Marriage Just a Piece of Paper?

By Emmanuel V. John

There are various concepts of marriage. From the Christian perspective, marriage is a covenant, commitment and pledge based on the unconditional love of God. It is usually made in the consciousness of the presence of God and other witnesses. This covenant is a complete commitment to the Lord Jesus and each other, more binding and lasting than any legal contract.

Distortion Of The Concept Of Marriage
There seems to be an increasing distortion of the concept of marriage. Some couples express their beliefs that marriage is “just a piece of paper,” or a mutual contract based on trial and error that can be terminated at any time. On the other hand, some are justifying their relationships of living together without marriage. Sadly, their beliefs are often communicated to their children, families, friends and others. Instead of loving, giving, existing, enduring and enjoying each other, the behaviors in unmarried relationships are often reflected in hardness and coldness, being thin-skinned or sensitive, a lack of joy, lusting and getting. Individuals tend to be easily displaced, discarded or divorced.

However, there is hope and help for every hurting heart in such a relationship. Jesus is still the answer today for all our questions in relationships. We do not seek to depend on religion, rituals, regulations, reformation or reincarnation; but on a relationship with God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Divine Perspective Of Marriage
The sacred institution of marriage was established by God Himself, not by man, in creation: “The LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 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 father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Gen. 2:21-24 ESV). Therefore, according to God’s design, marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman that is intended to be a monogamous relationship in which various needs are met – physically, spiritually, sexually, socially and other ways.

The Lord Jesus sanctified marriage by His presence at the wedding at Cana of Galilee. He was invited to the wedding, but after a while there was no more wine, a symbol of joy. It is possible for the joy to run out in a relationship, but Jesus can restore it. This wedding was graced by the presence of Jesus and gladdened by His power, in that He turned the water into wine – better wine – and gave glory to God (Jn. 2:1-11)

The Holy Spirit approves marriage as a blessed union between Christ and His Church. “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” (Eph. 5:25-27). In order for Adam to receive his bride, he gave up a part of his life, a rib; but the Lord Jesus gave up His whole life for the Church – all believers. How important it is for a husband to go all-out in responding to the needs of his wife.

The Holy Scripture affirms marriage: “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous” (Heb.13:4). Sex in the marital relationship is blessed of the Lord and is a mode of procreation, recreation and communication in an intimate and loving way.

The Dynamic Prescription Of Marriage
It is conclusive that marriage is more than a piece of paper, although the paper, or license, is important as a proof of marriage and commitment to each other in the presence of God and others. Since God has established marriage, then His guidelines in the Bible are the best for all relationships.

Many relationships fail because they despise His Word – deny, distort and disregard His guidelines. But today you can decide to have a new beginning by obeying the Lord and His Word, the Bible. It is not too late to do what is right. You can never go wrong in doing what is right in God’s sight, that your marriage will be more than a piece of paper as it is centered in the precious person of Jesus Christ.

What Does The Rapture Mean For Christ?
It is the event Christ is waiting for now. He is the Bridegroom, and it will be a joy for Him to take His bride to be with Him. It is good to think about this aspect, as Paul said, “And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patience of Christ” (2 Th. 3:5 jnd; see Rev. 3:10). When still on earth, the Lord prayed, “Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory” (Jn. 17:24 KJV).

What Does The Appearing Mean For Christ?
It will be the moment of glory and display. He had refused to be made king by men (6:15), presented Himself to Jerusalem in meekness (Zech. 9:9; Mt. 21:7-10) and had been rejected shortly afterwards. But at His appearing, He will be universally recognized (Phil. 2:10-11), “glorified” and “admired” (2 Th. 1:10). The One who once bore the crown of thorns – a curse – will then wear “many diadems” (Rev. 19:12 JND), “the King of kings, and Lord of lords” (v.16).

—By Michael Hardt