Society’s concept of the home is evolving according to some sociologists, anthropologists, and feminists. The Judaeo-Christian idea of the home as consisting of a father and mother who are married and committed to one another for life with the children they have given birth to or legally adopted has become old fashioned and out of date. It no longer meets the needs of our changing and progressive lifestyle, some of these “experts” are saying. Various forms have been suggested to take the place of the family as set forth in God’s word.
Some have suggested that marriage licenses should be renewable every four or five years. If a relationship is not working out, it would be easy to discard it without having to go through a messy divorce. Others are suggesting alternatives to the biblical model such as polygamous or polyandrous arrangements. A former first lady of our nation even advocated that children should be allowed to divorce their parents. Several states have now legalized the perversion of same sex marriages. A growing number today are ignoring all marriage concepts and are simply living together without complying with any societal or legal standards. The Bible plainly calls this fornication (Hebrews 13:4).
God ordained the home on the sixth day of creation. Therefore, the home is a divine institution. The Creator of man knows man and his needs better than any man or group of men ever will. He created a basic unit of society suited to the needs of man in all ages. No improvement upon it can be made! Instead of trying to adapt the home to manʼs changing ideas, man needs to submit himself to Godʼs plan. Only then will he find happiness and fulfillment. Only then will society have the stability and security provided by its basic building block, the home. Only then will the myriad of problems in society which have their root in the dissolution of the home disappear.
When God had created the heavens and the earth and all things in them, He created man on the sixth day when all was in readiness for him. Man was the crowning act of Godʼs creation (Genesis 1:26-28). He formed man out of the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7). He placed man in the beautiful Garden of Eden and gave him satisfying work to do – to tend and keep the garden (Genesis 2:15).
God then said: “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him” (Gen. 2:18, NKJV). God caused all the animals to pass before the man, Adam, and Adam named them. This interesting statement follows: “But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him” (Genesis 2:20). Man needed a companion on his level. Not only did he need someone suitable for him physically, but he also needed someone on his intellectual, emotional, and spiritual level.
None of the animals was able to meet this need. Therefore, “the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man, He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man” (Genesis 2:21-22). God united the first man and the first woman in marriage on the day the human race was created. At this time He laid down His basic law of marriage for all ages: “Therefore, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
Let us note the following conclusions from this inspired account: first, God created a woman for the man to be his “helper comparable to him.” Only a woman can fulfill the God given purpose of marriage “to be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it.”
The idea that another man can fill this need is ludicrous, contrary to nature, and a perversion of Godʼs plan. Is it any wonder that God called it “an abomination” and pronounced the death penalty for it in the Law of Moses (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13)? Under the Law of Christ, Paul paints the picture of manʼs descent into sin as reaching its lowest point in the practice of homosexuality and lesbianism (Romans 1:26-32).
Second, let us note that God created only one woman for the one man. This writer has lived in nations where polygamy is widely practiced. A frequent defense of this manmade arrangement is that a male needs more than one female to satisfy his sexual needs. God who made man knew what was best for the happiness of both men and women and so ordained one wife for one man and one husband for one woman.
Our Savior restored Godʼs original plan and purpose for marriage when He quoted this plan as stated in Genesis 2:24. As the Son of God who has all authority in heaven and on earth, He made the matter even plainer by adding the word “twain” or “two.” “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, ʻFor this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?ʼ So then, they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:4-6, NKJV).
Third, we note that in marriage a man leaves the home in which he grew up and establishes his own home. He is now the head of his house (Ephesians 5:23). His wife is no longer subject to her parents, but her submission is to her husband (Ephesians 5:22). When one marries, he will continue to love and respect his parents, but he is now responsible for his own home. Parents will continue to love their married children and be available to help them when called upon, but they must respect the home their children have created and not interfere in it.
Finally, we note that Godʼs marriage plan is for life. What God has joined together, man must not separate! Paulʼs reference to marriage under the Law makes it clear that a lifetime commitment was Godʼs original intention (Romans 7:1-4). We might summarize Godʼs marriage plan succinctly by saying, “Marriage as God ordained it consists of one man and one wife for life!” Jesus gave only one exception to this law: “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for fornication, and marries another commits adultery; and whosoever marries her who is put away commits adultery” (Matthew 19:9). Only when oneʼs marriage partner is sexually unfaithful to him, does the innocent partner have the right to divorce his mate and remarry. Any other instance of divorce and remarriage is sin.
We must teach Godʼs plan of marriage to our children and grandchildren! It must be taught to the church because more and more members of the church are either ignoring or rejecting the simple, scriptural teaching on this vital subject. We must also teach the world because few indeed today have a clue about what the Bible says regarding this most basic of all institutions – the home as God ordained it.