"Two are better than one, for they have a good return for their labor. If one them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls with no one to help him up. Also, if two lie down together, they can keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?"
Wise words from the book of Ecclesiastes! OK, we hear you out there saying "Dogs!" or "Electric blankets!" in response to the last question. But, in all seriousness, the Bible has a lot to say on the topic of love and marriage. The Old Testament, in particular, contains a number of stories about marriages -- some of which worked out better than others, to say the least. (We're looking at you, Samson and Delilah!) From the book of Genesis through the many letters the apostles wrote to believers in the early church, love, relationships, and marriage are a vital topic in the Bible.
Of course, customs have changed, especially since the days of the Old Testament. Marriages between close family members are now frowned upon, as is polygamy. Even the New Testament, in a more subtle way, shows us how ideas about marriage have changed since the last words of the Bible were written. The early church valued celibacy and generally expected devout believers to follow Christ's example of staying unmarried. Nowadays, though, Christianity casts itself the religion of "family values," in which marriage is highly respected, even encouraged. Celibacy has become a practice largely limited to Catholic clergy.
If you're interested in exploring the Bible's ideas about relationships or want to test your knowledge of it, we've designed a quiz for you! Settle in for a tour of the Bible's lovers and lovelorn, faithful and faithless -- you might just learn a few things!
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