by Rosie Adle
Marriage is for everyone. That’s not to say everyone should be married. Some are celibate, which God’s Word extols and Christians hold in high regard. Some had the gift of marriage and are now without it due to death or divorce. Regardless of one’s status, though, marriage is for everyone’s good.
First, Scripture uses the image in an important way. The rite of Holy Matrimony says, “in marriage we see a picture of the communion between Christ and His bride, the Church” (Lutheran Service Book, pg. 275.) Now who would want to miss seeing that? We all have some earthly relationship that we can look to – whether it is ours or not – to understand better the way our Lord loves us and the way we love Him in return. Bank.
Second, the marriage rite also describes the value of the “companionship, help, and support” provided to each married person. And it guards people against sins that are very damaging. Individuals are strengthened and stabilized through marriage. And where that is true of individuals, it is also extends through them to their communities. All of society is steadied by this steadiness of marriage.
Finally, marriage between a man and a woman is the arrangement the Lord designed from which children are born and raised. While not every marriage is blessed in this way, many are. Imagine a world where no babies are born. I’m giving you an easy job. It will take you about two seconds to complete, because such a world would not be around for long. Without little people today there would be no big people in 20 years. What a world! But see how well the Lord cares for creation through the birth of children and through them being raised to work and care for others.
Marriage is for everyone. When it fails, all are affected, not just the two people who think it is between them and no one else. What great responsibility we believers have to uphold marriage and to pray for the health and happiness and holiness of every relationship between husband and wife. The Lord cares for us all through this blessed institution.
“What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matt. 19:6).
Deaconess Rosie Adle is an online instructor for the distance deaconess program of Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind. She is co-author of LadyLike: Living Biblically.