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Professional Christian Counseling

                Emotionally Focused...Solution Driven Counseling

  Bulding Healthy Marriages and Strong Families


It is spiritual fraud to enter marriage and then live like a single man or woman.

—Gary Thomas[1]

Marriage Parameters

God Sets Limits for a Biblical Marriage

Posted 1/16/2016

Revised 9/28/2016

Edited by Mr. James Alfrey

The Basic Parameters of a Biblical Marriage

Certainly men and women have struggled to form permanent and mutually satisfying relationships with each other from nearly the beginning of humanity.

Almost every human will form an intimate relationship with another person sometime in their life.[1] & [2] The fact that nearly everyone will attempt it tells us that there is some deep innate human need or desire that compels people to look for a mate. Of course, we know that God has created humans for relationship―first with Him and then with others. He designed us with a nature that craves intimacy.

Within the unique context of a relationship between a man and a woman, God has set in place parameters for a couple’s intimacy. Even though there are examples in the Bible of polygamy (Deuteronomy 21:15), God calls for New Testament marriages to be monogamous (1Timothy 3:2; 1 Timothy 3:12 & Titus 1:6). In God’s mind marriage is to be between a man and a woman. No biblical text ever condones marriage in any other way but instead, condemns homosexual acts (1Corinthians 6:9-10) and bestiality (Leviticus 18:23 and 20:15-16). Furthermore, a relationship between a man and a woman is not sanctioned to become sexual until after marriage. But if a couple cannot restrain themselves, their sex act constitutes a betrothal (Deuteronomy 22:23-24). And, the married couple is to become sexually exclusive with only each other (Exodus 20:14). The essence of the marital relationship is summed up for us in Genesis 2:24. It reads, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” ― NIV

This single concise verse is packed with tons of information about God’s intent. It contains virtually everything we need to know about how the marriage relationship is supposed to work. You might be saying to yourself, “That doesn’t seem to be very much!” or may be asking, “How does this verse speak to anymore than the concept of “Becoming one?” All I can say at this point is that it does. These webpages will unpack for you why that statement is true. Condensed into those scant few words are the answers and the help that couples are looking for. For couples who are struggling or simply want a better relationship, this model will allow them to compare themselves with Genesis 2:24. Seeing the optimum that God has designed for marriage to be gives them something to strive for. Furthermore comparing their relationship to God’s ideal will reveal whatever dysfunction they are experiencing as well as identify how best to fix it.

It is noteworthy to point out that the words of Genesis 2:24 are not found only there, they appear several times throughout scripture. This phrase is found in Matthew’s Gospel (19:5); Mark’s Gospel (10:7) and Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (5:31). In all, this exact phrase is stated on four separate occasions. When the Bible stresses something that often, it is something to which we should give careful attention to.

The first thing to note in Genesis 2:24 is that it contains an imperative conditional statement. It is conditional in that, one part of the statement depends on the other for its ability to function properly. It basically constitutes an “if-then” statement. This phrase is conditional also for the reason that it is not mandated―it is instituted only by choice of the two partners. The two phrases that hinge on one another are, “united to his wife,” and, “the two will become one flesh.”

In addition to being conditional, the imperative tone means that it is God’s intent that once initiated the two conditions should be on-going and never-ending. Thus these statements form the basis of a cycle in marriage that once started―should never stop.

Essentially, what these two phrases are telling us is, if a man will choose to unite with his wife then the two of them can become one flesh.

Works Cited:

[1] Evolutionary psychology: The new science of the mind, Boston, D. M. Buss, MA: Allyn & Bacon, 1999., In, Elizabeth Rice Allgeier and Albert Richard Allgeier, (Eds.) Sexual Interactions, 5th Edition, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000. (p.295).

[2] The social organization of sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States, 5th ed., E. O. Laumann, J. H. Gagnon, R. T. Michael, and S. Michaels, Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1994. In, Elizabeth Rice Allgeier and Albert Richard Allgeier, (Eds.) Sexual Interactions, 5th Edition, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000. (p. 295).

Marriage Parameters Page

The Birds and Bees Talk 

You've Never Heard...

Mikel Kelly, MA, LMHC

AACC World Conference

Nashville, TN

September 24, 2015


The Genesis 2:24

Cycle of Marital Intimacy

“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”

Genesis 2:24 — NIV



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Heading Quote:

[1] Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make us Happy?, Gary Thomas, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000. (p. 250).