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The basis for this question comes from a conversation I had with a friend. She said to me 'The only reason that two people should get together and get married is because they can do more for the Kingdom of God together than they can do apart.' On the face of it, this viewpoint makes sense and is not without some positive aspects, and it is certainly one that I have heard in the church for years. But I don't believe that there is a specific biblical passage that would support this viewpoint.

This led me to ask myself, and to ask here, what reasons does the Bible give for getting married? Is the notion that married people can do more for the Kingdom a Biblical one, or is there another reason given for getting married?

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Sorry, dude, she's just not that into you. –  Affable Geek Jan 22 '13 at 12:23

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I'd say there are several biblical reasons, and one could come up with other good reasons that are non-biblical (but not anti-biblical).

First, there's the matter of close companionship and mutual support (Gen 2:18: where God himself says, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."). Marriage, like work, was given pre-fall, so it is not an institution given because of sin. In other words, it is good, God-ordained institution for how we should live together. Post-fall, God sanctifies through this relationship like no other.

Second, God has gifted most to desire sexual intimacy and children, for he desires godly offspring (Mal 2:15). God wants to expand his kingdom this way, pre-fall and post-fall. If one is so gifted, one should probably marry, "for it is better to marry than to burn with passion" (1 Cor 7:8f).

Third, God presents a picture of his relationship to the church in marriage (Eph 5:22-33).

That said, there are also good reasons not to marry. The locus classicus for this is 1 Cor 7 (cited above in favor of marrying). Under persecution (how most take Paul's phrase "present distress"), marriage can make it harder to stand up and be faithful (e.g., if you're about to be executed unless you recant, you have to consider what will happen to your family). Additionally, Paul notes here that there are earthly concerns related to family that necessarily impede on one's ability to do other things for the kingdom. Family is a godly, kingdom-building activity too (see above), but there are other forms of service that are easier for unmarried persons to undertake. (I knew a fellow who had a strong ministry among the poor who said if he had known the sacrifice required and the many more opportunities he would have to use his time and emotional energy, he would probably not have gotten married. He would have poured himself fully into the community around him.)

Whether one should personally seek marriage is thus based on gifting, opportunities for service to the kingdom, and of course, God's provision of a godly spouse.

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Your third part could be greatly expanded, since all through the OT God describes his relationship with his people in a similar manner to a marriage (when they were following him) and as prostitutes and adulterers (when they were straying). Marriage was and is a picture of the relationship we should have with him. –  thursdaysgeek Jan 22 '13 at 4:21

mark 10 6“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’a 7‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,b 8and the two will become one flesh.’c So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

the reason God made men and women was so that they would pair up and procreate.

this was a command given by God to Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. that command still stands today. thought the heavens and earth pass away His Words will not.

Also the fullest and deepest meaning of Love They Neighbor As Thyself is accomplished through a spousal relationship. After all the definition of a neighbor is a person living near or next door to the speaker or person referred to. Its the closest person to you. whether in a community setting and/or in a relationship reguard getting married is fully walking out your christianity. not to mention is teaches you much on how the saviour feels towards us and visa versa.

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Welcome to the site! This next has nothing to do with the quality of your answer, it's just standard to help new visitors avoid misunderstanding the site (as I did at first.) As a new visitor, I'd recommend checking out the following two posts, which are meant to help newcomers "learn the ropes": help page and How we are different than other sites? –  David Stratton Dec 1 '13 at 2:54

Sometimes we think about marriage with more religion than the Bible itself thinks of it. Yes it was originally ordained of God as a pattern to populate the planet. Yes it actually is an image of Christ and the Church and is a holy relationship. Yes society is based upon and established by this relationship. Yes, everything we do should be for the glory of God, including whether we choose to get married or not....but.

