What’s the purpose of marriage?
There’s multiple purposes for marriage. First and foremost, it was the first command from God, be fruitful and multiply. Secondly, God wants godly offspring. He wants us to live a life of abundance, not scarcity and He desires a family. Godly offspring bring forth a family unto Him. Marriage of a man and a woman are a direct reflection of Him.
Let’s take a closer look…
In the book of Genesis, God gives His command to Noah and essentially all of humanity. He tells Noah twice to "be fruitful and multiply."
1 So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. ...
7 And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; Bring forth abundantly in the earth And multiply in it."(Genesis 9:1, 7 NKJV)
Here God declares the purpose of humanity, to be fruitful and multiply. In order to follow this command, it requires male and female marriage relationships. The Bible continuously communicates this point throughout the entire book. The function and purpose of marriage, leads to family and the populating of the earth. Families are the bedrock of society. They keep towns, cities, regions and countries together. If the family unit breaks down, so does all of humanity.
God did not say, "Be fruitful and add." In today's industrialized, postmodern society there is concern regarding overpopulation. All of the non-biblical arguments as to why people should not have big families, are part of Satan's attack on humanity. Sadly, the Church seems to have bought into such propaganda.
China is a perfect example of population control. In fact, their society's motto would accurately be communicated as, "Be fruitful and subtract." With two people, having only one child this is the reality of what has been taking place for decades. For United States citizens, it would seem odd to have no aunts, uncles, cousins or siblings, as China currently experiences. Yet, even here in the USA people are having 1.9 children on average, per household, according to Wikipedia. In the 1950's the average woman had four children.
Here is one verse that accurately depicts God's perspective regarding children.
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. (Psalm 127:3 NKJV)
Carbon Footprint Argument
From a biblical standpoint, the "carbon footprint" argument is irrelevant when it comes to the topic of having children. God never indicated a number in which the earth would have too many people occupying it. He simply stated, "multiply" without any restriction in the context of the male and female marriage relationship. The idea of "carbon footprint," conveys the idea that there are too many people on the planet because of the large consumption of fossil fuels. The argument is then made that people need to limit the amount of children they have, as is the case in China.
In the USA, people are able to have as many children as "they choose,” even though there is propaganda encouraging couples to only have one or two. God's command, be fruitful and multiply, still applies just as much today as it did in the book of Genesis. With that being said, mankind does have a duty to steward the resources of the earth and not ruin the environment. Stewardship of the earth and procreation are two independent ideas. Simply stated in the context of marriage and family, couples are to multiply.
If mankind were living according to His Word in righteousness, there would not be the issues or concerns humanity is currently facing. Ultimately, sin, such as corruption, wickedness and greed, have caused shortages of food, water and resources. The truth is, Jesus gave mankind everything necessary to live an abundant life, to thrive and fill the earth without restraint or hindrance.
Here is one powerful promise:
13 "When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 14 "if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 "Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. (2 Chronicles 7:13-15 NKJV)
The people of God are increasing across the face of the earth. The Kingdom of Heaven is ever-increasing. There will be a profound shift regarding the increase of the land, healing and life. This will come about powerfully as people change their ways, beliefs and attitudes, to become more like Jesus and His righteousness. People will work together, grow food, and flourish. All that needs to happen is for people to simply follow the Word of God more closely.
There is no lack in Heaven. Sin is what mankind needs to point their finger at, if there is a shortage of resource in any capacity. The "carbon footprint" message is really communicating that there are too many people living without understanding of God’s word. People however, can change their wicked ways. Somewhere along the way, mankind became industrialized, losing sight of God's first and original command to humanity. Please do not buy into this lie of limiting children because of a supposed shortage of earth's resources. Rather, what if mankind could have as many children as God permits and took care of the earth's resources much better. God will make a way and provide for His people. He is really big and powerful!
The Creator desires godly offspring. The book of Malachi expresses this fact. He wants marriages to be filled with fruitfulness. Children are to be instructed and raised in the Word of God. Procreation is one of the most, if not the most, significant purposes or elements of marriage because without it mankind would cease to exist.
10 Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously with one another By profaning the covenant of the fathers?
11 Judah has dealt treacherously, And an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem, For Judah has profaned The LORD's holy institution which He loves: He has married the daughter of a foreign god.
12 May the LORD cut off from the tents of Jacob The man who does this, being awake and aware, Yet who brings an offering to the LORD of hosts!
13 And this is the second thing you do: You cover the altar of the LORD with tears, With weeping and crying; So He does not regard the offering anymore, Nor receive it with goodwill from your hands.
14 Yet you say, "For what reason?" Because the LORD has been witness Between you and the wife of your youth, With whom you have dealt treacherously; Yet she is your companion And your wife by covenant.
15 But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.
16 "For the LORD God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one's garment with violence," Says the LORD of hosts. "Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously." (Malachi 2:10-16 NKJV)
The book of Malachi paints a picture of the importance of covenant, godly offspring and how much God hates divorce. The Lord is saying so much in these verses. Adultery, keeping one’s covenant, not dealing treacherously with each other or the wife of your youth, are all highlighted in Scripture. Notice how God identifies divorce as an act of violence. Could divorce be related similarly to the act of Cain spilling his brother Abel's blood? Divorce is violent. What a concept to think of, divorce and violence being associated together. At the very least, keeping our commitments, contracts and covenants are highly important to God.