Intro: We have all heard the expression "a marriage made in
Heaven." But, does such an animal exist? Is there such a thing as a perfect marriage?
Probably not! However, there was, at one time, a marriage that was made in paradise. In
the text we have just read, we are given the details of the very first wedding. When this
took place, there was no sin in the world and everything was perfect. The marriage rate
was 100% and the divorce rate was 0%. Then the fall came and sin entered the world. With
sin came all the problems and wretchedness of the curse. With these problems, came trouble
at home. One would spend a long time seeking the perfect marriage. Oh, there are many who
claim that they "never speak a harsh word." Either they are screaming too loud
for the words to be coherent, or they are just plain liars! The truth is, in many cases,
marriage resembles a battlefield more than it does a union of 2 lovers.
Consider these facts. In this century, the divorce rate has risen over
700%. In 1960, there were 393,000 divorces. Now, there are over 1.2 million per year, and
the rate is rising! Now, there is one divorce for every 1.8 marriages. Over one million
children in America will be involved in a divorce case. Of course, there are some
sociologists who say that we can expect to see a decline in the divorce rate in the near
future. Is this because people are developing better social skills and are learning how to
communicate and work through their problems more productively? No! They just aren't
getting married. They are living together instead. Either way, it is a far cry from what
the Lord intended!
Tonight, I want us to look into these verses and think for a while about
A Marriage Made In Paradise. In this passage, God reveals His intentions concerning
marriage and His goals for the married couple. The principles taught here will go a long
way in helping to divorce proof our marriages. Let's take a few minutes this evening to
look into this text and see for ourselves what makes a marriage made in paradise.
I. V. 18 THE LORD'S INTENTION
A. The Lord's Concern - Ill. The Garden of Eden
was a place of unspeakable beauty and wonder. It was a perfect place where God, man and
the animal kingdom enjoyed perfect peace and harmony. It was a good place. In fact,
looking back on the Lord's creative efforts in chapter 1, it is clear that the Lord
thought it was good as well. (Ill. 1:4; 10; 12; 18; 21; 25; 31.) When God looked at His
handiwork, He declared it all good until He looked at Adam and saw that Adam was the only
one of his kind. This, God said, was not good. Man had no counterpart. The word "alone"
carries the idea of "being cut of, of being a piece which is isolated from the
(Ill. Lest anyone who is single should get the wrong idea, it is not
always God's will for everyone to be married - Ill. Jesus - Matt. 19:11-12; Paul - 1 Cor.
7:7. There are times and circumstances when God has determined that He can better use
someone when they are unattached and single - 1 Cor. 7:32-33. Therefore, instead of being
upset with the Lord and doing everything in your power to attract a mate, perhaps the
correct response would be to realize that the Lord might have a better plan for your
B. The Lord's Conclusion - When the Lord
surveyed the situation, His decision was to produce a "help" for Adam.
This word means, "One who assists another to reach fulfillment." It
speaks of the idea of a "completer". The word "meet"
refers to one who "is suitable to, or corresponds to." In other words,
God is going to give Adam someone who will fill up that which is lacking in his own life.
One who makes him complete.
(Ill. This is one of the benefits of marriage. The husband and the wife
compliment one another. Men are right brain creatures. We like to analyze things and come
to conclusions about stuff. We like to figure it out. I mean just call it like it is and
never for one minute try to see any other side of the story. If we are going to look at
something from a left brained approach, we have to stop using the right side of the brain
and we are left without any reasoning ability whatsoever. Women, on the other hand, have
been gifted by God to be able to use both sides of their brains simultaneously. They can
see both sides of the coin at the same time. A fact that makes them very helpful in
figuring out things, but very frustrating and confusing to live with. If there were only
men, there would be little compassion, little understanding and little caring. Women make
up that which we too often lack. When they come along with their left brains firing on all
cylinders and point out how narrow we are and what we are refusing to see, then, it become
clear that they have made us complete and given us an insight that we otherwise would
never have had.)
(Ill. God's intention in making woman was to compliment and complete the
man. By the way, it still works that way today.)
