One Flesh

gen2_24And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. 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.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. (Genesis 2:21-25)

Marriage as God intended it has its roots in the book of Genesis. A genetic male is united with a genetic female in a lifelong commitment that requires love and mutual submission. The result of this union is the making of a new family.

Let’s apply some mathematics to this definition of marriage. It’s not man + woman = one flesh. Rather, the equation is man times woman equals one flesh. The married couple does not become each other in a literal/biological sense, but there is an obvious complimenting of personality, thought, and strengths over time. In a healthy marriage, the man benefits from becoming a better version of himself as he lives out the Biblical meaning of his manhood. The woman becomes a better version of herself as she experiences the same. As the man loves and cares for his wife and is sensitive to her, he grows. As the woman respects her husband and comes under his Biblical leadership, she grows.

Genesis 2:24 is quoted in Matthew 19, Mark 10, 1 Corinthians 6, and Ephesians 5. The Lord Jesus quotes it, showing that this is valid for today. Paul the apostle quotes it, stating that it speaks of the union between Jesus Christ and His church. These quotations demonstrate how foundational this verse really is.

As a man treats his wife as Jesus treats His church, the marriage is blessed. As a woman responds to her husband the way the church is supposed to respond to Christ, the marriage is blessed.

For Further Review

1.  Re-read the first paragraph in today’s thoughts. How does this definition of marriage and family shape your thinking and actions with regard to your own family?

2.  What is a healthy marriage? Use your own words to describe what it looks like.

3.  Write out a prayer that is on your heart right now as you either pray for your own relationship or for another’s.

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