George Weigel writes that “stuff matters” in the Bible. He means that everything is there for specific purposes and has real (as opposed to culturally constructed) meaning for our lives. To believe that about Scripture is to begin to discern a divinely structured whole that presents marriage as an integral aspect of our lives on earth and eternal life with God.
If you don’t believe this, read your Bible from cover to cover. In the very beginning you witness the creation of man and woman and their joyful union, the first marriage. Soon after begins the tortured story of God’s relationship with faithless Israel. In this, God calls himself a faithful husband to wayward Israel. Of course, you know well the center of the Bible, which contains the erotic love poetry of Solomon. Jesus calls himself the bridegroom and willingly gives up His body for His beloved. This is further reinforced by Paul who refers to believers as the bride of Christ. Finally, at the very end of time, we are treated to the true, final and ultimate wedding feast of Christ and His church.
Taking God’s love — sacrificial, faithful, pure, patient and lasting — as our model, we have an authentic vision of love that stands in stark contrast to a culture that persistently pushes people to take from others. The selfish cultural narrative fails to satisfy precisely because it violates our true calling.