“And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?” (Matthew 19:5)
Many Bible teachers today answer our title’s question with the rules and regulations set forth in the Holy Bible, and rightly so. However, you can conform to the rules and regulations; and only have a form of Godliness, but denying the power thereof. You can have the outward shell of a home; but inside, the home is sterile and vacant of love; the foundation is sand and not bedrock; then you only have a marriage of convenience.
The old cliché, “You can’t judge a book by its cover” is so true. Human beings have a tendency toward hypocrisy, meaning the outside does not accurately reflect the true nature of the inner man. To really know about a book you must come past the designer cover and the title, which are usually eye-catching and thought-provoking. You must open the book and read its contents, to really be able to evaluate its value to you. So it is with a Godly marriage. You must look inside and analyze the inner characteristics.
Marriage is not primarily a place, but an attitude. From the first marriage to the present-day marriages, it is attitude that joins a man to a woman in marriage.
(Genesis 2:22-24) “And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. (23) And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. (24) Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”
This is repeated by Christ in Matthew 19:4-6. Becoming one flesh is an attitude, not a place. Two people can live together and not be one flesh or not be in unity.
This indicates then, that which constitutes a Godly marriage is not that a man and woman have a marriage ceremony, have the state’s license, or even live together in one place. But that they become one flesh, joined together by God.
Then, a true marriage could exist, even when a man and woman who are married don’t live in the same place; such as many deployed military personnel, people in prison, missionaries, etc. But they have the right attitude.
What is the right attitude of a Godly marriage? The foundation is the Love of God in the marriage; and the Fruit of the Spirit is living proof of this love abiding in the marriage. The tie that binds, the catalyst, of a Godly marriage is the Love of God. No matter where the husband and wife might be in location; the driving force to honor God, follow His Commandments, and honor each other with faithfulness, loyalty, and being single-eyed, is the Love of God.
Actually, if you would count the waking hours spent together by a husband and wife in the 21st Century, it would probably surprise you. They may have a few minutes in the morning and a few hours at night (if not robbed by TV, events for the children, special meetings, and other events in the evening hours).
Therefore, it is not a place or location, but an attitude toward God that is the cement of a true Godly marriage; otherwise you only have a shell that is empty inside.