Marriage as God Designed It

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God "brought her to the man."—Genesis 2:22

With two weddings coming up in my extended family, it's time to look again at the first wedding. The first wedding was conducted by God himself. Six times, after creating something, God said, "It's good." But once, there was something in creation that was "not good." 

All the animals had partners, but Adam did not have a partner. That was not good. So in His own special way, God created a partner for Adam. He then brought her to Adam. Then Adam really got excited and exclaimed, "this is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh." God put Adam and Eve together, the first marriage!

Dr. Joseph Zsiros was an exchange professor at Hope College from Sarospatak College in Austria in the late 1940s. In Austria, he had debated with Communists. His life would be in danger if he returned to Austria, so he remained in this country. My father also was a professor at Hope College. Soon, Dr. and Mrs. Zsiros became friends of our family. Dr. Zsiros often referred to his wife as my dear rib—that's not a side issue.   

In chapter one of Genesis, the name by which God revealed himself in Hebrew was "Elohim." That name tells us of his power to create, that he is God Almighty. In chapter two, a new name for God is introduced. It is the name translated Lord, or Jehovah, or Jahweh. The new name introduces us to God who is not only powerful and majestic, but who is a personal God who is willing to enter into relationships with people. He is the God who makes promises and can be depended on to keep them. 

In marriage, promises are made to one another. Marriage is intended to reflect the God who makes promises and keeps them, "for better or for worse, in sickness and in health." Marriage is God's idea. It is the foundation of society. People need to go into marriage realizing that there is no way out. A promise-keeping God found a way when the going got rough. It was the way of self-sacrifice. People who makes promises in marriage will do the same. 

Marriage as God designed it has always been under attack because of sin. That is still true today. But in his grace and mercy, God is still at work. Many marriages today are still "made in heaven." 

May God help us to uphold marriage as God designed it: one man and one woman, loving God and loving each other. 

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