Marriage has existed in almost every known human society since the beginning of history. Though the customs associated with it may vary, marriage always has three main purposes.

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Marriage has existed in almost every known human society since the beginning of history, even though the customs associated with marriage may vary in different cultures. But wherever it is found, marriage has three main purposes:

  1. Companionship
    The two people getting married grow together in love and trust. They help and comfort each other in good times and bad. Marriage reduces loneliness. It also makes us less selfish as we consider the needs of our husband or wife, rather than just thinking about our own needs. A husband and wife will support each other in all the events of life and especially as they face the physical difficulties of older age together.
  2. Sexual Union
    One of God’s gifts for marriage is sexual pleasure, which was designed by God to be confined within marriage to strengthen marriage and to give rise to children. A husband and wife are united physically feeling secure because of the promises of commitment and faithfulness that they make to each other at their wedding.
  3. The Foundation of Family Life
    Families formed through marriage are the building blocks of a stable society and strengthen our communities. Most couples who get married want to have children, and children thrive when they have the security of their father and mother with them as they grow up and face all the new challenges of life. It is also good for the two parents to be able to share the physical and emotional tasks that are involved in bringing up a family together. History teaches us that strong families make a strong society.

Commitment is Important.

So, you might ask, why do we need to get married for these things to be true? Surely people can love each other and stay together and be good parents, and don’t many people who get married end up divorced? Yes, both those things can happen, but we must trust God’s good design of marriage. The truth is that when a man and a woman choose to make the commitment of marriage by making public promises of lifelong faithfulness to each other, it is more likely that they will stay together than if they don’t make that public commitment. Various studies illustrate this truth [1] and one of the most powerful observations is that 93% of fifteen year old children, who live with both of their natural parents, have married parents.

Family Stability Among Children

Graph of family stability and children
Source:, Benson, July 2017

Preparing for Marriage.

It is a good idea for a couple who are thinking about getting married to attend some marriage preparation sessions. Other sessions are also available for couples who are married and need help with their relationship. Couples can be helped to think about better ways of communicating with each other, better ways of handling disagreements, how to avoid belittling each other or interrupting each other or how to show more affection. Marriage is so important for the couple, for their children and for society that we should all do everything possible to strengthen and support marriage.


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