I knew many of these chapters would be difficult to confine to just one gem, and the second chapter of Genesis is one of these. I would love to focus on the idea of rest, but I cannot leave this place in God’s Word without looking instead at marriage.
God saw a need and met it
The summit of his creation, God had created man in his own image. He was given work to do in the Garden and had a relationship with the Creator. Yet, after looking at every beast of the field and bird of heaven, God knew that even man needed another of his own kind. It was not good for him to be alone. It’s like having an only child—they have a wonderful relationship with a parent, but have no one their own age to relate to and play with.
Man needs woman
I find it interesting that God did not make a second man, but instead made a woman—similar enough to man but unique in shape and purpose. In making woman, God began the multiplication process for the human race. After making the woman from the rib of man, the Word says the Lord God “brought her to the man.”
God made marriage as a gift to Adam and Eve
Adam recognized this gift when he 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.”Genesis 2:23
At last, he had a person to whom he could relate, because she was taken from him and made unique in all creation like him. This is when Moses cannot help himself but chime in:
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.Genesis 2:24-25
Remember, Moses is writing this over a thousand years later, helping the children of Israel understand, not only their God but themselves. So, his therefore is really to say, “this is why,” as in “this is why we do what we do in relation to marriage,” because God started it.
These verses give us the secret of a strong marriage
- A strong marriage includes leaving one’s parents. Marriages that have a healthy distance from the parents of either the bride or groom are always stronger. This doesn’t mean they don’t honor their parents or ignore them, but it does mean there is privacy in marriage, and their home should be separate from either set of parents. A tree that is crowded will not grow strong. Marriages need space for roots to go deep.
- A strong marriage means being joined together for mutual responsibility. When God made Eve, he made her to be a helper to Adam. They had work to do in the garden, and two are always better than one. In his wisdom, Solomon wrote: “And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” In marriage, with the Lord at the center, we can stand strong against the attacks of the evil one.
- A strong marriage is one that becomes one flesh through sexual intimacy. In marriage, we can be naked and not ashamed. The shame of the fall was revealed when Adam and Eve recognized their nakedness. Only in marriage, is this sense of shame removed between a man and woman, because he ordained marriage before the fall. The strongest marriages are those where husband and wife find their satisfaction and fulfillment in each other and in each other alone.
This act of unity in marriage is a picture of Christ’s unity with his Bride, the Church:
For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”Ephesians 5:29-31
Isn’t it amazing that the beauty of our relationship with Christ is established from the very beginning by God joining the first man and woman in covenant relationship through marriage? What a precious gem from the Creator God, who cares for us and meets our every need.
Grace and Peace