A marriage between a Christian couple whose foundation is based on God’s Word is a joyous thing. As a result, many Christians saturate their wedding ceremonies with Scripture. Even vows have come to include the Word of God. What a better opportunity to publicly declare a couple’s commitment and to proclaim Christ. Here’s just a small list of Scripture references that can be used during a wedding ceremony.
Why not start at the beginning? Genesis 2:18–24 affirms that marriage was declared by God and shows unity between a man and a woman. (Christ quotes this passage as well in Mark 10:6–9.)
18Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Another passage that I’ve seen in two recent weddings has been Ruth 1:16 and 17. While this is not typically a wedding passage, many couples have claimed the words that Ruth spoke to Naomi as part of their commitment to one another.
16But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. 17Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”
Another passage is actually not about marriage, but friendship—which is integral to marriage: Ecclesiastes 4:9–12. Usually what is emphasized in this passage is, “A threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
9Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Of course, God’s Word is one big love story. It’s His story. Many passages speak of love—too many to mention here. Ephesians 5:22–33 tells of a wife’s love for her husband, a husband’s love for his wife, and how it relates to Christ, God, and the church. Some couples who want to have children (or already do in some cases) add the first few verses of Ephesians 6 concerning children.
Passages from Song of Solomon, a poetic love letter, can be used as well. Chapter 8, verses 6 and 7, are one example:
6Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm,
for love is strong as death,
jealousy is fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
the very flame of the LORD.
7Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it.
If a man offered for love
all the wealth of his house,
he would be utterly despised.
Who better to talk about love than Christ? He spoke the words of John 15:9–17 just hours before His greatest act of love. This passage can be used in weddings to present the gospel.
9As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
Colossians 3:12–17 can be a challenge to a couple to treat each other with proper respect to bring glory to God.
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14And above all these put on love, which binds everything together inperfect harmony. 15And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
One could go on and on with Scriptures for weddings in the areas of Christian living in the home (Philippians 2:14, 15; Ephesians 4:25–27, 29, 31, 32) and the role of God in the relationship and family (Psalm 127; 128:1–4; Isaiah 26:3, 4). Many verses in Proverbs can be used as well.
On a personal note, I’ll leave you with the Scripture my wife and I used:
9And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. 11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light (Colossians 1:9–12).
We actually chose this for the witnesses in attendance. Essentially, we were asking them to pray for us and uphold us to God in our commitment to each other and Him.
Now it’s your turn. What are some passages you have used or have heard at weddings?