In Glorify God With Your Body Martin Davie outlines what marriage, as divinely ordained, should look like.
- Any form of incestuous marriage is forbidden. That is why many churches has lists of those family members a person may not marry.
- Any form of forced marriage is excluded. Both parties should give their consent (and, by implication be above the minimum age of consent).
- The exclusive nature of marriage rules out either person having more than one spouse or sexual partner.
- Marriage implies that the partners be willing to engage in sexual intercourse with one another. Since each has the dignity of having been made in the image of God, their relationship must not be marked by violence or humiliation.
- Marriage is to be entered into as a life-long commitment. We must question the existence of pre-nuptial agreements, where the prospect of a marriage not lasting is entertained from the outset.
- Marriage will normally lead to procreation. However, we should not regard couples who are unable to bear children as ‘not really married’. Abram and Sarai (Gen 12:2; 18:11) and Zechariah and Elizabeth (Lk 1:7) are described as ‘married’ even when they were childless and had little prospect of bearing children.