In the next couple of weeks, in celebration of the month of love and Valentine’s Day, we are going to explore some love stories of some of the Bible’s famous couples!
Have you ever imagined actually being in the Garden of Eden before the fall of man? Can you picture the beauty of the plants, the brightness of the fruits and vegetables, and the perfection of Adam? I would love to see how perfect the human body was before sin entered the world, wouldn’t you?
Now consider this: you take a long nap, wake up, and find a beautiful companion next to you! Don’t we all wish that the quest for companionship was that easy?!? Men, you get to take a long, tranquil nap and wake up to the woman of your dreams! Ladies, there’s no wondering, “Is he the one?” “Could this guy who just offered to buy me a burger be the man I’m supposed to marry?” Nope, you just appear in front of the most handsome man you’ve ever seen. Now that is an ideal situation! No mind games… no waiting… no wondering if this person is the right man or woman for me. Just POOF – here she is – or – POOF – here he is! How amazing that must have been! See their story below:
Genesis 2:18-25 – “Then the LORD God said, ‘it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’ Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,
‘This at last is 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 his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”
And so we read about the first marriage in history. After God created man and woman, He created the institution of marriage. No, there wasn’t a minister present – God was sufficient. Two other human witnesses weren’t required – the Trinity was enough. No wedding license had to be obtained from the Register of Deeds office – just God’s stamp of approval.
The two people God created were placed together in the garden to be partners for life. Adam was given dominion over all living creatures, but he needed companionship and someone to work alongside him, and boy did God deliver!
Lately, the institution of marriage has been under great attack. Instead of being seen as a covenantal institution between a man, woman, and God, it is now seen more as a companionate arrangement which can be terminated if the person I married is no longer filling my life with joy and happiness – and if so, I can leave and find someone who will. Of course, not all divorces are that cut and dry. In fact, many of them come after both people have endured a lot of pain and I don’t want to make light of that.
What is seen on television and portrayed in movies is the idea that marriage exists to make me happy. A good marriage certainly can be a happy experience, but even the best marriages will have valleys and mountains. Ask anyone who’s been married more than twenty years (or more than a week, for that matter) if they have been happy with each other every day and I guarantee you they will laugh, scoff, and/or shout, “No!”
Marriage was created by God to bring glory to Himself and this brings me a lot of comfort. If the way I treated Eric was solely based on how happy he was making me – or how I was feeling at the time – we would be in non-stop conflict. But, since I know that treating my husband with respect, regardless of the circumstances, brings glory to God, I have far more motivation to treat him well!
It’s easy to forget that my marriage is ultimately not about me. That’s when I find myself feeling sorry for what my marriage doesn’t give me (e.g., constant happiness, laughs, and emotional warmth) instead of thanking God for the wonderful companion He gave me and the consistent blessings He continues to give me as His child (e.g., peace, assurance, a place to cast my cares, etc.).
Yes, it would be nice if our spouse landed beside us one day out of the blue and directly from the hand of God. It is seldom that easy these days – but, God still guides His children. He orders our footsteps (Psalms 37:23) and He will guide us forever (Psalms 48:14) – including in the quest of finding a spouse.
Years down the road, when you are married and you are struggling to remember why you got married in the first place, consider the story of Adam and Eve. Remember that God, the creator of the universe, created a perfect world and still saw the need for male/female companionship. Marriage is good! It was created to be good. Our sinful nature, inherited through Adam when he disobeyed God, is the problem that makes marriage difficult. When we submit our will to God’s will, humble ourselves, put aside our selfishness, and show each other unconditional love and respect, God is glorified and our marriages are far more joyous and fulfilling!