By Emma Danzey, Crosswalk.com
It is one of the greatest mysteries as to how a man and a woman find themselves falling in love and committing their lives to each other in marriage. Weekly around the world, couples unite their lives together, making the decision to knit their two worlds into one. Engagement season can be quite overwhelming with all of the planning and the preparations. It is easy to be swept away by the countless decisions to be made about caterers, photographers, and color schemes. However, when we slow down and remember the purpose of a wedding, we can remember the foundation of marriage and the value of the covenant. One of the most important tasks to accomplish before a ceremony is to select Scriptures. Bible verses for weddings set the tone for a couple as they begin their lives as one.
How Does the Bible View Marriage?
Let’s take a look at how the Bible views marriage.
Marriage Was Designed by God
In order to understand the value of selecting Bible verses, it is important to understand how the Bible views marriage. According to Rachel Dawson from iBelieve, “The Bible provides all the advice we need on what to look for in a lifelong partner and how to maintain a healthy marriage.”
God designed marriage in the beginning of time. He created male and female in His image (Genesis 1:26-27). When the Lord created man he recognized that it was not good for him to be alone (Genesis 2:18). This does not at all mean that singleness is not part of God’s plan. Community and family exist regardless of marital status. However, if you are brought a spouse from the Lord, then it is part of His plan to develop you more into His image and to use your union to further His kingdom.
So, God made woman out of the rib of the man and brought her to Adam. He performed the first wedding ceremony in Genesis 2:22-25 which says, “And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed."
I think about God the Father walking His daughter to her betrothed. God blessed their marriage and then Adam and his wife consummated their covenant.
Marriage Reflects the Gospel
The Bible starts and ends with a wedding. Revelation 19:6-10 describes the marriage supper of the Lamb. The collective church is referred to as the bride of Christ. One of the most profound realizations is that when a bride marries her groom, she traditionally takes his last name as her own. How beautiful that marriages remind us that Christ is our groom and when we accept his proposal of eternal life, we also take on His name and we are brought into His family.
A marriage that is built on the foundation of the Gospel will be a presentation of the Gospel. When selecting Bible verses for a wedding, feel the freedom to also include “non-traditional” scriptures that simply share about salvation and the relationship we have with Jesus. Your ceremony is not just a celebration of you and your love, but ultimately a witness of God’s love.
Christianity.com has an article that shares beautiful verses incorporating Christ and marriage. One of my favorites shared is Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 which says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Marriage Is a Covenant
“So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” Matthew 19:6.
What is different about a Christian marriage from a secular one is that in a faith-filled marriage, the ceremony is more than just a legality, but a covenant before God. Christ-followers hold the belief that marriage is from the Lord and for the Lord. He is the one who brings a man and a woman together and blesses their choice to attach their lives.
According to Webster’s dictionary, a covenant is “a usually formal, solemn, and binding agreement.” When a couple makes a covenant with God and each other, they are recognizing with the help of the Lord, that they are promising their lives together. This is a huge commitment, and it needs to be taken seriously and upheld with honor. This is also a joyful occasion because if a marriage lives out as it is intended, it points to the ongoing and eternal covenant that Christ made with us.
Most Popular Verses Read at Wedding and Their Meaning
Some of the most famous Bible verses read at weddings are selected over and over because they have a beautiful meaning and communicate the message of love so effectively. If something is done well, don’t feel like you have to change it. Many times, people today feel the need to be so original, that they can miss out on the value of classic verses incorporated into a ceremony. At the end of the day, choose the verses that are best suited for your wedding as a couple.
Popular verses include:
Ephesians 5:22-28: “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”
This is a very common scripture passage used at weddings. Many people have a concern about this portion of the Bible due to the word submit. The world and unfortunately sinners in the church have turned these verses against women. However, the meaning of this passage is that marriage is a symbol of the gospel. Jesus was equal to God the Father but still followed His ultimate plan. In a healthy marriage, a wife still has a voice, but she chooses to trust her husband to lead them well. On top of that, there is much more emphasis on the man’s responsibility to love his wife to the point of being willing to die on her behalf. A man who leads in love is an easy one to follow in life.
The Lord never asks us to do anything that He has not done Himself. There is God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They are all equal and all a team, but each one has a different role. Marriage is a stunning reflection of the value of working together on behalf of the purposes of God. Starting off with these verses for a wedding ceremony is a solid choice for starting a marriage altogether.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
This is also a very popular Scripture passage used at weddings. 1 Corinthians was written by Paul the apostle. He wrote to a very corrupted city named Corinth. In this chapter, Paul describes how the greatest gift that you can give is love. This is an excellent choice for a ceremony since it covers the love of Christ and the love that you have for each other. This passage reminds us that with the help of God, we can love like Him.
I like that this Scripture shares the weight of enduring and loving through the sweet times and the difficult ones. Although a wedding day has its highs and lows, it is nothing compared to walking through life with our spouse. These verses remind us that we can be better husbands and wives when we lean on the Lord.
Bible Verses for Weddings Blessings
Some shorter verse that you may want to include in your ceremony might be:
1 Peter 4:8: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
Mark 10:9: “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
Proverbs 18:22: “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.”
Romans 12:10: “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
Song of Solomon 2:4: “He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.”
Prayer for Newlyweds at a Wedding
A very well-known prayer or blessing for a newly married couple is Number 6:24-26 “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” Many times a pastor will read this at the end of the service.
Consider a meaningful blessing in Scripture and talk with your pastor about some traditional prayers for your ceremony. These are special moments that stay in your heart long after the wedding day has passed.
If you have come to a point in your life where you are saying, “Yes” to the person who you have prayed for, enjoy the moments. Remember not to miss the meaning of the marriage covenant in the busyness. Slow down and process significant Bible verses with your fiancé. Reflect on the gift that God has created for you and ultimately for His glory. No matter what verses you choose, know that your ceremony and your lives can be a gateway for the gospel of Christ.
Emma Danzey’s mission in life stems from Ephesians 3:20-21, to embrace the extraordinary. One of her greatest joys is to journey with the Lord in His Scriptures. She is wife to Drew and mom to Graham. Emma serves alongside her husband in ministry, she focuses most of her time in the home, but loves to provide articles on the Bible, life questions, and Christian lifestyle. Her article on Interracial Marriage was the number 1 on Crosswalk in 2021. Most recently, Emma released Treasures for Tots, (Scripture memory songs) for young children. During her ministry career, Emma has released Wildflower: Blooming Through Singleness, two worship EP albums, founded and led Polished Conference Ministries, and ran the Refined Magazine. You can view her articles on her blog at emmadanzey.wordpress.com and check out her Instagram @Emmadanzey.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
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