The Original Design of Marriage - 2

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Part Two - The Original Design of Marriage 2

We started our study last week by following the pattern set by our Lord when answering the Pharisee’s questions about divorce and remarriage in Matthew 19. Jesus did not involve Himself in the theological ramblings of the religious elite but instead He appealed to the pattern God set for marriage at the time of creation of man. This is clear as Jesus stated . . .

Matt 19:4-6, “"Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,'* and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate."

The pattern for marriage is given in Genesis one and two. In these two chapters we learn what God designed marriage to be. Let us review what learned from looking at the Genesis account.

1) Marriage is designed to involve two equals (Gen. 1:26-27). Therefore though men and women have physical difference, their souls being the image of God makes them totally equals

2) Marriage is designed to involve a male and a female (Genesis 1:27-28). Based on this design two conclusion can be drawn. 

a) Marriage is a monogamous relationship – one plus one makes one. There is no room for polygamy.

b) Marriage is a heterosexual relationship – one male and one female. God wanted man to multiply requiring such a relationship. This rules out gay marriage or relationships

As we continue to look at the pattern set by God let us note some other important truths about the way God designed marriage. 

3) Marriage is designed to be orderly. God created all creatures, including angels, all at the same moment of time. By this I mean that when God created sea creatures, he created the female and male at the same time. The same can be said of birds and land animals. All, both male and female were created at the same moment of time. There was no lag of time between the creation of one and the creation of the other. Even the angels were all created at the same instant. Only in the case of humanity was one member created before the other.

The Bible indicates in Genesis 2:7, God created “man” out of the dust of the ground. Some jump to the conclusion that since the term “man” is used, it is speaking of mankind in general and was addressing the fact that male and female were created at the same moment. Of course the context will not permit such an interpretation (2:18) as well as the Hebrew term translated “man” in the English translations. The Hebrew word that is translated “man” is literally “Adam”. In light of the remainder of chapter 2 it is clear that God is addressing here the creation of Adam and Adam alone. Adam’s creation is hours before the creation of Eve and God had a purpose in doing so. He created Adam first to demonstrate His desire for the male to take the leadership role in both marriage and in the government of the church.

At about this point some woman might claim that if this is so then God was making women less equal than men. However, please note that woman is called on by God to “submit” to the male for the purpose of the orderly operation of the marriage and the church. The word submit speak of one equal voluntarily placing themselves under the authority of another. This term was used in Paul’s day of soldiers submitting to the authority of those of higher rank. This does not mean they are less equal but they do so for the orderly function of the army. If everyone is a private or everyone is a general, the army is destined to loose every battle. So it is in marriage and in the church, the woman as an equal, submits herself to the authority of the man willingly and even more importantly, to show her love for her Lord by obeying His call for her (Eph. 5:22). 

Let us also remember that such a ranking of authority and submission is found among the persons of the Trinity. For example Christ submitted himself to the will of the father (Lk. 22:42) by going to the cross to atone for man’s sins. This did not mean that Christ was less then the Father but He voluntarily submitted Himself to the Father’s will.

In 1 Tim. 2:11-14, Paul adds to the understanding of this concept. He writes

“Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.” 

Paul gives two reasons for woman’s submission to the man. Paul says because it represents God’s order of creation. If God wanted them to be equal in authority they would have been created at the same time. The fact that God created man first shows God gave man the task of leadership. 

Paul takes this idea to its next level. The reason man is to have authority is because woman was deceived but Adam was not. This would seem to indicate that because of God’s unique design for the sexes, that men are better equipped to handle the role of leadership then are women. Whether we like it or not, men and women are designed different from each other and these differences make us better at some things then the opposite sex. A clear example of this would be the matter of child bearing and nurturing. There is no question that the unique design of women makes them better equipped for this task then men. We are therefore equal but uniquely different with uniquely different callings given to us from God.

Paul’s statement has as an even far greater impact. Since Adam was created first and received his image from God directly, with the authority God gave him comes also greater responsibility. For it was in Adam’s sin that the sinful fallen nature and the curse of sin would be passed down to all subsequently generations. Thus it would take a Second Adam to be a righteous representative to free man from his sins (1 Cor. 15:20-22).

4) Marriage is designed to bring completion to the partners. In Genesis 2:18-20, God makes an interesting observation. He says that it is not a good thing for Adam to be alone. God decides to make a mate fit for Adam. The idea God was expressing is that though Adam was created perfect without flaw and error, yet he was not a complete individual. If he was then he would not have needed a mate. In other words God created man and woman perfect but incomplete in certain areas. Therefore, they would not realize completeness until they entered into a marital relationship with someone of the opposite sex. Eve with her unique design would complete Adam and Adam in his unique design would complete Eve. This is the reason God declares that the two shall be come one entity.

God drives this point home to Adam by creating and bringing before him a sample of every land creature that God had created. After Adam is done naming them all he realizes that there is no creation that is equal with him. Adam having learned his lesson, is ready now to have a mate that would be equal to him. One who would complete him and one he would complete.

5) Marriage is designed to be permanent. Adam is put to sleep and God removes a rib and from that rib He creates woman out of the dust of the ground. When Adam awakes he makes a statement that originates from God. It will be the God given directive for a man and a woman when they reach the age of marriage, to leave their parents and establish a new relationship with the mate of God’s choosing. 

It should be noted that God was the one who joined these two in marriage and Jesus indicates this in Matt. 19. Since God is the One who joins them in marriage then He alone holds the authority to dissolve that marriage through the process of death. Listen to the words of Jesus in Matt. 19:5-6, as he states that the two become one and “what God has joined together let no one put asunder.” The Bible is clear that the process God uses to dissolve marriage is death (Rom. 7:2-3).

6) Marriage is designed to be intimate in nature. In Genesis 2:25, it states that God created man and woman naked. In other words nothing was hidden in their relationship with each other. This intimacy was to be shared between Adam and Even and no one else. Such should be the case between every couple who marry. They should be on the most intimate of relationships and this relationship should only be shared with their mate only. This is one of the reason that God desires each man and each woman to remain chase and pure, keeping themselves pure for the partner they are to marry. To often this concept is missed in our promiscuous society that actually mocks the idea of purity until marriage.

Let us summarize the pattern as set by God and is expected by God to be followed. Marriage involves the union of two equals who though they are perfect in their design, yet they are not complete without marriage to the opposite sex. This union takes precedence over every other union the married couple have ever been a part of. Thus they leave father and mother and become one and they are to remain married until God dissolves that marriage. As God originally created marriage, it was to last forever without end. Unfortunately, due to the consequences of sinning, marriage would now be a temporary relationship because death would ultimately dissolve the union. It is clear from the pattern established by God in the Garden, that there was only one thing that God would recognize as dissolving the union of marriage and that was death. God leaves no other grounds for the disillusion of marriage until the giving of the law under Moses.