For the first time in its history, Western civilization is confronted with the need to define the meaning of the terms “marriage” and “family.” What until now has been considered a “normal” family, made up of a father, a mother, and a number of children, has in recent years increasingly begun to be viewed as one among several options, which can no longer claim to be the only or even superior form of ordering human relationships. The Judeo-Christian view of marriage and the family with its roots in the Hebrew Scriptures has to a significant extent been replaced with a
set of values that prizes human rights, self-fulfillment, and pragmatic utility on an individual or societal level. It can rightly be said that marriage and the family are institutions under siege in our world today, and that with marriage and the family, our very civilization is in crisis.
The solution to this problem is a return to, and rebuilding of, the biblical foundation of marriage and the family. This article will draw attention to three major overarching teachings regarding the biblical framework for marriage found in the apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. A study of the well-known passage on marriage in Ephesians 5:21–33 in the context of the entire epistle, will uncover three important but often overlooked principles that together form the biblical framework for marriage.