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Monday, August 16, 2010 | Comments (4)

No sane Christian questions the origin of the family. The Bible lays it out before us in unambiguous terms. God created the family—period. But why? God answered that question in the Old Testament long before any New Testament writers took up their pen. To get the divine perspective on the family, we have to go back, way back, to the very beginning.

The opening chapters of Genesis provide unparalleled clarity about origins. That’s what the name Genesis means, beginnings, or origins. In Genesis we discover the beginning of the universe: time, space, and matter; the beginning of human history: mankind, sin, and redemption; and the beginning of culture: customs, languages, and nations. At the center and heart of human history, the formation of the family may be the most important account in the entire book of Genesis. Take a look at the first family.

According to the Bible, God Himself ordained the family as the basic building block of human society, because He deemed it “not good that man should be alone” (Gen. 2:18). That verse stands out starkly in the biblical Creation narrative, because as Scripture describes the successive days of the Creation week, the text punctuates each stage of Creation with the words “God saw that it was good” (Gen. 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25 italics added). The Goodness of Creation emerges as the main theme of Genesis 1, and the statement “God saw that it was good” is repeated again and again, like the refrain after each stanza of a lengthy song. Then finally, after the sixth day of Creation, we’re told with emphasis, “God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good” (v. 31, italics added).

But then Genesis 2:18 takes us back to the end of day six and reveals that just before God ended his creative work, just one thing was left that was “not good.” Every aspect of the entire universe was finished. Each galaxy, star, planet, rock, grain of sand, and tiny molecule was in place. God had created all the species of living things. Adam had already given “names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field” (v. 20). But one glaring, unfinished aspect of Creation remained: “For Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him” (v. 20).

Adam was alone and incomplete. He needed a helper, a complement, a wife to share in the task of filling and taking dominion over the earth.

But before God introduced Adam to his bride, He prepared Adam to appreciate her. God paraded all the animals before Adam so he could personally inspect and name each one (vv. 19, 20). Adam had to be impressed with God’s provision for the animal kingdom—each animal with a suitable mate. At the same time, his curiosity had to have been aroused—“Where is my helper?”

God intended man to rule over the animal kingdom, not find fellowship in it. Adam discovered the radical distinction God made between himself and all animals. Remember, God made man with the capacity to enjoy a meaningful relationship. That unique characteristic is not found in any other creature in the physical world. Man alone enjoys the unique privilege of sharing relationships with others. Since no animal was equipped to meet his need for fellowship—Adam needed an image-bearing human to meet that need—another act of Creation was required.

Therefore God’s final act of creation on day six—the crowning step that made everything in the universe perfect—He accomplished by forming Eve from Adam’s rib. Then “He brought her to the man” (v. 22).

Seeing Eve for the very first time must have been an exhilarating experience for Adam—imagine the smile on his face when God introduced them. Adam exclaimed, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” (Genesis 2:23). Adam had found a life-partner with whom he could enjoy fellowship and share responsibilities.

God commanded them to “be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:28). A single man couldn’t accomplish such monumental tasks, especially the task of multiplying and filling the earth, unless he had a companion.

In bringing Adam and Eve together, God established the family for all time. That first union became the pattern and purpose for every marriage to follow. They were indeed the first family. The Genesis narrative says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (v. 24). Jesus quoted that verse in Matthew 19:5 to underscore the sanctity and permanence of marriage as an institution. A pastor quotes that same verse practically every time he unites two believers in a Christian marriage ceremony. It is a reminder that God ordained marriage and the family—they were His idea—and therefore they are sacred in His sight. Marriage and the family should be sacred in our sight, too.

So, it is no mere accident of history that family relationships have always been the very nucleus of all human civilization. According to Scripture, that is precisely the way God designed it to be. The truth is quite the opposite of the liberal opinion—it doesn’t take a village. It takes one man, one woman, and the Spirit of God who unites them together.


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#1  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Monday, August 16, 2010at 4:38 PM

It's awesome that we humans are master over animals. Adam was created to

have soul, a knowledge to name animals, have feelings, live, breathe, made in God's image. God planned it in order and He made that special with a woman from Adam's rib. Special! I agree if anyone did not believe this, how else would it be? No 4 races, we all came from Adam

and Eve. It's a very important to know this and show others in a lovely way. God made man and woman. They were smart and had a healthy relationship cause God made them without sin and naked with no shame. Awesome goodness is the Lord God!!! He made them to enjoy God and to enjoy His works of Creation. They had a grand time in the

garden until the sad day, Eve picked the fruit from the tree of Knowledge of good and evil which both Eve and Adam ate.

Am I off the point?

God bless

#2  Posted by Jorge Alvarado  |  Monday, August 16, 2010at 5:03 PM

I find the story of that "first family" fascinating. First of all, the fact that there is very little mention of how God interacted with them.

After the fall, we don't hear from God much. Eve remembers God in Gen 4:1, but even then, it sounds kind of distant.

Then, after Able is born, and both him and Cain grow old enough to bring sacrifices to God (I wonder if God demanded it of them, or if Adam and Eve taught them it would be a good idea) we read of God actually talking to Cain. Yet it did not do much good.

Also interesting is the fact that it isn't until Gen 4:26 that people BEGAN to call upon the name of the LORD.

Man, we think we have problems now, that first family had it rough!.

#3  Posted by Rick White  |  Tuesday, August 17, 2010at 10:24 PM

The Bible indeed teaches that "God Himself ordained the family as the basic building block of human society". And I believe that is also why it is one of Satan's most principal targets. Just look at the many different angles Satan uses to attack the family. Gay marriage, abortion, pornography, animal rights, the theory of evolution, divorce, drugs, alcohol abuse, etc. He seems to really use his full quiver of arrows in his direct attacks on the family. I think he understands how important the family is to God. I hope we Christians also understand the importance of the family and continue to use biblical principles to do battle to protect and defend it. I think too many times we take our families for granted. We also consider many of these attacks on the family as political issues rather than spiritual issues. I commend GTY for making this a priority issue in living the Christian life to the glory of God.

#4  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Wednesday, August 18, 2010at 9:09 AM

Hi Folks:

I think that it is also instructive that when God made man in his own image he chose to use the union of a man and woman to express that image. The joining into one flesh speaks to so many theological issues. For instance, the prohibition against the woman pastor/ teacher is because the married woman is to be under the authority of her husband. For Adam was first formed and then Eve... she was deceived in the transgression. Since man appeared to understand that he was disobeying, he has been charged with the teaching ministry and is judged based upon it, while the woman is judged on being a mother to her children. So that women are to learn in "silence" and are to turn to their husband for answers. It is also an issue of headship as well, for we see that the Son is subject to the Father, and the Holy Spirit is subject to the Son. And in the Body of Christ we see that the Messiah is head of the Church. We are said to be "one" in Christ. And as the "Shema" says "Hear O Israel the Lord your God the Lord is one" the same word used for "one" there is used to express the union of the man and woman, because together they are "echad" (i.e. a compound unity vs. an absolute singularity). And the Love which is suppose to be expressed in the union of the man with his companion, is that which is that expressed in the Godhead. Do you feel the l o v e ? Just a thought.