What Is the Biblical Definition of Marriage?

The Bible teaches that marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman that is instituted by God and consummated by sexual intercourse. It is meant to be permanent and exclusive.

Wives are meant to serve their husbands. In turn, husbands should love their wives unconditionally, as Christ loved his followers. The purpose of marriage is for a man and a woman to become one, fulfilling these marital roles and beginning a new family. The Bible explains the ideal nature of the relationship, as seen in Ephesians 5:31: "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh."