What is the Biblical View of Marriage (Gen. 2:24-25)

What is the Biblical View of Marriage (Gen. 2:24-25)

Prepared and preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for and at Bethel Friends Church in Poland, OH on Sunday, October 2, 2022

A man one day went to the Super Bowl. He was sitting in a seat with an empty seat beside him. A gentleman who sat on the other side of him said, “Is that your seat? I see no one sitting there.” The man said, “Yes. My wife and I had tickets but she died, and none of my friends whom I invited could make it to the Super Bowl, so the seat is just empty.”

The gentleman was puzzled. “None of your friends could make it to the Super Bowl?” he asked.

The man said, “No, they couldn’t.”

The gentleman was still clueless as to how this man couldn’t find one friend who would love to be at the Super Bowl. “Boy, the biggest sports event in all history and they are missing it!”

The man didn’t skip a beat, “Yeah, they’re all at the funeral.”594[1]

We are in a sermon series discussing difficult times. Today’s sermon is not necessarily difficult times, but more of a general question. What is the Biblical View of Marriage (Gen. 2:24-25)? We live in a time in which marriage is threatened. We live in a time in which marriage is under attack. We live in a time in which marriage is no longer regarded as sacred.

Several years ago, I heard about one journalist who wrote that Christians will eventually condone same-sex marriage because look how they have gradually approved of divorce. However, where do we find the establishment of marriage? Today, I will show you that the establishment of marriage between one man and one woman goes back to Genesis chapter two

My theme today is:

God established, and Jesus affirmed, marriage between one man and one woman for one lifetime.

