The Enemy described a married couple as ‘one flesh’. He did not say ‘a happily married couple’ or ‘ a couple who married because they were in love’, but you can make the humans ignore that. You can also make them forget that the man they call Paul did not confine it to married couples. Mere copulation, for him, makes ‘one flesh’. You can thus get the humans to accept as rhetorical eulogies of ‘being in love’ what were in fact plain description of the real significance of sexual intercourse. The truth is that wherever a man lies with a woman, there, whether they like it or not, a transcendental relation is set up between them which must be eternally enjoyed or eternally endured.
(C.S. Lewis, The Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Classics: The Screwtape Letters, 237)
[Christian] Churches all agree with one another about marriage a great deal more than any of them agrees with the outside world. I mean, they all regard divorce as something like cutting up a living body, as a kind of surgical operation. Some of them think the operation so violent that it cannot be done at all; others admit it as a desperate remedy in extreme cases. They are all agreed that it is more like having both your legs cut off than it is like dissolving a business partnership or even deserting a regiment.
(C.S. Lewis, The Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Classics: Mere Christianity, 91)
As you gave the ring to one another and have now received it a second time from the hand of the pastor, so love come from you, but marriage from above from God. As high as God is above man, high are the sanctity, the rights and the promise of love. It is not your love that sustains the marriage, but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love.
(Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison, 27-28)
Marriage is a sacred institution. It is something that denies worldly design in its inherent character. The world teaches that the primary cause of and purpose of marriage is when two people love each other so much that they want to spend their lives together as one corporate entity. Their family becomes a person under the law of man and they are as if they were one. The world denies that this oneness extends beyond the visible realm of reality.
The bond that holds a man and a woman in marriage is in the invisible realm. Paul teaches that marriage is a symbol of Christ and his Church. The force that holds the two together is the same. It is the hand of God.
When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
(John 17:1-3, ESV)
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
(I Peter 2:9-10, ESV)
As the hand of God holds us together, marriage is something deeper than love and ourselves. Marriage is testimony of God’s power and authority. Marriage is a testimony of God’s majesty. Marriage is a visible institution that shows that God can take two sinners who would otherwise live lives of sin, make them renewed, and guide them to keep their faith.
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
(I Corinthians 15:10, ESV)