The Bible is about marriage from beginning to end. God is telling a love story, a divine romance, a delightful narrative of a Lover and His Beloved.

In the beginning, God created a man and a woman. They lived together in a beautiful garden paradise. They walked naked without any shame or the slightest inhibition. They were completely intimate in every way—sexually, relationally, emotionally, and spiritually. They talked together, worked together, and started a family together just as God intended (Gen. 2:24-25).

Marriage continued throughout the Old Testament. It was the norm, leading to large clans, which became tribes, which became nations. It was the norm in every society, not just biblical ones. For generation after generation, in every culture, men and women united to form families and civilizations. But in the New Testament we learn something striking about marriage. Its primary purpose is not about procreation or the establishment of people groups.

In Ephesians 5:32, marriage is called a “mystery.” Today, a mystery is a whodunit thriller (think of a mystery novel) or a perplexing conundrum, but in the Bible it has a different and very specific meaning. A mystery is something formerly hidden that has now been revealed. In other words, a biblical mystery is a truth that God put in the Old Testament with a cover on top of it so that they couldn’t see it clearly, but now in the New Testament the cover is lifted and we understand exactly what it means.

So, what has the New Testament revealed about marriage? That it was designed to be a picture of Christ and the Church. While marriage is the proper context for raising children, it has a much more profound and important purpose. It’s a drawing or snapshot of Jesus’ relationship to His people. That means that your marriage is a drawing or snapshot of Jesus and His people. Every marriage is. The real question is, does your marriage look like Jesus and the Church? Are you a good drawing?

There’s more. Right in the middle of the Bible, God composed a highly arousing erotic poem describing the sexual bliss between a man and his wife. It is called the Song of Songs, the very best of the 1,000 songs Solomon wrote. Remember, the Holy Spirit Himself inspired this love song. God intends marriage to be sexually enticing and intoxicating.

This is also a picture of Jesus and the Church. In Revelation 19:5-8, the return of Christ is portrayed as a man going to get His bride. In ancient Jewish culture, a man betrothed a woman (similar to engagement today), then went away to build a house for them to live in. (Remember Jesus saying, “I go to prepare a place for you” in John 14?) The house also included the bridal chamber where the two would have sex for the first time. Family and friends would gather outside waiting for the couple to consummate their marriage, then everyone would celebrate with feasting and merriment. This joyful celebration is what sex is supposed to anticipate.

Now, what kind of house do you suppose Jesus is building for His bride? It won’t be a “nice place,” it will be a mansion! A glorious, luxurious, lavish estate. If your marriage is going to represent His marriage accurately, that is the kind of relationship you will build—a “place” you both find wonderfully fulfilling and rich.

Marriage Mansion is the metaphor we use to describe the kind of marriage worthy of being called a Christian marriage. It’s what you want to build. However, you can’t just start throwing up chandeliers and marble countertops. First, you have to lay a really strong base. So we begin at the ground level with the 4 Foundation Stones that need to be solidly in place for you to build your Marriage Mansion.

That foundation is just around the next cyber corner. There is no reason to wait. The two of you can start building now!