Marriage Survey Summary

Recently we surveyed a mostly evangelical group of adolescents and millennials on the Instagram account, godsholyscriptures, regarding what the Bible teaches about marriage. There were 321 participants.

The main question in the survey was the Christian purpose of marriage and participants almost equally identified the main purpose of marriage as demonstrating the relationship between Christ and the church or the love between a man and a woman (about 40% each). Other answers, < 5% each, were: sex, a wonderful marriage ceremony, producing children or continuing the human race.

Marriage is a foundational institution in our society as it continues the race to maintain the country and our freedoms. It also represents an important social unit for the function of society in providing order and helping the weak in society; the poor, children and the elderly. Marriage also helps the participants. Numerous studies have shown the benefit of marriage on personal wellbeing, health, longevity, and finances.

Marriage additionally represents an important entry into society for married couples. Emotionally, marriage provides love, acceptance intimacy and children.

As important as these attributes are regarding marriage, spiritually it is even more important. The Bible describes the main purpose of Christian marriage as demonstrating to society the precious relationship between Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:21-33). Stated another way it is a primarily an evangelical tool!

Wow! Why is this, considering all the other important reasons of marriage? Please consider the following:

  • God’s goals – God’s plans are greater than our own and His plan is to sum all history up in Christ (Ephesians1:10-11). Consequently, viewing marriage and its purpose within the overall goal of God’s plans is important and appropriate. God wants all people to come to know Him and so marriage is primarily evangelical as we demonstrate Christ’s loving relationship and to the church.
  • Importance to us – Considering marriage as a witness to society is also vital to our own marriage relationships as it reminds us that we were married for God’s purposes and not primarily for our own desires such as: sex, a wonderful marriage ceremony, and having children (as wonderful as they are).
  • Remembering God’s goal in marriage also minimizes whatever expectations for marriage we might possess such as: how the kitchen is arranged, who mows the lawn and who pays the bills.
  • Defines the relationship – In knowing that the purpose of marriage is to reflect Christ and the church reminds us that as we primarily serve our spouse. Otherwise, we leave our prior families and our priorities are clearly our beloved marriage partner and God (Ephesians 5:31-32) before extended family members or those outside the family.

How then does marriage reflect the relationship between Christ and the church?

  • The love between a man and a woman reflects the love that Christ and the church.
  • The love of the husband, and his complete devotion to his wife, reflects the love and devotion of Christ and the church.
  • The submission of the wife for the husband reflects the submission of church to Christ.
  • This combination of order, love and devotion should provide a productive caring picture to society of what Christ does for the church.

Marriage is a wonderful Institution that God has ordained and provides marvelous benefits to the church, society and individuals. However, it at its highest purpose is an evangelical tool that God uses to attract people to the gospel.