We can dig deeper when thinking about the purpose of marriage.
Back to our verse in Genesis – It is not good that man should be alone. I will make a helper fit for him. (Gen 2:18)
The context in Genesis 1 reminds us that male and female are made in the image of God. Should we pause and consider what this means for marriage?
Look at 1:26 – ‘God said let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over the all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in his own image in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them’ (1:26-27)
In God’s creation of Man he very clearly gives a mandate to rule.
It is both for the man and the woman as the second half of verse 27 mentions both male and female.
Humans are given the responsibly to rule the earth for God.
The idea is repeated in verse 28 as man and woman are told to ‘be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion [over it]’
Stealing from another good writer on the Biblical view of marriage, Andreas Kostenberger (God, Marriage and Family, Page 34) says:
Human beings in this sense are ‘like God’. Just as God rules over a large dominion, so humanity is given charge over the entire earth to rule it for God.
It helps us understand the idea of stewardship as man and woman are divinely appointed caretakers of the earth. Significantly it is not man alone – but man and woman who share this joint stewardship. Together they are to exercise this rule according to the will of God. Together they are multiply and be stewards of the children given to them by God. Together they are to subdue the earth by division of labour which assigns the man the primary responsibility to provide for his wife and children and the woman primary responsibility for the care and nurture of her family.
No it is not good for a man to be alone – because God’s purpose in marriage is that his ‘helper’, his wife will share the joint responsibly of ruling for God.
Do you notice that it is God’s idea that woman was created for man?
It was God who perceived Adam’s aloneness as the text gives no indication that Adam was unhappy in his state. It was God who takes the initiative and fashions a being that is compatible as a companion for Adam. God made one (and only one) suitable helper for Adam and she was female. God made the women, choosing to take a rib from the man (after he just displayed he could create anything he wanted from nothing).
And so in the creation of Eve, God demonstrates his plan for Adam’s marriage (and all subsequent marriages) which is heterosexual and exclusive.
So we can say that marriage is truly God’s idea. Marriage is at the heart of being made in God’s image.
Next Post: The Purpose of Marriage – to relate sexually!