Marriage Is God’s Good Gift -- By: Bruce A. Ware

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 004:2 (Winter 2000)
Article: Marriage Is God’s Good Gift
Author: Bruce A. Ware

Marriage Is God’s Good Gift

Bruce A. Ware

A Commentary On The Family Amendment To The Baptist Faith And Message

The SBC Amendment on the Family, adopted at the annual meetings of the Southern Baptist Convention in the summer of 1998, offers a clear, carefully constructed, and faithful representation of scriptural teaching. While admittedly the amendment is a theological summary, its statements reflect over and over again fundamental teachings of the Scriptures themselves. Consider its four main components.

Commitment of One Man and Woman

First, “marriage,” the statement reminds us, “is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime.” Genesis 2:24 (“For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh”) establishes, from the very beginning of biblical revelation, these various elements of the amendment’s declaration on marriage. Marriage is between a man and woman only. Clearly, homosexual union is here specifically and intentionally excluded, as it is elsewhere in Scripture denounced (e.g., Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Rom. 1:27). But marriage of a man and woman is designed, blessed, and sanctioned by God himself. Furthermore, the “leaving and cleaving” of Gen. 2:24 indicates both the covenant commitment of marriage (i.e., the man leaves parents to take the woman to himself and to be joined to her alone) and its lifelong nature (i.e., the joining of two into “one flesh” indicates a new and indissoluble union).

Purposes of Marriage

Second, marriage does serve the God-ordained purposes of providing wondrous fellowship and lifelong companionship (Gen. 2:18–20 with 22–24), the proper and blessed context for holy sexual expression (1 Tim. 4:3–5; Heb. 13:4), and God’s appointed means for “filling the earth” with his human images (Gen. 1:27–28; 9:1; Ps. 127:3; Mal. 2:15). These purposes stand at the very center of stable civilization, without which perversion, abuse, alienation, and anarchy would prevail.

Balance of Biblical Teaching

Third, the amendment clearly sets forth an important balance in biblical teaching on the nature...

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