God Instituted Marriage

"And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." (Genesis 2:23-24)

“The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman because she was taken out of Man.” For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”(Genesis 2:23-24)

Marriage is the very first institution that God gave to mankind. God first showed Adam his need for a wife and then He Himself provided for that need. What a beautiful picture of the providence of God!

We should notice the process that God undertook in providing a mate for Adam. In Genesis 2:18, God sees the man’s need and declares that it is not good for him to be alone. In verses 19-20, God presents the animals that He has created and bestows the privilege to Adam of naming them. But there was no helper fit for the man. The idea here is not that God presented all of these animals for Adam to choose a “pet” from. God already said in verse 18 that He was going to make a helper for the man. This process of observing all of God’s creatures with their own mates would doubtlessly have made Adam aware that he himself had no mate of his own.

So, God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man. What an awesome thing to know that we can sleep deeply as God provides for our needs! As Adam slept, God took from the man’s own body and formed the woman from his side. God then presented the woman to her new husband and He joined the two together. Adam, in his gratitude for God’s provision, gladly receives her as he had his own body. Verse 24 summarizes the magnitude of the institution of marriage and defines what it truly means.

From start to finish, God is the One Who perceived the need, showed the need to Adam, and then provided for that need. It was God’s actions that brought the very first marriage into being and it was He Who defined what that marriage would be. This is why man must not tamper with the sanctity of marriage nor is he at liberty to redefine it in any way. God Almighty has stipulated what marriage is and what it means. This is also why we should never take the dissolution of any marriage between a husband and wife lightly.

God the Father would again present a bride to Someone in a similar way that He did for Adam. The Church would be called the “Bride of Christ” and would be described as His “Body.” If you are a part of the Body of Christ, then you are “flesh of His flesh” and “bone of His bone.” Jesus loves us and receives us just as He receives and loves His own body. Blessed are they who are called to celebrate with Him at His marriage supper (Revelation 19:9).

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,


[This post was originally published August 14, 2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]


2 responses

  1. This sounds silly and not something that I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about. Probably because in the whole scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. But I wonder what Adam was thinking when he said “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” God must have told him what happens as far as raising children and the children growing up and leaving. Adam had no experience to draw upon when he said that.

    You have a wonderful exposition of marriage in your post. Indeed, the church is the Bride of Christ. In fact, if we look at the Israelite marriage covenant, we can see correlations with respect to the Church and Christ.

    Great post!


  2. Interesting thought! Some (Matthew Henry in his commentary, for example) have suggested that verse 24 might be the inspired words of Moses, written in explanation and as a definition of God’s intention for marriage and a part of the overall narrative, rather than words which Adam himself actually spoke. Personally, I think that Adam did in fact speak these words and that verses 23 and 24 form a sort of original “wedding vow” which God uttered and then Adam repeated (much as ministers do today when they perform wedding ceremonies). Can you imagine what it must have been like for God Himself to be the One presiding over the wedding ceremony?

    You certainly do bring up an interesting point, though! If God had not yet revealed to Adam how procreation and childbirth worked; and how children would grow up and have families of their own, Adam was probably a little unclear about what exactly this all meant.


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