Genesis 2:20b-25 But for Adam[f] no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[g] and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[h] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” 24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. 25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
Marriage was God’s idea. He instituted it. What God founded, from the very beginning, as the bedrock for all of human history, what He created as the cornerstone for each family was a marriage between a man and a woman. That is what He designed, and that is what He blessed. Any other expression is outside of God’s intended pattern for the family.
Adam wasn’t supposed to do life alone, and we see in Genesis 2:20b, that he was unable to do it alone. He needed someone to help him. If he hadn’t needed help to do what God had set out for him to accomplish, there wouldn’t have been a need for a helper to complete that work. No suitable helper was found, so Eve was created, and the marital relationship was established.
Just as in the Godhead, there is a spirit of cooperation and mutual submission so that each member of the Trinity can carry out His assignments, so too, in marriage, there is a partnership produced by cooperation and submission that enables the advancement of God’s agenda for that relationship. The overall purpose of marital oneness is to advance God’s agenda while reflecting God’s image in the world.
Eve, who possessed the image of God, could help Adam, who possessed the image of God, accomplish what God had assigned to him and vice versa, which would reveal the image of God in the world. So, I would say that oneness in marriage begins with a recognition and responsibility to enable my spouse to accomplish all God desires for him to accomplish.
- I will say it this way: When there is biblical oneness, there will be constant SUPPORT for your spouse.
If I believe that God brought Thom and me together for these past almost 23 years, then I have to embrace that God wants to use me in his life to help him accomplish God’s plans for him and vice versa. And if I believe that, then I understand there will be moments when my plans and dreams might need to be put on the back burner. I will embrace that there will be times and seasons which my needs and desires will need to be set aside so that I can help my husband accomplish the call of God. I might need to assist with prayer support, practical support, even sacrificial support, and the same would be true for him of me. Listen, my call to preach and lead was loaded with a lot of sacrifices that Thom has had to make along the way. His support of me has contributed to my desire to support him in all things which in turn has enhanced our oneness.
- I would submit to you that When there is biblical oneness, you will have SEPARATED from your family of origin to make your spouse your earthly priority.
This particular point flows from the fact that a man and a woman are to leave their father and mother in order to come together. This is what the Bible says. When you marry, you leave behind your father and mother as the covering for your life, as the counselor for your problems, and the source for your comfort. In a Christian marriage, there is a separation from a reliance on your nuclear family and a transferring of that reliance to your spouse so that a new way of navigating life’s challenges is formed. Your relationship with your parents moves from the top spot in your earthly experience, to the second spot as your relationship with your spouse becomes the main life-giving relationship in your day to day. What God has established is that your spouse is the first person you should be able to turn to and that when you do, it will strengthen your oneness. In the tough times, you are to lean on God and each other first.
We see here in Genesis 2:24, the “Leave and Cleave Principle.” There is a shift away from reliance on your parents as you leave their authority and you invest in uniting with, in cleaving to your spouse. So, you have to separate and seek to be STUCK TOGETHER with your spouse. This sticking together is what the Bible calls being united or cleaving to your spouse.
Cleaving is hard work. Cleaving means that you will not give yourselves an easy out of the marriage. Cleaving has nothing to do with feelings. It has everything to do with commitment and hard work. It means showing up for your spouse every day. Cleaving means Thom is stuck with me even when he doesn’t like me! It is a tenacious attitude that maintains, “I won’t let you go” no matter what. Christians must not go into marriage thinking that if it doesn’t work out, they will just step out and move on.
Cleaving means viewing marriage as a covenant and not a contract. It is the kind of covenant that God has with His people. It is a no-matter-what kind of tenacity. In a contract, if one party violates the agreement it is null and void, and you can exit. But in a covenant, there is a commitment that goes beyond the circumstance, beyond the stress, beyond the grievance of the moment. If you have made Jesus Christ the Cornerstone of your marriage, and if you are actively seeking to support each other, and if you have prioritized your relationship as number one after God, you will be able to get through any pressure, hardship, disappointment and difficulty that life throws at you. That’s why the marriage vow says, “’Til death us do part.” That’s why the pastor always used to say, “What God has joined, let no one put asunder.” It should be impossible to separate a couple that has truly become one.
Finally, When there is biblical oneness there will be a SACRED INTIMACY that invites and enables vulnerability and trust.
Genesis 2:25 says that Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed. They were totally vulnerable with one another. There were no barriers to their intimacy. I’m not just talking about physical intimacy, but emotional and spiritual intimacy as well. Eve wasn’t afraid of Adam. She didn’t have to tip-toe around him because she was afraid she might make him mad and then have to suffer his wrath. Adam never wondered what version of Eve he would get when she came home from picking berries or whatever she was doing before sin entered the picture. Eve was never afraid of sharing her thoughts with Adam for fear he would tell her she was stupid. There was no suspicion of each other, no name-calling, no reckless words to diminish or demean each other, no threat of being belittled for being themselves. They were each other’s SAFE PLACE. And in that environment, they could thrive.
Sin had stepped in and destroyed their intimacy with God and one another. Division disrupted their intimacy. They argued. They blamed each other for what had happened rather than taking personal responsibility, for the disruption they had created. They covered themselves up, closing themselves off from God and one another. Intimacy was gone. Vulnerability was destroyed.
When God covered Adam and Eve’s sin, I believe He gave them what they needed to start over not only in their relationship with Him, but with each other. They didn’t throw in the towel after what happened, and it was no small thing. It changed their lives forever. Because of their sin, God relocated them outside of the Garden, but He didn’t wash His hands of them. Through them, the human race began. They found a way to recover their relationship because they allowed God to cover their sin.
Has some sin disrupted your marital intimacy? Is vulnerability gone between you two? Is there mistrust and doubt? I tell you on the authority of God’s Word that the sacred intimacy between you can be restored. You can go on from here. With God’s help you can build a new kind of life together. Can you recommit to stick together through thick and thin, through the ups and downs, through trials and troubles? Can you prioritize your relationship afresh, placing it above all other earthly relationships in your life? Can you find new and practical ways to support each other so that each of you can become the version of yourself as each of you follows Christ?
You will remember that Adam and Eve walked with God before sin entered their lives. When they did, when that relationship with intact, so was their marital relationship. You want a better marriage? Draw closer to Jesus. The closer each of you grows to Christ, the closer you will go together and that growing together, will enable you to move your marriage forward into the place God intends for you to be which is together, in Him.
Support your spouse. Separate appropriately from any other relationship that threatens the health of your marriage. Stick together through every season. Cultivate a sacred intimacy by being each other’s safe place and by walking with God, together.