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Why Is Marriage Intended to be Between a Man and a Woman?

 

Until this point, the Genesis account has referred to the character named Adam as an adam, which means a “human being.”1 The very word adam is a genderless term. However, God declares in Genesis 2:18 that it is not good for the human being to be alone, and He determines to create a counterpart for Adam. This word neged is usually translated as “fit,” “meet,” or “suitable,” but it means “counterpart,” or “one who corresponds to but is opposite from.”2 In other words, God determined to make a helper for Adam who corresponded with Adam—one who was a human being—but who was also opposite from Adam—one who did not have the same tendencies, strengths, or physical features as Adam. To accomplish this, God removed a piece of Adam’s sacred architecture—part of his side, or rib—and from this sacred piece, God created Adam’s counterpart. It is only after this act that the Genesis account begins to refer to Adam in terms of gender.3

In Genesis 2:23–25, Adam declares himself to be an “iysh”—a man—and his counterpart to be “woman,” “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.” At this point, gender is established, and because gender is established, marriage is also established. Adam declares that because God created woman out of man, the two can be united together to become one flesh.4

The union of man and woman is natural because they are of the same flesh. It is possible for the two to become one flesh because they originally emerged out of the same flesh. They began as one, but God separated the two. It took a divine act to separate the two, and according to Matthew 19:4–6, it requires a divine act to once again unite the two. God separated the two when God took the rib from Adam and transformed it into a separate entity, and God united the two in Genesis 2:24 in the act of marriage. This is affirmed in Matthew 19:4–6 where Jesus answered a question regarding marriage and divorce by referring back to Genesis 2:24, saying, “‘Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.’” According to Jesus, marriage exists because God chose to make separate genders—male and female—and it is an act which is made possible only through divine intervention.

Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 19 regarding marriage is important because this is the Creator God Himself expressing His original intent for marriage. According to Jesus, the creation account reveals that marriage is not merely a social contract; it is a sacred act in which the two—man and woman—are made one flesh in a lifelong union.

In addition to providing the purpose and nature of marriage, the Genesis account also provides definitions for the terms “husband” and “wife.” Genesis 2:23–25 defines “wife” as being a woman united to a man through a marriage relationship, “‘[S]he 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.” Likewise, Genesis 3:6 defines “husband” as being a man united to a woman through a marriage relationship, “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” Throughout all of Scripture, there is never an exception to these definitions. Instead, these definitions are re-established by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:2, “But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.” They are further confirmed by the gender-specific language associated with the terms “husband” and “wife” in 1 Corinthians 7:2–3, and 10–17.

Thus, every instance of the terms “husband” and “wife” in Scripture refers to a man or a woman in a heterosexual marriage relationship. There is never an exception. Moreover, the very definition of marriage is established in the creation account as being exclusively heterosexual based upon God’s decision to create mankind as consisting of male and female genders. This is testified to by the Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul. Because of these clearly defined definitions, there can be no such thing as homosexual marriages. It is a self-contradicting title.

 


1. Strong’s, #H120, 9.
2. Strong’s, #H5048, #H5049.
3. Garlow, Jim “Robert Gagnon.”
4. Ibid.

Works Cited

1. Garlow, Jim. “Robert Gagnon: The Bible & Homosexual Practice – The Old Testament – Genesis 1 & 2.” YouTube video, https://vimeo.com/68624959 (accessed June 12, 2014).
2. Strong, James.  Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible.  Nashville:  Crusade Bible Publishers, Inc.
3. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Crossway Bibles, 2001.

 

The above comes from our book Laid Bare . Check it out!

 

Author: Timothy Zebell, 2015