The man said,This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be calledFor this reason man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.woman,for she was taken out of man.Genesis 2:23-25
This is a remarkable passage because it gathers up the great concepts of marriage that run throughout the Bible. After God finished making woman and Adam slept off the deep unconsciousness into which he had fallen, God brought the woman to Adam. What a scene that must have been! Here is the first of a long series of boy-meets-girl stories. Out of this account emerges four factors that are essential to marriage.
The first is that marriage is to involve a complete identity. The two are to be one. Adam's first reaction when he saw his wife was,
This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh, or,
She is one being with me. This is strengthened in the latter part of verse 24, which adds,
and they will become one flesh. It is not without reason that this has become part of the marriage service, this recognition of unity. As someone has well said, the one word above all that makes marriage successful is
ours. The second thing is the biblical principle of headship, which is developed at much greater length in the New Testament.
She shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man. Paul expands on this in his letter to Timothy to point out that man was not made for woman, but woman was made for man. It is the man who is ultimately responsible before God for the nature and character of the home. It is the man who must exercise leadership in determining the direction in which the home should go and must therefore answer for that leadership, or its lack, before God. The woman's responsibility is to acknowledge this leadership.
Then the third factor indicated here that characterizes true marriage is permanence.
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. In the Hebrew text is the word dabag, which means
to adhere firmly, as if with glue. A husband is to cleave to his wife. He forsakes all others and adheres to her. Whatever she may be like, he is to hold to her. He is to stay with her, and she with him, because marriage is a permanent thing.
Finally, the fourth factor is set forth in verse 25,
The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. This speaks clearly of openness between man and wife. They have no secrets, nothing that they do not share with each other. It is the failure to achieve this kind of openness that lies behind so much breakdown in marriage today, the utter breakdown of communication, where two sit and look at one another and say nothing or talk about merely surface trivialities. Often this is why they are so judgmental with one another, each one trying to get the other to agree and not being willing to allow differences of viewpoint to exist. There is to be a freedom of communication, one with the other. Marriages shrivel, wither, and die when this is not true.
Thank you for the gift of marriage, Father and for revealing Your perfect plan for the functioning of husband and wife.
Have we recognized and fully accepted God's perfect plan for marriage? What are four factors that are essential to marriage as God intended it to be?