The reality is God has given us 'freedom' to choose much of what we do in this life. He sends his sheep into a green pasture to choose where they want to eat, he does not push their snouts into particular blades of grass. The Bible does not desire to take this freedom away. For example, at the time of the early church, persecution was brewing and Paul foresaw how difficult marriage was and was going to be and actually recommended being single if that was possible:

If anyone is worried that he might not be acting honorably toward the virgin he is engaged to, and if his passions are too strong and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get married. But the man who has settled the matter in his own mind, who is under no compulsion but has control over his own will, and who has made up his mind not to marry the virgin—this man also does the right thing. So then, he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does better. A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord. (1 Corinthians 7:36-39, NIV)

Notice even when at this peculiar time of trouble it would be better not to get married, the scripture says...but... 'you can if you want'. This is actually the biblical reason why you should get married in the New Testament, because 'you want to.' If you don't want to then you should not. Even a woman that was married, and her husband died, was 'free' to marry anyone 'she wishes'.

We must never let our own scrupulous religiosity restrict the freedom we have to do all kinds of things in this life, simply because we want to. Exercising this freedom in thankfulness to God, brings more glory to him than self-denial that we actually have no sincere desire of. I think when Jesus turned water into wine at a 'wedding', as his first miracle, the gospel set the stage as sanctifying regular life, not casting it away in the asceticism symbolized under John the Baptist, who was the last of the Old Testament prophets. Separation from the world in the new wine of the gospel is internal, eternal and joyful. It encompasses our whole life, marriage, career and church. There is no need to be more religious than the bible.

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First, understand that various different denominations may have different views on the subject. I'm going to answer from a conservative evangelical perspective.

The Bible doesn't give a reason or a purpose for marriage other than the fact that it's something that was established by God in the Garden of Eden. (Whether you take the Genesis account literally or allegorically, the first recorded marriage is there.)

Before everyone points out that there's no wedding ceremony of mention of Adam and Eve being married, let's look at a few verses: (Emphasis mine)

From Genesis 2: (KJV)

8 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

I've been to many weddings,from many traditions, and these verses are read at almost all of them. Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, across the board, these verses are used in the wedding ceremony, and the Priest, preacher, pastor usually refers to those as the first marriage, and used a phrase like "Marriage was ordained by God.

So, one Biblical reason for marriage is that it was ordained by God, and therefore, as obedient children of God, we should want to do as He has ordained.

However, Paul, in 1 Corinthians gives another, practical reason: To avoid fornication. In layman's terms, he's saying that he wishes that all men could be like him and abstain, but since most of us can't abstain, it's better to keep your sexual practices within the bounds of marriage:

1 Corinthians 7

King James Version (KJV)

7 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

6 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.

7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I.

9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

I think the first half is a better answer - We participate in marriage because we believe that God ordained it, but I can't discount the teaching from Corinthians, so I included it.

Other than those two, there are no direct Biblical reasons for marriage. At least not in the sense that "The Bible says you should get married because..." There are verses within Scripture that speak about how marriage is good, marriage is beneficial, a good wife is to be treasured, etc, but all of those would be outside the scope of the question, as would speculation about why God wants what God wants.

What your friend said may or may not be true. Since the Biblical answer given above has nothing to do with furthering the kingdom of heaven, I'd question her choice of word in saying that the idea that a married couple can do more is the only reason to get married. There are clearly other reasons.

I might not disagree of she'd said "The only reason I would want to get married" instead of "The only reason to get married".

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So my follow up to this, and maybe this belongs as a separate question, is how would you respond specifically to the statement 'The only reason for 2 people to get married is because they can do more for the Kingdom of God together than they can do apart.'? Is this statement flawed fundamentally, or does it just represent a personal opinion, if not explicitly a biblical one? –  A. Still Jan 21 '13 at 18:57
    
Paul's argument in 1 Cor suggests the opposite. I think that he is saying it's better for the gospel to stay single. Having said that as David pointed out Marriage is ordained by God and is a Godly thing to do. One thing you can't do as a single person for the gospel is to have children (leaving aside what science now makes possible) and bring those children up in a loving Christian household. –  Greg Jan 21 '13 at 21:28

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