“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24).- Genesis 2:18–24
Over the past few days we have been observing Peter’s teaching regarding how Christians are to live honorable lives within the context of marriage. Indeed, the relationship between a godly husband and wife is one of the most powerful ways human beings can glorify God and bear witness to His goodness. Unfortunately, in our day we have seen both the marginalization of the institution of marriage and a tendency for many Christians to pattern their marriages after the world instead of structuring them according to the teaching of Scripture. In order that we might better understand the Bible’s teaching on marriage, we will spend the next five days studying marriage using the series The Intimate Marriage by Dr. R.C. Sproul as our guide.
Contrary to the beliefs of many in our society, marriage is not some arbitrary idea concocted by mankind and thus able to be structured in any way that we see fit. Rather, it is instituted by God Himself for our benefit and for His glory. We can see that this is the case by looking at the very first marriage recorded in Scripture. In Genesis 2 we read of the creation of man and woman. Adam is made first and given the task of tending the garden of Eden (vv. 4–17). However, at this point, creation was not yet complete. God looks down on Adam and sees that things are not all good. Adam is alone and in need of a helper fit especially for him (v. 18).
God brings to Adam all of the animals that He has made but unfortunately, none of them is a fit helper for Adam (vv. 19–20). Someone else is needed — someone whose dignity as the image of God matches Adam’s own. Therefore, God creates a woman from Adam’s rib and brings her to him (vv. 21–22). Unlike the animals, Eve is the one who is fit to be Adam’s helper (v. 23).
In verse 24 we read that man and woman are to come together in marriage as one flesh. Just as God enters into covenant with His people, so too does He ordain marriage as a sacred covenant between one man and one woman. Like all other covenants, it is governed by God’s commands for the sake of His glory and this glory is displayed as husband and wife are faithful to God’s design for marriage.
The many biblical laws regarding marriage and divorce as well as God’s comparison of the relationship with His people to a marriage (see Jer. 31:31–32) demonstrate the covenantal nature of marriage. How do you view marriage? Do you understand it as a sacred covenant, or do you take it all too lightly? Take some time to meditate on verse 24 of today’s passage. Ask the Lord to keep you ever mindful that He is the Lord of marriage, whether you are married or not.
Passages for Further Study