“That is why a man will leave his father and his mother and he must stick to his wife and they must become one flesh.”—GEN. 2:24.
JEHOVAH GOD, the Originator of marriage, surely deserves our respect. As our Creator, Sovereign, and heavenly Father, he is rightly described as the Giver of “every good gift and every perfect present.” (Jas. 1:17; Rev. 4:11) This is a manifestation of his great love. (1 John 4:8) Everything he has taught us, everything he has asked of us, everything he has given to us has been only for our welfare and benefit.—Isa. 48:17.
The Bible presents marriage as one of these “good” gifts from God. (Ruth 1:9; 2:12) When he performed the first wedding, Jehovah gave the couple, Adam and Eve, specific instructions on how to succeed. (Read Matthew 19:4-6.) If they had followed God’s direction, they would have enjoyed permanent happiness. However, they foolishly disregarded God’s command and suffered terrible consequences.—Gen. 3:6-13, 16-19, 23.
Like that first couple, many people today make marital decisions with little or no regard for Jehovah’s direction. Some reject marriage outright, while others try to redefine it to suit their own desires. (Rom. 1:24-32; 2 Tim. 3:1-5) They ignore the fact that marriage is a gift from God, and by disrespecting that gift, they also disrespect the Giver, Jehovah God.
At times, even some of God’s people lose clear sight of Jehovah’s view of marriage. Some Christian couples decide to separate, or they divorce without having Scriptural grounds to do so. How can this be avoided? How can God’s direction at Genesis 2:24 help married Christians to strengthen their marriage? And how can those who are contemplating marriage prepare for it? Let us look at three successful marriages in Bible times that illustrate how respect for Jehovah is a vital key to a lasting marriage.