The Purpose of Marriage and Childbearing

When God created the woman and brought her to Adam, thus establishing marriage, no mention is made of offspring. Companionship alone is spoken of. “God ordained marriage, not in order to assure progeny, but in order to create a ‘help meet for’ man” (Genesis 2:18; and Hans Kirsten, Birth Control as Ethical and Pastoral Problem, p.8). The reason given is “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). Of this companionship it is further stated “and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).

In the condensed account of the sixth day of creation in Genesis 1, mention is already made of the blessings resting on marriage. “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth’” (Genesis 1:28). What is not to be overlooked is that the institution of marriage and God’s reason for it actually precede the blessing pronounced upon it. The latter is pronounced on the wedded pair living in marriage: “male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).

We see from this that the essence of marriage does not depend on its resulting in childbearing. When a couple is unable to bear children naturally, their marriage does not become invalid. Their love for each other should not diminish. And their relationship can be as happy as a married couple that has been blessed with children.

If the childless couple recalls the promise they made before God to each other on their wedding day, “Will you love her, comfort her, honor her, and keep her in sickness and in health” and “Will you love him, comfort him, honor and obey him in sickness and in health”, is not unforeseen infertility included?


CLR NOTE: This article is taken from the paper, “Scriptural Principles Governing In Vitro Fertilization” by Rev. John Gawrisch.

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