Christian foundations for marriage
Jesus' words, as found in the New Testament
NRSV, Mar 10:6 From the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ 7 ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.
[In verse 6, Jesus is quoting from Gen 1:27. In verses 7-8, Jesus is quoting from Gen 2:24. See also Mat 19:4-6. The gospel verses here are taken from Mark, because Mark is widely believed to the earliest of the four gospels.]
NRSV, Mar 12:25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
[See also Mat 22:30; Luk 20:34-36]
Paul's words, as found in the New Testament
NRSV, 1Co 7:1 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is well for a man not to touch a woman.” 2 But because of cases of sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.
8 To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain unmarried as I am. 9 But if they are not practicing self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.
25 Now concerning virgins, I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy.
28 ...If you marry, you do not sin, and if a virgin marries, she does not sin. Yet those who marry will experience distress in this life, and I would spare you that.
32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; 33 but the married man is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman and the virgin are anxious about the affairs of the Lord, so that they may be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, not to put any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and unhindered devotion to the Lord. 36 If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his fiancée, if his passions are strong, and so it has to be, let him marry as he wishes; it is no sin. Let them marry. 37 But if someone stands firm in his resolve, being under no necessity but having his own desire under control, and has determined in his own mind to keep her as his fiancée, he will do well. 38 So then, he who marries his fiancée does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better.
"The Science of wedlock" (My 268:24-27): a few selections from Mary Baker Eddy's writings
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (S&H) 56:7-8 Marriage is the legal and moral provision for generation among human kind.
S&H 57:1 Chastity is the cement of civilization and progress. Without it there is no stability in society, and without it one cannot attain the Science of Life.
S&H 60:16-18 Marriage should improve the human species, becoming a barrier against vice, a protection to woman, strength to man, and a centre for the affections.
S&H 61:4-11 The good in human affections must have ascendency over the evil and the spiritual over the animal, or happiness will never be won. The attainment of this celestial condition would improve our progeny, diminish crime, and give higher aims to ambition. Every valley of sin must be exalted, and every mountain of selfishness be brought low, that the highway of our God may be prepared in Science.
S&H 61:30-31 The scientific morale of marriage is spiritual unity.
S&H 64:17-32 Marriage should signify a union of hearts. Furthermore, the time cometh of which Jesus spake, when he declared that in the resurrection there should be no more marrying nor giving in marriage, but man would be as the angels. Then shall Soul rejoice in its own, in which passion has no part. Then white-robed purity will unite in one person masculine wisdom and feminine love, spiritual understanding and perpetual peace. Until it is learned that God is the Father of all, marriage will continue. Let not mortals permit a disregard of law which might lead to a worse state of society than now exists. Honesty and virtue ensure the stability of the marriage covenant. Spirit will ultimately claim its own,--all that really is,--and the voices of physical sense will be forever hushed.
S&H 65:3 May Christ, Truth, be present at every bridal altar to turn the water into wine and to give to human life an inspiration by which man's spiritual and eternal existence may be discerned.
Miscellany 268:24-27 Truth, canonized by life and love, lays the axe at the root of all evil, lifts the curtain on the Science of being, the Science of wedlock, of living and of loving, and harmoniously ascends the scale of life.
See also: S&H 57:4-11; S&H 58:7; S&H 58:21; Mis 286:7-15; My 268:20-27.
To read the texts of other writings on "marriage" by Mary Baker Eddy, see http://www.bibletexts.com/marriage/mbe.htm.
Copyright 1996-2004 Robert Nguyen Cramer