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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Misplaced Instructions: Day 4

Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man and He brought her to the man. 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. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife And they will become one flesh.        
Genesis 2:22-24


Why do people marry? The reasons and combinations of reasons are many, but let me take a stab at some of the more common ones: physical attraction, financial and/or social security, fear of being alone, fear that you may never be asked again (this one has been documented in women), all your friends are getting married. 

According to this passage, the reason to marry is because we are being called by God to a “one flesh” union with another. This new union of two individuals is the impetus for a new set of priorities beginning with the man’s whose first obligation is now to his wife and to her needs, even before his duty to his parents. 

The physical union is the complementary joining of opposites. And in marriage that part comes easily for most. The intellectual, emotional and spiritual joining is a lifetime project. How many newlyweds are shocked to realize—and fairly soon into their marriage—that they are different in most every way?  

On the other hand, there is an old saying: “If a husband and wife agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary.” That is meant to be humorous, but it gets to the fact that, in bringing two individuals together, God was up to something much more profound than their immediate happiness. Unfortunately, however, when the first differences surface or the initial bumps are experienced—many take it as their signal to bail. 

The first marriage in the Garden wasn’t marred by ego, selfishness or fear of exploitation. (No doubt Adam found Eve’s chatty ways delightful and Eve perfectly understood Adam’s moods!) However, the Fall has come and gone and we live in a different world. Yet the calling is the same. Two people—more  different than they know—are brought together by God for companionship and mutual growth… and something else. 

Nancy Shirah    

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