During some great conversations at a men’s night with Oasis and GCA, the link between a biblical marriage and serving in the church, the bride of Christ, was discussed. I recently read a page in Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church by Michael Lawrence that laid out a similar thought:
We’ve noticed before how the Bible begins and ends with a wedding. In Genesis, we see Adam and Eve established as husband and wife. Then in the history of Israel, we hear God describe his relationship with the nation of Israel as a marriage covenant. The same terms are used for Christ and the church: Husbands, love your wives as Christ loves the church. Heaven itself is described as a wedding feast.
Before we even get to our systematic application, here is a major point of contemporary significance. Marriage, a picture of love between one man and one woman, is at the heart of the biblical story of God’s love. Therefore, marriage matters for a whole host of reasons. It matters because God created it, not society, and therefore God and God alone defines it. It matters because it’s a picture of God’s gospel love, hard-wired into creation. Change or redefine marriage, and you’ve gone a long way toward defacing and obscuring one of the most significant common-grace pointers to the love of God in Christ.
So while we want to defend marriage for all the typical reasons you hear in conservative Christians circles – safety and nurturing for children, reproduction and stability for society, and so on – perhaps the most important reason is this: it’s one of the primary pictures of the gospel. The story of God’s love is a story about marriage (pp 144-145).