Marriage Advice From A Christian Perspective

God's Three Purposes for Marriage

  • Don & Sally Meredith for Two Becoming One
  • 2003 16 Apr
God's Three Purposes for Marriage

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 for what the purpose of marriage is 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
; 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

We are to be stewards of the physical resources entrusted to us and we must do our share in the spiritual realm.  A spiritual battle goes on in every heart. Only as couples come together in unity and oneness will the enemy of our souls be defeated. Just as the Godhead represents perfect unity and is a force for God’s will in His universe, the Christian couple is to pray and discern God’s will in all situations.

Two Becoming One

To accomplish God’s purposes for your marriage – to reflect, reproduce and reign together – you must be at one with your spouse and with God. Oneness happens as a result of believing that God has uniquely placed you together in agreement with God’s will and with each other. The practical results are cooperation, unity and encouragement.

In Ephesians 6:12, we learn, “… our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the…spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  Practically, our struggle is not against our spouse but against Satan who wants us to believe that our spouse is the problem. We must learn to keep our eyes on Jesus Christ and not on people.

If you are a Christian couple considering marriage, who have been married for a while, or whose marriage is in trouble, God can make the most out of your situation.  Just turn to His Word and follow His plan for your marriage.


© 2003 Christian Family Life

Two Becoming One publications and small group resources help couples understand God's purposes, principles and provisions for marriage.  Many key concepts in Two Becoming One are taught in the popular FamilyLife Ministry marriage seminars.

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