I. The Lord's Intention
II. V. 19-22 THE LORD'S INTERVENTION
A. V. 19-20 A Desire Shaped By God - In these
verses, God has the entirety of the animal kingdom pass before Adam. He tells Adam to look
at them and to give them names and whatever Adam called them, that was the name. Now,
God's intention here is far deeper than a mere intellectual exercise. He isn't trying to
give Adam's brain a workout. The real goal here is awaken a desire in Adam for
As Adam saw all these animals pass before him. Surely he must have
noticed that everyone of them had a mate. It must have dawned on Adam that he was the only
creature who seemed to be alone.
(Ill. That desire that awakens in us that causes us to begin to look on
the members of the opposite sex with interest is natural and God given. There is in the
heart of mankind a deep seated desire for companionship.)
(Ill. Some parents have a problem with this interest. Even some young
people who are feeling these desires have a problem admitting that mom and dad just aren't
going to suffice forever. I want to say that this is a natural part of the transition from
childhood to adulthood. There comes a time in every normal, well adjusted life when a
person begins to feel a yearning to "settle down" with someone they love. It is
a normal part of life.)
B. A Desire Satisfied By God - (Ill. The Lord
never awakens a desire that He isn't prepared to fulfil in His own way and in His own
time. Our problem is that we have these desires in us and we set about satisfying them on
our own, and in our own time. When we do, we have short-circuited the plan of God and are
on thin ice. When this desire came to the surface in Adam's life, God set about meeting
that need. There were three things involved in providing this help meet for Adam.
1. It Involved Sleep - When it came time for God
to make a helpmeet for Adam, He caused Adam to go to sleep while He did His work. In other
words, Adam was totally uninvolved in the selection process. It, like nearly everything
else in life, fell to the sovereign choice of God.
(Ill. There is a lesson here for those of you who are looking for that
future spouse. The best thing you can do is just let that area of your life go to sleep
and trust the Lord to bring that person into your life in His time and in His way. But,
that isn't what we are told to do. We are told that one must be pro-active, that one must
make things happen. You gotta go out there and grab hold of the one you choose and use any
means in your arsenal to see that they do not go to someone else. What a lack of faith! If
God can be trusted to save your soul from Hell, do you not think that He can also be
trusted to bring you the mate He wants you to have? May I remind you that the "just
are to live by faith," Hab. 2:4.)
2. It Involved Surgery - While Adam was asleep,
God performed surgery on Adam, opened him up and took out a rib. It was from this rib that
God made the woman.
(Ill. Surgery always involves pain. Often, finding a mate involves pain
and even after a mate has been secured and vows have been exchanged, there are still
painful times. However, we must learn to trust the Lord during the difficult times and to
remember our commitment made to our spouse. We must fight for our marriages. One Christian
marriage counselor said, "The only thing that I have ever seen will make a
marriage last is that the couple wants to be married to each other more than they want to
3. It Involves Symbolism - Notice where the
woman came from. In taking her from the side of man, God was painting a picture that
speaks volumes about what the marriage relationship should be. Matthew Henry put it this
way, "Eve was made by God not out of Adam's head to rule over him, nor our of his
feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, from under his
arm to be protected and from near his heart to be loved."
I. The Lord's Intention
II. The Lord's Intervention
III. V. 23-25 THE LORD'S INVENTION (When I speak
of the Lord's invention, I am not talking about woman, although that is pretty remarkable.
I am referring to the institution of marriage. These verses constitute what was the first
marriage ceremony. There are three aspects that were involved in that first marriage
ceremony that will go along way in helping our relationships this evening.)
A. V. 23 Marriage Involves A Response - Ill.
When Adam awakened out of sleep, the first thing he saw was this brand new, absolutely
beautiful, absolutely perfect woman there with him. Adam's response is to say, "Now
this is one like me." Quite literally, Adam said, "Yes!" Or, as one great
theologian put it, "Hot diggety!" What Adam meant was that finally here was one
that he just did not want to live without. Here was one who was compatible with him, one
with whom he could carry out the Lord's directive, of Gen. 1:28.
(Ill. The lesson here is that in any marriage, there must be that
element of heart felt love and the sure knowledge that this is THE person God has created
just for me. Folk, marriage is not something to be entered into lightly. It should be
prayed about and strictly observed according to the Lord's commandments. If His Word is
ignored, there can be nothing but trouble in the marriage relationship! It involves a
response and that response is to say yes to that person that God has picked and prepared
just for you.)
