What is the truth about marriage? Biblically considered, marriage is to be between one man and one woman. A man is to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife. One man and one woman are to become one flesh; they are to be joined together (Genesis 2:24). In marriage, the man and the woman are united in what the Bible calls a covenant (Malachi 2:14; Proverbs 2:17). The covenant is something that they have entered into. It is something outside of the man and woman; it is not of their design. 

This covenant is God’s design, and He has nowhere designed such a covenant for members of the same sex. Furthermore, the man and the woman are to be complementary to one another; they are to work together in the ways that God has prescribed (Genesis 1:27–29; 2:20–24; Proverbs 31:10–31; 1 Corinthians 7:2–5). 

Part of this “complementariness” is seen in the role of the married man and woman in their ability to produce children, solely possible with two sexes (Genesis 1:28; Malachi 2:15).

Many marriages are found in the Bible. A homosexual “marriage” is not a covenant ordained by God, it is not complementary (being the same), and it lacks the ability to produce children—it is a non-perpetuating entity. This fact can be seen from another angle: children are to have parents, and in the Bible these are called “father and mother” (Exodus 20:12; Luke 18:20; Mark 7:10–12; Ephesians 6:1–2). Every instance of marriage in the Bible is heterosexual, because no homosexual union can be considered marriage. Every time divorce—the dissolution of a marriage between persons—is mentioned in the Bible, it is between a man and a woman.

In Ephesians 5, we find the example, the pattern, for all marriages. This pattern is one that is between Christ and the church, which is His bride (Ephesians 5:22–32). The picture of marriage that God places before us is one between a bridegroom and a bride—this is the case throughout the Bible. Marriage is a covenant designed by God and, as such, God has set the terms of this institution that He has designed. 

According to His designation, marriage is to be between a man and a woman. No alternatives are acceptable.

Additionally, the Lord Jesus referred to marriage as that which occurs between one man and one woman, whether in response to a question or used in instruction (Matthew 22:23–30; Luke 16:18). Most important in this regard is the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ allowed the description of marriage as being between a man and his wife to stand uncontested (Matthew 19:10). Many people in the homosexual community are tired of hearing comments about marriage being exclusively between one man and one woman. This fact is revealing. Much is seen about people’s willingness to submit to the authority of the Bible by observing their attitude toward the Bible. 

As Christians we submit to what the Bible teaches, including its teaching on marriage. While the authors of this book agree that offhand comments about “Adam and Steve” or “Ava and Eve” ought to be discontinued (they rarely, if ever, contribute to meaningful discussion), we do not think that we should cease dealing with what the Bible has to say about marriage. The question before us is whether or not we will lead our lives in accordance with the clear teaching and instruction of the Bible.

White, J. R., & Niell, J. D. (2002). The Same Sex Controversy: Defending and Clarifying the Bible’s Message about Homosexuality (pp. 180–182). Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers.

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