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And He Himself gave some to be....evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ...
- Ephesians 4:11-12

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Location: The Hill Country of Texas

Pastor - Providence Reformed Baptist Church
Director - TIME in the Word Ministries

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Male and Female

TIME in the Word - Daily Devotional
Together for Inspiration, Motivation, and Encouragement

Verse of the Day - Genesis 2:21-22
And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of 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.

Daily Scripture Reading - Genesis 2

Puritan Catechism
Question #48 - What is required in the third commandment?

Answer - The third commandment requires the holy and reverent use of God's names (Ps. 29:2), titles, attributes (Rev. 15:3-4), ordinances (Eccl. 5:1), Word (Ps. 138:2), and works (Job 36:24; Deut. 28:58-59).

Devotional Thoughts
We have asked the question "Why were we created?" and while the answer was brief and not nearly as in depth as it could have been we have seen that we were created for fellowship, stewardship, and worship. God created us to worship and glorify Him, to fellowship with Him, and to care for His creation and act on His behalf in the world. Today we will look at an even more specific question. Why were we created male and female?

Over the course of the next few devotionals I want to give a threefold answer. God created us in His image as male and female so that we might have: Lifetime Partnership, Lineage through Parenting, and the opportunity of Living a Parable. As male and female we prove God's wisdom, creativity, and goodness - and we have a true opportunity to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Today then we will start with the first part of this answer. Why were we created male and female? For lifetime partnership through marriage.

Lifetime Partnership

Marriage as Jesus defined it is a union between one man and one woman lasting a lifetime (Matt 19:3-8). It can be dissolved naturally only by the death of one of the partners. No other relationship or living arrangement can be identified Biblically as marriage. This means that no matter what the government, the school , or our communities tell us we know and believe and hold to be true the fact that GOD established the first marriage and that HE defines marriage as the covenantal union of one man and one woman for life.

As a union we must understand that marriage is not a give and take relationship. This is contrary to popular belief. Marriage books tell us to give and take, that it takes two to tangle, or tango. But marriage is never presented in the Bible as a relationship used to take something from another. Lust takes. Greed takes. Pride and selfishness take. Love gives. Marriage then is a covenantal relationship wherein we have the privilege of giving ourselves completely to and for another person.

As we will move further into this study we will see that in order to fulfill our God given roles within marriage we must understand that what God wants us to do is not contingent upon what our spouse does or does not do. As a spouse, we are to sacrificially give ourselves to and for our mate. This is true love. This is commitment. This is obedience to the Word of God.

In this relationship we have been given to one another as a companion and helper. The wife finds in her husband a true companion to walk with her through all of life, providing for her, protecting her, and leading her as the spiritual head of the home. The husband finds in his wife a helper, one who can assist him in reaching his potential for the Lord. His ministry is to lead and care for his family. Her ministry is her husband, family, and home.

Let us not get ahead of ourselves though. As we look at the Creation account given in Genesis we find that all that God created was very good. The first indication that all was not very good is found when God sees that man is alone. In Genesis 2:18 God declares, "It is not good that man should be alone." So God made a "helper" comparable to him.

Eve was not less a person, nor was she beneath Adam. She was comparable to him, a partner in the God given tasks of subduing the earth and ruling over creation with God. The point was that man could not do it alone. It was not good for man to be alone. And the solution, that which would make it all very good, was for God to create a woman - to give Adam a helper. One to stand along side him and help him in his service to God.

As God brought Eve to Adam and there they were joined in the first marriage, everyone believes that the marriage was perfect. Indeed, there was no sin, no curse, and no in-laws! :)

Seriously though, as Jesus defined and defended marriage in Matthew 19 he pointed right back to the creation and this account. From Old Testament Scripture He made the case that because God created us male and female, a man should leave his father and mother, be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is often confused and clouded over as we try to understand what God accomplishes in our marriages. What does it mean that God sees marriage as a man joining himself to a woman and the two becoming one flesh? What does "one flesh" mean?

The usual answer is that joining and becoming one flesh refers to sexual intimacy, but we see that this is not the case from Scripture. There is more to marriage than sex. And one can have sex without being married - hence all of the prohibitions in Scripture against fornication and immorality.

What we see is that God joins a husband and wife. He makes of them one flesh. The man joins himself to his wife through the act of marriage and through the physical union which consummates the relationship, but it is God who joins them as one flesh. We even have in most marriage ceremonies at the end a statement that what God has joined together no man can put asunder. This is Scriptural. God joins us and man cannot take us apart!

When God makes of us one flesh this is used to signify that He has made us complete and that our relationship is, humanly speaking, unbreakable. God intends marriage to be permanent - for life, and the only reasons we find that this is not the case in Scripture we find sin at the root and as athe cause for the destruction of a marriage covenant. This is not a contract where one party can violate the agreement and go his or her way. God joins us. He makes us one - physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We are "glued" together - where once there were two now we are joined. We have become part of one another.

This simple Biblical truth destroys most of the things that cause conflict in marriage - for most conflicts arise out of one of the partners doing his or her own thing, living a separate life from their mate. This is the whole myth that we are individuals and need time to ourselves. What a load of selfish bunk! God created us male and female because we need each other and in marriage He completes us.

As a side note, Paul makes it clear that there are those who God has created to be single. They do not need a mate in order to fulfill His purposes for them. This is a great gift we are told. So not everyone will be married. However, since we are talking about marriage and not singles here we must see that for those who are married it is God who has created and established this institution and if we are to succeed we must follow His design and plan for us in this union.

So much that we are taught today simply does not align with the Scripture. Some of that is the fault of our culture and society, but most of the blame lies at the door of the church where we have embraced feminism and denied masculinity and we have destroyed God's plan and roles for us in marriage. The church must stand up and speak up because for too long we have sat down and shut up! The Bible is CLEAR and speaks plainly about marriage. Succeeding at marriage is not a secret nor is it truly that difficult! Ah ha, you say, the marriage books in the Christian book store tell us that marriage demands work and it is hard and few succeed. Ah, I reply - is that the same book store that promises your best life now? And that teaches you how to get the most for yourself from the Bible and the church and your spouse and your religion? Is that the same book store that is full of books that humanize God, deify man, and minimize sin? Is that the same book store where you can learn all about losing weight for Jesus sake so you can be slim and sexy and glamorous by worldly standards??? I am sure you get the point.

I am not talking about marriage books though I might recommend a few good ones through this study. But for now we must stick to the Word of God. In it we find all that we need for life and godliness, yes and even for marriage. And to start, today we find that God created us male and female so that we might enter this union and embark upon the adventure of a lifetime - a lifetime partnership for the glory of God.

Links for Further Study
(links to study each daily topic in more detail if you have the desire and the time)

The Mutual Duties of Husbands and Wives Towards Each Other by Richard Baxter
To Marry or Not To Marry by John MacArthur

Bible Reading For Further Study

Recommended Songs for Worship

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