B. V. 24 Marriage Involves A Responsibility -
Adam goes on to say that a man is to "leave" his parents and "cleave"
to his wife. This is a two step process that many couple would do well to consider this
1. To leave means to place every other relationship at a lower priority
than the marriage relationship. Excluding, of course, one's relationship with God. Your
husband or wife is to be more that just a spouse. They are to literally be your best
friend - Mal. 2:14. Leaving means that every activity outside of the marriage relationship
must take a backseat. This includes things like businesses, hobbies, friends, careers,
sports, even church work. Outside of one's relationship with God, there is no other
relationship as important as the one you have with your spouse!
2. To cleave means to "adhere to, to stick to, to be bound
together by some strong bond." Cleaving isn't an instant thing. Rather, it is a
lifelong pursuit. It begins at the marriage altar and continues to the deathbed. It speaks
of total and absolute commitment. This is a word that is lacking in our modern society,
especially when it comes to arena of marriage. The modern mind set says, "Well,
we'll try it for a while and if it doesn't work, then I'll just find me a new one."
That is a far cry from what God intended in the beginning! You see, "cleaving"
is not a passive endeavor. In other words, it doesn't just happen, it comes about as the
result of effort. I say that any marriage is worth whatever effort is required to save it!
By the way, the New Testament word for cleave means, "to stick like glue, to be
welded together so that the two cannot be separated without serious damage to both."
If we really believe that 2 become 1 flesh when they are married, then we would also
believe that anything that tore that apart was a serious matter.
(Ill. Every married couple in this room needs to realize that they have
been made one. You are not really a couple, you are a single unit. Declared by God in
Heaven to be joined together until death rips you apart. If we really lived with this
assurance, it would transform our homes, our churches and our nation! Then, divorce would
not be an option, but just like we would spare no expense or effort to save a member of
our own body, we would everything in our power to safeguard our marriages.)
(Ill. I know this is hard for some of you who have been through divorce.
Please do not think that I am without compassion for you this evening. In a later message
in this series, I am going to address your situation as well. For now, suffice it to say
that divorce is a sin, Mal. 2:10. However, it is no greater sin than any other that can be
committed by men. If you have repented before the Lord and made that right with Him, then
it if forgiven, 1 John 2:9. Again, I will say more about this matter in a few weeks. Just
know tonight that the Lord does not condemn you and neither do I.)
C. V. 25 Marriage Involves A Righteousness -
This verse tells us that Adam and Eve were naked, but that they were not ashamed in their
nudity. This verse simply drives home the truth that the only valid arena for sexual
expression is within the marriage relationship. Do not be mislead by this world and its
twisted definitions of what constitutes sex. In my opinion, one which I think is backed up
by the Bible, anything that goes beyond holding hands and a simple kiss is sexual activity
and dishonoring to the Lord and demeaning to you and your relationship with another
person. It may be old fashioned, but I believe the Lord will bless it! (Ill. Heb. 13:4)
Conc: If you were honest this evening and you were to take your marriage
and lay it alongside this passage, would your marriage stand as one that was made in
paradise? Or, would you have to say that there is some "leaving and cleaving"
that needs to take place in our relationship? Is there some activity or pursuit that is
coming between you and your spouse? Do you feel that you are one flesh this evening? What
I am asking is that husbands and wives take a long hard look at their relationships and
then respond together, before the Lord and allow Him to have His way in your marriage. Are
there needs in your relationship this evening? Maybe you are married to an unbeliever, why
not bring them to Jesus and talk to Him about that need? Maybe the sizzle has begun to
fizzle, why not come before the Lord and ask Him to rekindle the flames that once burned
so passionately. Bring you marriage to Jesus and let Him fix it if it is broken, let Him
strengthen it if it is weak and let Him make it even better if it is already good this
Maybe your not even married, but you are concerned about the future and
the person you will marry, why not bring that need to the Lord. Singles and singles again,
are there areas of your life that need to be brought under the Lord's control this
evening? Please understand that God has a plan for everyone here. Part of that plan
includes salvation, that is a constant for everyone. Beyond that, God has an individual
plan for your life. I am asking you tonight to come before Him and find out what it is.
Will you do that?
If we learn nothing else, let's learn how to keep the home fires