What does it mean to marry?14-06-2012 - Posted by Andre Piet
The above question seems, at first sight, to be “kicking open a door that is already open”. But when, in the previous blog, I presented the Scriptural teaching that prostitution is having sex with another person than with one’s own wife or one’s own husband, various question came to the fore. Is the way in which we establish our lawful marriage, the standard? Where in the Bible is City Hall mentioned? Has the so-called “marriage certificate” a Biblical basis? The answer to all these questions is obviously no. But the question remains: what makes a marriage a marriage?
onsummated in bed?
Some believe that a marriage is consummated ‘in bed’. At the time that a couple becomes “one flesh” (has intercourse), they are married, is the idea. But that, to me, seems to be a misunderstanding, because then Paul, with regard to the unmarried, would not have written: “if they are not controlling themselves, let them marry” (1Cor.7:9). Would the above stated opinion be correct, then Paul would have remarked that those who do not control themselves are already married.
In Greek, the language in which the “New Testament” is written, the word for “marriage” is the same as for “wedding”. For example, in Mat.22:2 it reads, “The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son”, whereas in Mat.22:8 the same word (gamos) is used in the expression, “The wedding is ready…”.
Adam also was married
In the Bible, from time to time, it is simply stated: “she became his wife” or words to that effect (Gen.24:67, 34:8, 1Sam.25:42, Ruth 4:13). It means that from that moment on, both of them belong to each other for life (Mat 19:6; 1Cor.7:39), until death separates them. The wedding ceremony can endlessly vary, but it is always an official, public statement of their marital status. Even Adam was married to Eve, for she is called “his wife” (Gen.4:1). Indeed, there was no City Hall, nor any human witnesses and neither was there a wedding feast, as such. Yet Adam solemnly declared Eve to be his wife, when he said:
This was once bone of my bones and flesh from my flesh. This shall be called woman, for from her man is this taken. Gen.2:23 (CLV)
All mankind (indeed only two, here) knew: Eve belongs to Adam. Therefore Eve was “his wife”. And the writer (in my opinion, also Adam) adds:
THEREFORE a man shall forsake his father and his mother and cling to his wife, and they two become one flesh. Gen.2:24 (CLV)