By BRUCE GREEN
Teaching Minister at 10th Street Church of Christ
Creation truths are those truths directly connected with God bringing the world into being. We neglect them to our poverty and ruin. One truth born in paradise concerns the purpose of marriage—out of one (Adam), God made two (Adam and Eve), so that He might join them back together as one in marriage. God’s goal for marriage is oneness — we are to become what He has created us to be.
22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23 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.”
24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. (Genesis 2:22-24)
1. Oneness is important to God. In the same sense that the disciple is to become what God has created he or she to be (holy—see 1 Corinthians 1:2), God joins a man and woman together in marriage and they are to live out that oneness.
2. Oneness reflects the nature of God. God exists as the Father, Son and Spirit (see the plural pronouns in Genesis 1:26). There is a unity that transcends the Godhead’s diversity so that God is one (so the Shema of Deuteronomy 6:4ff). A marriage consists of two individuals who are to reflect the oneness of God.
3. God makes us one, so that we might live as one. We are designed for this oneness. Males and females have a complementary design toward this end.
4. You don’t marry your soulmate; you marry someone who becomes your soulmate. Our idea of a soulmate is based on the idea that out of the 8 billion people living on earth, God has one special person for you — you just have to find them. That’s a romanticized notion that comes more from the movies rather than from Scripture. Consider that Ephesians 5:22-33 and other profound marriage texts were written to husbands and wives whose marriages were arranged. Were they soul mates as they walked down the aisle, or did whatever constituted getting married in their culture? Hardly. Could they become soulmates as they gave themselves to each other and their marriages to God? Absolutely.
5. The sexual relationship is one expression of oneness. There are many ways to express oneness in marriage (wearing of rings, praying together, sharing a last name, etc.). Because the sexual relationship expresses marital oneness, it is something that is exclusively and uniquely reserved for husbands and wives. Unmarried people have no more business engaging in sex than unlicensed people have driving cars.
6. Oneness doesn’t mean you lose your individuality; it means you learn how to be part of a team. Oneness doesn’t make you less of a person, it makes you more of a person. It doesn’t lessen your identity, it deepens it.
7. For oneness to happen between a husband and a wife, there must be a “leaving.” That’s the truth of Genesis 2:24. Though it’s spoken in reference to the man, it is equally true for the woman. There can be no bonding to one another until a certain degree of separation from their family of origin has occurred. In other words, you can’t have your own family until you’ve left the one you grew up in. Parents would do well to remember this and realize that sometimes the greatest gift they can give their married children is to back off and let them establish their homes and families.
Our Father created us for intimate relationships and marriage is the ultimate intimacy. In it, we know and are known. In it, husbands and wives find that as they receive each other, they are receiving themselves (McGuiggan).