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Everything on this earth has a beginning and this is the beginning of marriage (as I understand it from the Word of God).
At the very beginning of time, marriage was designed to unite two people as helpers or companions because God knew that it was not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). When God created Adam as written in Genesis 2, He saw that Adam needed a suitable companion. He brought to Adam all the wild animals and the birds of the sky that He had created and Adam named each one. But none were the perfect companion for Adam. And so, God created Eve from a part of Adam and this was Adam’s reaction to seeing Eve for the first time: “Finally! Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh! Name her Woman, for she was made from Man.” (Genesis 2:23, MSG).
It was love at first sight.
Finally, the perfect companion for man – a woman! 😉 My favourite kind of event to attend is a wedding. I just love everything about them. Can you imagine what that first wedding would have been like? What would it have been like for Adam to wake up and see Eve for the first time? I like to imagine that he was just in awe of her, like he had never seen anything so beautiful before. There would have been no need for a white wedding gown to symbolize purity because they had never experienced sin or shame at this point. The Bible even says they were both naked and felt no shame. Oh to be as vulnerable in marriage as those two would have been without any fear…
Marriage is defined in this way in Genesis 2:24: “…a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” Jesus quotes this Scripture in Matthew 19:4-6 and says: “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Marriage was created to be a lifelong experience of two separate lives coming together and blending into one. Now, I understand that divorce is a reality in our day and age – and was in the Bible times as well. I myself am not untouched by the experiences of divorce. Divorce can be a difficult topic to address and for this reason I won’t be going in depth with it here.
The roles of husbands and wives
In Ephesians 5, Paul talks about the roles of a husband and wife in marriage:
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of His body…. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:21-30, 33)
Note that this passage does not say that a wife should stay at home and the husband should go to work. I know that there are strong ideas as to the specific roles of husbands and wives but I believe that the specific roles can be left to individual couples as they fall under submitting to one another, loving each other, and showing each other respect.
I love that God used the word “companion” or “helper” to describe Eve’s role as Adam’s wife. The word helper used in this context means to surround, to aid or support. That means that Eve’s role was to partner with Adam and to surround him with support and care. In our own relationship, both Matt and I work and take care of the house. I entered our marriage with the desire to serve Matt and to support him however I can in the things God has called him to do.
I want to end this off with some thoughts from Timothy Keller in his book, The Meaning of Marriage:
“The concept and roots of human marriage are in God’s own action, and therefore what the Bible says about God’s character for marriage is crucial…. Marriage is God’s idea.” (pg 13)
Everything in the Bible is there for a reason, is “God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16, NIV). If the idea of marriage and instruction for married life is in there, it must be important enough to read and put into practice.
If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an email at [email protected] and I would love to talk with you.