Purpose of Marriage

The man said, This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man. For this reason man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. 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.  View article →