In this series we will be looking at some of the basic principles of what makes marriage important from the Christian’s perspective. I will simply be considering some of the ancient wisdom that has stood the test of time and is found in the Biblical texts.
Marriage is for connecting
In the book of beginnings, Genesis, the writer tells us that having created and filled the earth, God makes the first man, Adam. Until this point we read the repeating refrain with regard to creation, “and it was good.” However, upon creating mankind God announces that his handiwork is “very good.”
Adam was given responsibility to manage the created order. His first task was to name the creatures that God had created. After this we read a sombre declaration; for the first time in the brief history of our world God points out that something was not right. Simply, “the Lord God said it is not good for the man to be alone.”
God declared, “I will make a helper suitable for him” and, putting Adam to sleep, takes part of his rib out of his side and from that makes a woman, Eve. He then brings her to Adam and they are married.
It was not sufficient for Adam to be alone, and Eve was created to work with Adam. The point is underlined for us in the New Testament, “Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman.” The Living Bible translation renders it like this, “But remember that in God’s plan men and women need each other.”
The Bible commentator Matthew Henry described it thus; “The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.”
We are told that both male and female are created in the image of God, but we are different. We each carry part of God’s image, displaying different attributes. But it is not good to be in isolation; God designed us to be connected, to live in community.
Marriage is the closest expression of that relationship, the ultimate connection.
We need many kinds of relationship in our life, but marriage – the “till death do us part” joining of a man and a woman – is the ultimate connecting of the sexes.