Biblical Texts on Couples and Marriage

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Genesis - Chapter 1, Chapter 2
Tobit - Chapter 7, Chapter 8 Proverbs - Chapter 31
Song of Songs - Chapter 2, Chapter 8
Sirach - Chapter 26 Psalm 127
St Mark’s GospelChapter 10 St John’s GospelChapter 2
First Letter of St Paul to the CorinthiansChapter 13
Letter of St Paul to the EphesiansChapter 5
Letter of St Paul to the ColossiansChapter 3
Letter of St Paul to the HebrewsChapter 13
First Letter of St PeterChapter 3

 


 

  Genesis – Chapter 1

26  Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 

27  So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 

28  God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” 

29  Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 

30  And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. 

31  God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. 

 

Genesis – Chapter 2

18  The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” 

19  Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.  

20  So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

But for Adamno suitable helper was found.  

21  So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribsand then closed up the place with flesh.  

22  Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 

23  The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” 

24  That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.  

Tobit – Chapter 7

At that Raguel got up, and with tears of joy in his eyes he kissed Tobias.

Then he said, “God bless you, my child. Your father is a good and noble man. What a terrible tragedy that such an honest and generous man should have lost his sight! He threw his arms around Tobias' neck and wept on his shoulder.”

His wife Edna and his daughter Sarah also wept for Tobit. Raguel gave Tobias and Raphael a warm welcome and had one of his rams slaughtered. After the guests had bathed and were about to sit down to eat, Tobias said to Raphael, “Azarias, my friend, when are you going to ask Raguel to let me marry Sarah?”

But Raguel overheard the question and said to Tobias,
10 “ Eat and drink something first and enjoy yourself this evening. You have the right to marry Sarah, and I cannot let anyone else marry her, because you are my closest relative. But I must tell you the truth, my son. 

11  I have already given her to seven men, all of them relatives. Each one died on his wedding night, as soon as he entered the bedroom. But now, my son, have something to eat and drink. The Lord will take care of you both.Tobias replied, “I won't eat or drink until you give me your word.”

12  Raguel agreed. “Certainly I will,” he said. “I will give her to you just as the Law of Moses commands. God in heaven has arranged this marriage, so take her as your wife. From now on, you belong to each other. Sarah is yours today and forever. May the Lord of heaven keep both of you safe tonight. May he be merciful and kind to you.”

13  Then Raguel called his daughter. When she came in, he took her by the hand and gave her to Tobias with his blessing, “Take her to be your wife according to the teachings in the Law of Moses. Take her safely with you to your father's house. May the God of heaven give you a happy life together.”

14  Raguel asked his wife to bring him a blank scroll so that he could write out the marriage contract. Edna brought him the scroll, and Raguel wrote out the agreement, saying that Sarah was given to Tobias according to the teachings in the Law of Moses. 

Tobit – Chapter 8


When Tobias and Sarah were alone behind closed doors, Tobias got up from the bed and said to his wife, “Get up, dear. Let's pray for the Lord to be merciful and to protect us.” 

Sarah got up so that they could pray together and ask God for his protection. Then Tobias prayed: God of our ancestors, you are worthy of praise. May your name be honoured forever and ever by all your creatures in heaven and on earth.

You created Adam and gave him his wife Eve to be his helper and support. They became the parents of the whole human race. You said, It is not good for man to live alone. I will make a suitable helper for him.

Lord, I have chosen Sarah because it is right, not because I lusted for her. Please be merciful to us and grant that we may grow old together.

Then they both said Amen

and went to bed for the night. 

Proverbs – Chapter 31

10  A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.

11  Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.

12  She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.

13  She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.

14  She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.

15  She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.

16  She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17  She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.

18  She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.

19  In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

20  She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.

21  When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

22  She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

23  Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

24  She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.

25  She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

26  She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

27  She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28  Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:

29  “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”

30  Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

31  Honour her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. 

Song of Songs

Chapter 2

8 The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes, Leaping upon the mountains, Skipping upon the hills.

My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Behold, he stands behind our wall; He is looking through the windows, Gazing through the lattice.

10  My beloved spoke, and said to me: “Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away.”

14  “O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, In the secret places of the cliff, Let me see your face, Let me hear your voice; For your voice is sweet, And your face is lovely.”

16  My beloved is mine, and I am his. He feeds his flock among the lilies. 

Chapter 8
Set me as a seal upon your heart, As a seal upon your arm; For love is as strong as death, Jealousy as cruel as the grave; Its flames are flames of fire, A most vehementflame.

Many waters cannot quench love, Nor can the floods drown it. If a man would give for love All the wealth of his house, It would be utterly despised. 

Sirach - Chapter 26

1 The husband of a good wife is a fortunate man; he will live twice as long because of her.

A fine wife is a joy to her husband, and he can live out his years in peace.

3 A good wife is among the precious blessings given to those who fear the Lord.

Whether such men are rich or poor, they will be happy and always look cheerful.

13  A gracious wife is her husband's delight; her abilities make him a stronger man.

14  A wife who doesn't talk too much is a gift from the Lord. Such restraint is admirable beyond words.

15  A modest wife has endless charm; it is a quality too precious to measure.

16  The beauty of a good wife in her well-kept home is like the noonday sun shining in the Lord's sky. 

Psalm 127

Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him.

You will eat the fruit of your labour; blessings and prosperity will be yours.

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.

Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the Lord.

May the Lord bless you from Zion; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.

May you live to see your children’s children peace be on Israel.  

St Mark’s Gospel – Chapter 10

“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’

‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,

and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh.

Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” 

St John’s Gospel – Chapter 2  

1 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there,

and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.

When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.

Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”

They did so, 

and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside

10  and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

11  What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. 

First Letter of St Paul to the Corinthians – Chapter 13

1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It does not dishonour 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.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 

Letter of St Paul to the Ephesians – Chapter 5  

… walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

21  Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22  Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.

23  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour.

24  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

26  to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,

27  and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

28  In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

29  After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—

30  for we are members of his body.

31  “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

32  This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.

33  However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. 

Letter of St Paul to the Colossians – Chapter 3

12  Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

13  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

14  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

16  Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

17  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. 

Letter of St Paul to the Hebrews – Chapter 13 

1 Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters.

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”

First Letter of St Peter – Chapter 3

1 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behaviour of their wives,

when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewellery or fine clothes.

Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands,

like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.