Some disorganized thoughts about Christian marriage.
As it is Christian, Christian marriage must find its meaning in the Trinitarian faith. If the word “Christian” is central to the meaning of the word “marriage” then we cannot describe marriage without making reference to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
In addition, being Christian means marriage is drawn up in the saving story revealed in the Bible. Marriage is tied to salvation. It cannot be necessary to salvation, as singleness is offered to Christians as well. But if Christianity is about salvation — however we are meant to understand that — then Christian marriage is as well.
This implies — and I’ve not worked this out yet — that marriage is inherently Christ-centered. Christian Marriage is grounded on Christ and an expression of Christ’s Spirit. As I say, I can’t yet explain the full implications of that.
Finally — at least for now — when I consider the nature of Christian marriage, I turn to Jesus’ own words. This does not include only his direct teaching about marriage and divorce, but also his use of marriage metaphors elsewhere in the gospels. But having said that, we do not want to dismiss what he said directly on the topic.
When I try to figure out what it means to say marriage is Christian, I follow the teaching of Jesus back to the story of Genesis where we are told that humans were created male and female and that they join in union to create one flesh.
These strike me as some of the first and basic affirmations and moves that constitute a theology of Christian marriage. I do not argue that this is systematic. It is offered only as the beginning of a conversation.