What is the Christian ideal for marriage?
Dean Snyder on a comment on Talbot Davis’ blog wrote the following:
If medicine, science, research and experience tell us that for some percentage of people, the ideal of marriage –which is not limited to but includes sexual desire and passion– is possible only in same-gender relationships and that such relationships can manifest the fruits of the Spirit, we should honor them. You are right that committed marriages between two people who love each other spiritually and physically is not the exclusive biblical model but it is the Christian ideal.
Among other things, Snyder’s comment got me wondering what the Christian ideal of marriage is.
Our United Methodist Social Principles, interestingly, do not mention sexual desire and passion as a necessary aspect of marriage:
We affirm the sanctity of the marriage covenant that is expressed in love, mutual support, personal commitment, and shared fidelity between a man and a woman. We believe that God’s blessing rests upon such marriage, whether or not there are children of the union. We reject social norms that assume different standards for women than for men in marriage. We support laws in civil society that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
This is not an exhaustive description of marriage, so I’m interested in other ideas.
What is the ideal of Christian marriage as you understand it?