In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth – on the sixth day he created the animals, he created man and he created woman. More than just creating a man and a woman that day God created a union called marriage. In case you missed it and you believe that Adam and Eve did not have an actual wedding, let’s look at those verses in Genesis chapter 2.
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. “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.’” This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
-Genesis 2: 21-24
In verse 22 God brings Eve to Adam, symbolically walking her down the aisle. As her Father he is giving her to Adam in marriage. In verse 23 Adam sees Eve for the first time and is clearly overwhelmed by her existence and possibly her beauty, so he exclaims “at last” and proceeds to say his vows. In verse 24 we see that the wedding is concluded, Adam and Eve are now joined as husband and wife.
So there you have it, the first wedding ordained by God – one man, one woman joined in marriage.
God designed marriage because he declared that it was not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). He saw that Adam was alone, and unlike all his other creations Adam had no counterpart. When God created Eve he decided to take the rib from Adam’s side to show that Eve would be equal to Adam – yet different. Man and Woman are both designed by God in his image, while we are made to be equally valuable we are still equally different. God created man to be the head of a marriage to protect and shield his wife – to care for her. Woman was created to be man’s helper – not just in household duties but to help man reach his potential and understand his purpose. Even though it is said that woman is the weaker of the two sexes our weakness exudes beauty – because a man can value his wife for all the characteristics that God has given exclusively to her (1 Peter 3:7).
God knew that we would have needs so he created spouses to help in fulfilling those needs, but our spouse cannot do everything. Like God is a trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) so are humans, we exist in mind, body, and soul. All three parts of us have needs – our body, sexual needs to be fulfilled by our spouse, our soul needs a soul mate also to be fulfilled by our spouse, but our mind/spirit needs God. Spouses are made to be good for us but not God to us. Even though our spouses compliment us, bring us joy, and make us happy they cannot satisfy our every need. We cannot expect our spouses to satisfy us to the point of wholeness – only God can do that (Psalm 90:14). In order to be whole and have our spiritual needs fulfilled we need to pursue God and have a relationship with him exclusive to marriage.
Marriage is designed to be fun and lasting, it was meant to bring us great joy. In marriage we are called to mutually submit and love one another out of reverence for God (Ephesians 5:21). Mutual submission is needed to bring on a deeper intimacy in marriage that will strengthen the bond. While some marriages do experience pain God’s idea is that the bond between husband and wife would be so strong that nothing but death could break it. We know that in this world people divorce and sever their marital bonds but that was not in God’s plan.
God’s plan for marriage is a man and woman, united together in Holy Matrimony – serving him while living and weathering life together until they part ways in death. It is a holy and unbreakable covenant to God and to each other. A happy marriage begins with two people that are satisfied and complete in God. We should challenge ourselves to live out God’s plan for our marriage – to focus less on the wedding day and more making marriage work.
With God at the center his plan for marriage can still be accomplished in this world.