God designed complete union and communion with Himself
Because God designed marriage, the ultimate marriage includes intimacy with God. The establishment of marriage came after the completion of creation—after the pronouncement of things that were good in the sight of God.
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion for him who corresponds to him.”Genesis 2:18 NET
God was not correcting a mistake with the creation of Eve but unfolding the next step of His plan. She was not created to complete Adam but that the two would enjoy companionship and so express themselves relationally. That is to say that God did not design people with needs that would be met independently of Himself. Only through Christ can our relationships ever achieve any of God’s purposes.
Marriage was created to include intimacy with God
According to Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, the core concept is that it was not good for man “to be separate and isolated.”1 This passage denotes the principle that God designed humankind to live within society; therefore it would not be good for him to be alone or the only one of his kind. The marriage relationship was not intended to serve as a replacement for a personal relationship with Him. God fashioned marriage in order that through sanctified, intimate companionship His will would be established within the earth so that His portrait may hang upon every heart, mind, and soul that dwells within the earth.
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.Genesis 2:18–22 NLT
God’s plan produces awe
It is hard to imagine what Adam felt after awaking from surgery to cast his gaze on a creature he had never seen, especially after spending such a deliberate extent of time closely surveying every species of animal created upon the face of the earth. The magnitude of naming every living thing could have taken Adam months to complete, perhaps even longer. Now Adam beholds his partner for the first time. The beauty of this union was epic and a moment in time God captured and preserved for all in memorial to behold. The Scripture records this sublime occasion.
“At last!” the man exclaimed.Genesis 2:23 NLT
“This one is bone from my bone,
and flesh from my flesh!
She will be called ‘woman,’
because she was taken from ‘man.’“
The Hebrew pronoun zeh, translated “this one,”2 is demonstrative and can be rendered “such a one as this is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh” intimating a sense of musing and awe of deep appreciation for what God had wrought.
God braided a triune relationship
Adam’s shared identity with Eve as Christ’s creation moved them to intimate connectedness. Oneness, expressed in the phrase “and they shall become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24 ESV), demanded a process of personal change. As a result this bonding would give life a new identity whereby individuality would become the servant of interpersonal intimacy.
And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.Genesis 2:25 ESV
The fact that the man and woman possessed no shame indicates the absence of any moral conflict. They were living together in love, joy, and peace. Subsequently the couple communed with their Creator continuously experiencing resonate harmony. Existence assumed a three-part union comprised of God, Adam, and Eve. Daily they walked with God in complete fulfillment. The triune intimacy formed a relational matrix binding each together with inseparable oneness. The couple followed God’s heart into spiritual union. This ultimate marriage included intimacy with God! Consequently, indivisible communion punctuated their endeavor as the companions exercised dominance over creation.
The ultimate marriage is a synthesis of divinity and humanity
As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”Ephesians 5:31 NLT
The two joined together in covenant faithfulness with the God who also designed complete union and communion with Himself. God established a beautiful synthesis of divinity and humanity. His presence dwelt with human beings in an intimacy that was never to be broken.
But all that was created, fashioned, and ordered to give humanity the fullness of God’s blessing was betrayed in exchange for what people could separately provide. The perfect triune communion was rejected for the alluring promise of completeness apart from union with God. Therefore a Savior was required to restore the broken intimacy. As a result too few marriages now include intimacy with God.
- I think God established marriage because . . .
1 Herbert Wolf, “528 הֶז,” ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 236.
2 Earl S. Kalland, “398 קַבָּד,” ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, Jr. and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, electronic ed. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 178.
Excerpts from Marriages that Minister by J. Kirk & Melanie D. Lewis. Available from your favorite book retailers including Amazon and Redemption Press. (As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.)
Read more about Marriages that Minister: A Portrait of Christ and His Bride.
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