It has been a joyous adventure to study the depth of God’s Word pertaining to marriage. This book is offered with a deep sense of humility. There is no claim on my part to being a renowned marriage authority. However, God is the expert on marriage. He alone has the first and the last word about the subject of marriage because it’s His institution. Today, nearly one out of two marriages end in divorce. Clearly there is a vast gap of understanding among the general public about what marriage is, and is not. This book is offered as a help and a guide to bring stability, strength, and stamina to a marriage union.The plan and purpose of this book is to direct individuals to the best and most reliable sourcebook on marriage, the Bible. This work is offered with the conviction that the Word of God contains every pertinent principle that a husband and wife will need in order to make their marriage beautiful, exciting, and successful. It is here, in the pages of the Bible, that they can find the understanding and enlightenment they need to build an enduring, gratifying, marriage union. The format of this book is to search out each and every scripture that pertains to husbands and wives and the roles they must embrace.Those who have chosen to castigate the Bible, and what it sets forth concerning marriage, will reject this book. They have the right to do so. On the other hand, those who choose to put on the mind of Christ and practice the firm and lasting marriage principles set forth in the Bible can and will enjoy a wonderful satisfying marriage union. In this book, references to Christian Believers will be capitalized to accentuate how outstanding and special they are. They will live on in eternity, so they deserve to be recognized for who they are. They are truly set apart from all others. Additionally, the words, “Holy Spirit,” will appear in upper case letters when referring to God, who is “The Holy Spirit.” When referring to the gift God has given those born-again, the words “holy spirit” will appear in lower case letters.Having lived through two hurtful divorces, my third marriage is now in its 34th year. It is not without opportunities and challenges; however, my wife and I work at it with deliberate seriousness. We love each other deeply. We also love and respect God’s Word and what it teaches about the union of marriage. The standard we share is that the Living Word of God provides the keys we need to keep our marriage working at its best.Our calling and our duty as Christian marriage partners is to manifest the beauty and grace of a godly union. As we do so, our testimony to the eyes of the world will be “Look on us, and the life we live as husband and wife. Our marriage is patterned after the relationship we share with our Heavenly Father. So much of what we share with Him, we share with each other. Look on us, look on our marriage and you will see how we love and respect each other; how we are gracious and merciful to one another; how we forgive and forget; how we encourage, support, and fortify each other.” Can you see it? Our marriage is a treasure that we share and a blessing to those who look upon us.
For a single man or woman marriage is a very big decision. Marriage may be the most sacred promise they will ever make to another person. This is true because the union of marriage is the most intimate relationship two human beings can share. A decision for marriage asks for a lifetime commitment. Yes, marriage requires much more than just sharing your dwelling place. It asks you to share your life for the rest of your days. It requires a complete refocus away from the individual. In marriage you do what is best for the relationship. And no, a husband and wife do not acquire marital bliss the very day they say, “I do.” Hopefully, they will have an abundance of happiness. However, throughout the rest of their days together they will also face trials and obstacles. They are going to face ups and downs they never expected.Culturally, today the institution of marriage seems to be ripping at the seams and falling apart. The traditional values of marriage are scoffed at. Couples choosing to live together outside of wedlock is now a common practice. Usually their eyes are blinded to spiritual values and to the penalties they will pay for their fornication. For those that do choose marriage, far too often they are seeing their exciting hopes and dreams fade away and they divorce. Marriage commitments are easily tossed to one side through the process of no-fault divorce laws. But the fruits of divorce are bitter tasting and hard to swallow. The impact of sorrow and loneliness usually wear upon the divorcees’ hearts. It might take years and years for men and women to recover their lives from the devastation of being divorced. Some may never fully recover from the degradation and emptiness of their loss.In bygone generations, school was a help in teaching sound homemaking skills, but those days are past and gone. Where are the professional training schools, and where are the universities that are structured to prepare individuals for the union of marriage? The few schools that address this need often fail to provide the “essential” information that is so necessary in preparing a man to become a husband and a woman to become a wife. For the most part, couples just “wing it.” But just “winging it” is not enough; obviously, it is not working.Couples who are contemplating marriage, and those who are already in it, desperately need a solid bedrock marriage guide. They need a sure guide upon which they can reliably depend—one that tells them not only what to do but how to do it. They need to understand how to get it right. They certainly have not received such a guide from what modern-day culture teaches about marriage, and they have not received it from their schools. Few of them have received it from their parents. Around fifty percent of their parents have, in fact, demonstrated to them that marriage does not work.Does such a marriage guide exist? Is there a sure bedrock guide that can teach couples how to have a successful, gratifying life together as husband and wife? There is! Such a bedrock guide does exist; and it’s not only reliable, it is readily available. This sure guide is to be found by opening up the pages of the Bible and searching out what it teaches about marriage. This is exactly what the book you are reading seeks to do. It is this author’s best effort to present the depth of what God’s Word teaches about the union of marriage. The problem all along has been that God is being left out of the marriage equation. Marriage needs to be built on the structure of God’s Word. Other structures for marriage rarely endure because they are predicated on something a man has devised. Cultural marriage standards change and fade, they can rarely be trusted to endure. Choosing the right guide book is the essential key to getting a good start in marriage.Couples who lack spiritual depth and stamina wander about aimlessly. They lack a commitment of resolve and a moral compass by which they can be guided in their marriage union. Consequently, they are in trouble from the start. This is why biblical standards need to become the primary focus for those preparing for marriage. It certainly needs to become the focus of those who are having marriage problems. Without a commitment to the biblical standard a marriage union is like that ship in stormy seas, it’s tossed and tethered and sometimes it sinks.The Bible not only defines what marriage is; it also teaches us how to do it the right way. In fact, the Bible is our one and only bedrock guide to having success in marriage. The reason for this is that God Himself ordained marriage. He set it in motion to meet specific needs, and to fulfill divine purposes. Marriage is His exclusive design. The only way that marriage can work properly is ACCORDING TO HIS BOOK. The Bible is the ultimate authority to which men and women must adhere in order to have success in marriage or in any other worthwhile undertaking.In the following pages of this book we are going to examine what the Bible teaches regarding marriage and how it works best. Obviously, we will need to put into practice what we are taught. The “School of God’s Word” requires that we become active participants; it requires much more than mental assent. The Bible provides the marital skeleton, and we provide the flesh and blood by doing what it teaches us to do.In the book of Hebrews we are taught:Hebrews 11:6:But without faith [believing] it is impossible to please him [God], for he that commeth to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.Those of us who believe that the Bible is the living Word of God can delight in what the Scriptures teach concerning marriage and family life. Those who doubt the authority of the Bible may not profit as much in what this book teaches. The truth of the matter is that in life we are to put God’s Word to the test by believing to do what it says. By embracing God’s Word as, “The Living Word of Truth,” and acting upon what it proclaims, we are going to see what it teaches flower and bloom for us personally. What God has promised He will perform. Once again, as we act upon the promises of God’s Word we will absolutely see those promises come to pass. This is the standard the Bible sets before us. Remember that God is the expert, He is the ultimate authority on marriage. It is His council that we must seek! The Bible is the perfect marriage handbook.