“Giving honor to the wife that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7)

January 12, 2022

Marriage is the basic unit of society in all biblical cultures. The Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” (Genesis 2:18) There is an emphasis throughout the Bible on marital relationships. God created marriage in the same way He created the world, man, and woman.

The union between men and women is most intimate within marriage as it depicts the intimacy between God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. In fact, the similarities between men and women in Christian marriage reflect the similarities between the Trinity. Since God created marriage and this relationship resembles divine attributes, these truths are an integral aspect of the theological construct of marriage. In Christianity, a married man is a husband and a married woman is a wife. The phrase, husband and wife, implies mutual rights of life in common, sexual relationship, and an enduring union. Purposes of marriage include security, companionship, procreation, child education and development, economic collaboration, and social stability.

Christian marriage is a unique journey in which husband and wife deepen their intimate relationship in continued companionship. In this marital journey the husband and wife are to each other sacraments of forgiveness. They are called to support each other to reach their fullness of holiness in order to become more fully the Body of Christ. In marriage, men and women let go of life-long ways of thinking, behaving, prioritizing, relating, valuing, and being in order to survive. Through the gift of their bodies, they converse with each other, they serve each other, and they comfort and hold each other. In their marital sexual intimacy, Christian husbands and wives give their bodies to each other in the physical, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of their being, in a special and most visible way. They are in effect saying to each other, this is my body given for you. This is the cup of my blood, of my life, of my blessings poured out for you. Through all of this self-giving, the couple visibly manifests Christ’s gift of himself to them. Christ communicates the gift of himself through their mutual self-giving. This divine design and purpose of marriage is crystal clear in the first marriage mentioned in the Holy Scripture.

Christianity highly values marriage and family life. Christianity has a direct influence on marital quality by fostering a range of relationship related values, norms and social supports, which in turn promote greater investments in the marriage, discourage behavior harmful to the marriage, and 36 encourage spouses to take a favorable view of their relationship. According to Holly Scripture, husbands and wives are responsible to provide love, respect, and sexual intimacy to each other. Christian spouses’ beliefs and practice promote their psychological wellbeing, pro-social norms and social support. According to Christianity, God established marriage to be divine; therefore the divine commandments which relate to marriage are just as binding as those which relate to the plan of salvation or to worship. Consequently, God’s laws forbid divorce unless adultery is involved.

Source: “Perceptions of Martial Satisfaction Among Coptic Orthodox Christian Egyptian-American Husbands and Wives” Electronics Thesis and Dissertation Paper by Monir Fuad Nazir Atta-Alla