Marriage: The Way God Intended It

Aug 04, 2016
Doug Keppel

Genesis 2:18-25
18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

In the text we have just read, we are given the details of the very first wedding. When this took place, there was no sin in the world and everything was perfect. The marriage rate was 100% and the divorce rate was 0%. There was just Adam and Eve as God created them!

Then came the fall and sin entered the world! Sin corrupted that which God created. Sin corrupted man and woman and because of sin, men and women wound up corrupting that which God designed and ordained for them. Romans 1:21-28 shows that there is a direct correlation between rejecting God and sexual perversion!

God’s original plan for marriage did not include marriage for homosexuals, it did not include sexual promiscuity, and it did not include divorce.

The divorce rate has risen during my lifetime to unimaginable proportions. The Census Bureau statisticians say that the divorce rate is beginning to decline. This is not because people are developing better social skills and are finally now learning how to communicate and work through their problems more productively.

No! It is because the marriage rate is declining! There are many who are just not getting married. Rather, they are living together in immoral, wicked relationships that are an abomination before God! Sex outside of the marriage relationship was wrong in Moses day, it was wrong in Jesus’ day, and it is still wrong in our day!

Because of the wickedness of mankind, we now live in a time where marriage is being redefined.
Some in our country are beginning to redefine marriage to include same sex couples and they are wanting to push that on the rest of the country. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the homosexual’s lifestyle and behavior is still wrong! Our country is in danger of racing down the same slippery slope that Sodom did!

Some in our country, including some folks who call themselves Christians, think that whatever consenting adults who are committed to one another want to do is OK. “If they want to marry, let them marry.”

Friend, don’t think for one minute that there won’t be consequences for you and me and our children and our grandchildren in all of this that is happening right now!

God created marriage and I believe that He alone is the one who has the right to define it!

Today we are going to look at these verses we just read and think for a little while about marriage. Just what did God intend for marriage to be when He instituted it?

In this passage, God reveals His intentions concerning marriage and His goals for the married couple. The principles taught here will go a long way in answering the questions about same-sex marriage. It can also help us to divorce proof our marriages.

A. God’s Concern.
                        The Garden of Eden was a place of unspeakable beauty and wonder.

It was a perfect place where God, man and the animal kingdom enjoyed perfect peace and harmony. It was a good place.

In fact, looking back on the Lord’s creative efforts in chapter 1, it is clear that the Lord thought it was good as well. (Genesis 1:4; 10; 12; 18; 21; 25; 31.)

When God looked at His handiwork, He declared it all good until He looked at Adam and saw that Adam was the only one of his kind.

This, God said, was not good. Man had no counterpart. The word “alone” carries the idea of “being a piece which is isolated from the whole.”

Now if you are single this morning, don’t get the wrong idea. It is not always God’s will for everyone to be married. Jesus mentions that in Matthew 19:11-12 and Paul mentions it in 1 Corinthians 7:7.

There are times and circumstances when God has determined that He can better use someone when they are unattached and single. (1 Corinthians 7:32-33)

Therefore, instead of being upset with the Lord and doing everything in your power to attract a mate, perhaps the correct response would be to realize that the Lord might have a better plan for your life. Why not just seek the Lord’s will for your life instead?! If He brings you a woman. Great! If not, be content with the Lord’s will for your life!

            B.  God’s Conclusion.
When the Lord surveyed the situation, His decision was to produce a “help meet” for Adam.

This word “help” means, “One who assists another to reach fulfillment.” It speaks of the idea of a “completer”. The word “meet” refers to one who “is suitable to, or corresponds to.” In other words, God is going to give Adam someone who will fill up that which is lacking in his own life. One who makes him complete.

That is one of the benefits of marriage. The husband and the wife compliment one another. Men and women are different in many ways. God’s intention in making woman was to compliment and complete the man.

            A.  A Desire Shaped by God. (Vs. 19-20)
In these verses, God has the entirety of the animal kingdom pass before Adam.

He tells Adam to look at them and to give them names and whatever Adam called them, that was the name.

Now, God’s intention here is far deeper than a mere intellectual exercise. He isn’t trying to give Adam’s brain a workout. The real goal here is awaken a desire in Adam for companionship.

As Adam saw all these animals pass before him. Surely he must have noticed that everyone of them had a mate. It must have dawned on Adam that he was the only creature who seemed to be alone.

That desire that awakens in us that causes us to begin to look on the members of the opposite sex with interest is natural and God given. There is in the heart of mankind a deep seated desire for companionship.

There comes a time in every normal, well adjusted life when a person begins to feel a yearning to “settle down” with someone they love. It is a normal part of life.

                        A Desire Shaped by God.
            B.   A Desire Satisfied by God.
Our problem is that we have these desires in us and we set about satisfying them on our own, and in our own time. When we do that, we have short-circuited the plan of God and are on thin ice. When this desire came to the surface in Adam’s life, God set about meeting that need.
                        There were three things involved in providing this help meet for Adam.
                        1.   It Involved Sleep.
When it came time for God to make a helpmeet for Adam, He caused Adam to go to sleep while He did His work. In other words, Adam was totally uninvolved in the selection process. It, like nearly everything else in life, fell to the sovereign choice of God.

There is a lesson here for those of you who are looking for that future spouse. The best thing you can do is just let that area of your life go to sleep and trust the Lord to bring that person into your life in His time and in His way.

But, that isn’t what we are told to do by the world. We are told that one must be pro-active, that one must make things happen. You gotta go out there and grab hold of the one you choose and use any means in your arsenal to see that they do not go to someone else.

