple who does not have children can fulfill this purpose by making others disciples of Jesus Christ.

3.   Reign in Spiritual Warfare

The third purpose for marriage is to reign:

       God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in
 number; fill the earth and subdue it.”  Genesis 1:28a