What a lack of faith! If God can be trusted to save your soul from Hell, do you not think that He can also be trusted to bring you the mate He wants you to have? May I remind you that the “just are to live by faith,”
                                    (Habbakuk 2:4.)

                        2.  It Involved Surgery.
While Adam was asleep, God performed surgery on Adam, opened him up and took out a rib. It was from this rib that God made the woman.

Surgery always involves pain. Often, finding a mate involves pain and even after a mate has been secured and vows have been exchanged, there are still painful times.

However, we must learn to trust the Lord during the difficult times and to remember our commitment made to our spouse. We must fight for our marriages.

One Christian marriage counselor said, “The only thing that I have ever seen that will make a marriage last is that the couple wants to be married to each other more than they want to divorce.”
                        3.  It Involves Symbolism.
Notice where the woman came from. In taking her from the side of man, God was painting a picture that speaks volumes about what the marriage relationship should be.

Matthew Henry put it this way, “Eve was made by God not out of Adam’s head to rule over him, nor our of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, from under his arm to be protected and from near his heart to be loved.”

When I speak of God’s invention, I am not talking about woman, although that is pretty remarkable. I am referring to the institution of marriage.

These verses constitute what was the first marriage ceremony. There are three aspects that were involved in that first marriage ceremony that will go along way in helping our relationships.
            A.  Marriage Involves A Response. (Vs. 23)
When Adam awakened out of sleep, the first thing he saw was this brand new, absolutely beautiful, absolutely perfect woman there with him.

Adam’s response is to say, “Now this is one like me.” Quite literally, Adam said, “Yes!”

What Adam meant was that finally here was one that he just did not want to live without. Here was one who was compatible with him, one with whom he could carry out the Lord’s directive, of Genesis 1:28.

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

The lesson here is that in any marriage, there must be that element of heart felt love and the sure knowledge that this is THE person God has created just for me.

Marriage is not something to be entered into lightly. It should be prayed about and strictly observed according to the Lord’s commandments. If His Word is ignored, there can be nothing but trouble expected in the marriage relationship!
Marriage involves a response and that response is to say yes to that person that God has picked and prepared just for you.

            B.  Marriage Involves A Responsibility. (Vs 24)
God goes on to conclude that a man is to “leave” his parents and “cleave” to his wife. This is a two step process that every couple would do well to consider.
                        1.  To leave means to place every other relationship (other than God) at a lower priority than the marriage relationship.
Your husband or wife is to be more than just a spouse. They are to literally be your best friend.

Leaving means that every activity outside of the marriage relationship must take a backseat. This includes things like businesses, hobbies, friends, careers, sports. Outside of one’s relationship with God, there is no other relationship as important as the one you have with your spouse!

                        2. To cleave means to “adhere to, to stick to, to be bound together by some strong bond.” Cleaving isn’t an instant thing. Rather, it is a lifelong pursuit. It begins at the marriage altar and continues to the deathbed. It speaks of total and absolute commitment.

“Commitment” is a word that is lacking in our modern society, especially when it comes to arena of marriage. The modern mind set says, “Well, we’ll try it for a while and if it doesn’t work, then I’ll just find me a new one.”

That is a far cry from what God intended in the beginning! You see, “cleaving” is not a passive endeavor. In other words, it doesn’t just happen, it comes about as the result of effort. I say that any marriage is worth whatever effort is required to save it!

by the way, the New Testament word for cleave means, “to stick like glue, to be welded together so that the two cannot be separated without serious damage to both.”

If we really believed that two become one flesh when they are married, then we would also believe that anything that tore that apart was a serious matter.

Every married couple in this room needs to realize that you and your spouse have been made one. You are not really a couple, you are a single unit. Declared by God in Heaven to be joined together until death rips you apart.

If we really lived with this assurance, it would transform our homes, and our nation! Then, divorce would not be an option, but just like we would spare no expense or effort to save a member of our own body, we would do everything in our power to safeguard our marriages.

I know this is hard for some of you who have been through divorce. Please do not think that I am without compassion for you. I’m not condemning you, but I’m telling you that divorce was not what God intended for your marriage.

                        Marriage Involves A Response, A Responsibility, and
            C.  Marriage Involves A Righteousness. (Vs 25)

And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

This verse tells us that Adam and Eve were naked, but that they were not ashamed in their nudity. This verse simply drives home the truth that the only valid arena for sexual expression is within the marriage relationship between a man and woman. Don’t be mislead by this world and its twisted definitions of what constitutes a marriage or what constitutes acceptable sexual relationships.

I want you to be honest this morning and take your marriage and lay it alongside this passage. Does your marriage stand as the way God intended for it to be?

Or, does there need to be some “leaving and cleaving” taking place in our relationships?

Is there some activity or pursuit that is coming between you and your spouse? Do you feel that you are one flesh?

What I am asking is that you husbands and wives take a long hard look at your relationships and then respond together, before the Lord and allow Him to have His way in your marriage.

Are there needs in your relationship? Maybe you are married to an unbeliever, why not bring them to Jesus and talk to Him about that need? Maybe the sizzle has begun to fizzle, why not come before the Lord and ask Him to rekindle the flames that once burned so passionately.
Bring your marriage to Jesus and let Him fix it if it is broken, let Him strengthen it if it is weak and let Him make it even better if it is already good.

Maybe your not even married, but you are concerned about the future and the person you will marry, why not bring that need to the Lord. Those of you who are single, are there areas of your life that need to be brought under the Lord’s control?

If we learn nothing else, let’s learn how to keep the home fires burning!

Additional Reading