  1. God established marriage.
    • Let’s look at Gen 2:24-25: Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
    • In that text Adam was alone and God saw that that was not right. God created Eve from him and brought Eve to Adam.We can build many thing on marriage based off of this text.  
    • First, marriage is a covenant, not a contract.Biblical Counselor Brad Hambrick has written on marriage as a covenant.
    • A contract is: a common, legal document regulated by the state;
    • [A contract is] Based upon mistrust between two people;[A contract is] Written to create liability;
    • [A contract is]
    • Demanding joy through mutual benefit.Marriage is a covenant.
    • A covenant is:
    • [A covenant is] A sacred, moral agreement oversees by God;[A covenant is] Based upon trust between two people and God;
    • [A covenant is] Accepted to embrace unlimited responsibility;[A covenant is] Seeking joy through mutual sacrifice.[2]
    • Regarding marriage as a covenant Hambrick shares:
    • the seating arrangement [with families on each side] gives a portrait of God’s covenant with Abraham in Genesis 15. The Hebrew word for covenant, berith meaning “to cut,” is most clearly seen in this passage. God had Abraham cut several animals in half and make a lane between their carcasses. God passed down this lane to say, “So shall it be to me, if I don’t keep my word.”While gruesome, this image reminds us of a central theme of covenant relationships – death brings life. God kept his covenant with us. We broke covenant with God. But God accepted the consequences of covenant being broken – Jesus’ death on the cross – in order to restore relationship. As husband and wife pass through their families, they are also visualizing a death (leaving) that brings life (cleaving). Those in attendance instinctually understand the profound paradox as they experience the simultaneous emotions of sadness and joy.[3]
    • Hambrick brings out another aspect of the covenant: The bride, dressed in white, comes to meet her groom for the entire world to see. She is coming to have her name and identity changed. She is drawn by love. She is lovely in the eyes of her groom, and everyone in attendance sees her through the eyes of her beloved. Her eyes are fixed on his and no one else’s opinion matters. Love triumphs over any fear and any insecurity that might otherwise be present: covenant is giving love the power and beauty it was always intended to have. The white dress is a picture of the righteousness given to us by the Groom – Christ. We do not come to Christ in our own white garments but in His righteousness gifted to us. This is one of the most essential truths to remember in a marriage. When we begin to wear our own righteousness in marriage, shame will bring lying, insecurity will bring hiding, comparison will bring competing, and pride will bring judging.[4]
    • An important part of marriage a covenant is the father giving away the bride. Hambrick shares:“Who gives this woman to be married to this man?” asks the pastor. “Her mother and I do.” responds the father of the bride. This is more than just a way to change the arrangement of how people are standing at the altar. It is a picture of God’s design for marriage and demonstration of the four major commitments of the marriage covenant.Commitment One –
    • Receive: We must realize that our spouse is a gift.
    • Commitment Two – Leave: The bride and groom are severing the bond of primary allegiance and dependence with their parents to form that bond with each other. Here again, we see the primary image behind the Hebrew word for covenant, “to cut.”
    • Commitment three: cleave
    • Commitment four: become one flesh.[5]
    • The vows, the kiss, the pronouncement are all similar to a covenant ceremony, and Hambrick shares more about that in an article linked in my manuscript footnote. So, what makes a Christian marriage? Simply put: A man and woman are bound together in a covenant ceremony under God.
    • A little girl came to her grandmother and noticed that her grandmother’s ring was big and gaudy and ugly looking. She said, “Grandma, those rings back there when ya’ll got married were so big and heavy and gaudy looking.”Her grandmother replied, “Yeah, ’cause when I got my rings back in the day, they were made to last.”603[6]
    • Marriage is like a violin. After the music stops, the strings are still attached. A husband and wife are bound together as long as they live.606[7]
    • As stated God brings Eve to Adam, and there is a formal pronouncement. One source shares: The Hebrew word for “wife” is gender-specific; it cannot mean anything other than “a woman.” There is no passage in Scripture that mentions a marriage involving anything other than a man and a woman. It is impossible for a family to form or human reproduction to take place asexually. Since God ordained sex to only take place between a married couple, it follows that God’s design is for the family unit to be formed when a man and woman come together in a sexual relationship and have children. from this passage about God’s design for marriage is monogamy. The Hebrew words for “man” and “wife” are singular and do not allow for multiple wives. Even though some people in Scripture did have multiple wives, it is clear from the creation account that God’s design for marriage was one man and one woman. Jesus emphasized this principle when He appealed to the Genesis account to counter the idea of easy divorce (Matthew 19:4–6).
    • One source reads: In John chapter 2, Jesus attended a wedding ceremony. Jesus would not have attended such an event if He did not approve of what was occurring. Jesus’ attending a wedding ceremony by no means indicates that God requires a wedding ceremony, but it most definitely does indicate that a wedding ceremony is acceptable in God’s sight. Nearly every culture in the history of humanity has had some kind of formal wedding ceremony. In every culture there is an event, action, covenant, or proclamation that is recognized as declaring a man and woman to be married.[8]
    • Further: It is not biblical to consider a couple who have had sexual intercourse—but who have not observed any of the other aspects of a marriage covenant—to be married. Scriptures such as 1 Corinthians 7:2 indicate that sex before marriage is immorality. If sexual intercourse causes a couple to become married, it could not be considered immoral, as the couple would be considered married the moment they engaged in sexual intercourse. There is absolutely no biblical basis for an unmarried couple to have sex and then declare themselves to be married, thereby declaring all future sexual relations to be moral and God-honoring.
    • Christian marriage happens when a man and woman are bound together in a covenant ceremony under God.
  2. Jesus affirmed marriage
    • Look at Matthew 19:1-6: Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there. And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
    • So, Jesus is asked about divorce and what does Jesus do? He goes back to Genesis to re-state what it reads regarding the first marriage.
    • Some would say that Jesus does not address homosexuality, but He clearly does. In this passage, He re-affirms marriage as one man and one woman.  
  3. Applications:
    • Marriage is a covenant under God, which means it is sacred and moral. We must view marriage as sacred.
    • Marriage ought to be officiated in front of God’s people and they are the witnesses of the covenant.
    • I believe that since marriage is a covenant the marriage ceremony belongs in the church in front of the church. I would go as far as to say it should be part of a worship service. We have baptisms, communion, and baby dedications in front of the church. Why not the marriage ceremony? This is not to say that I would not officiate your wedding in Hawaii, rather I think it is fitting to have the wedding in front of the church.
    • Marriage was set up by God in Gen. 2:24-25 and cannot be changed. We did not invent it, and we cannot change it.
    • Marriage was setup by God with one man and one woman. It cannot be two of the same sex or multiple partners.
    • Jesus re-affirmed the establishment of marriage in Matthew 19:5 and Mark 10:7-8, and this shows the importance of marriage.
    • Marriage was established as one man with one woman for life.
    • As a covenant this means that the joy in marriage comes through mutual sacrifice, NOT mutual benefit.
    • As a covenant marriage is based on trust between two people and God, not mistrust between two people.
    • We cannot live in marriage the way God intends except by being connected to the Vine, living with Jesus (John 15).

Simply put: A man and woman are bound together in a covenant ceremony under God.

Four-year-old Suzie had just been told the story of “Snow White” for the first time in her life. She could hardly wait to get home from nursery school to tell her mommy. With wide-eyed excitement, she retold the fairy tale to her mother that afternoon. After relating how Prince Charming had arrived on his beautiful white horse and kissed Snow White back to life, Suzie asked loudly:

“And do you know what happened then?”

“Yes,” said her mom, “they lived happily ever after.”

“No,” responded Suzie, with a frown, “… they got married.”

—Cecil Osborne, The Art of Understanding Your Mate[9]

Well, too often marriage is not how God intended it to be; however, I do believe through a life of self-sacrifice towards one another, and a covenant between a husband and wife God calls marriage to be a happy partnership. It is for me. However, the only way to live self-sacrificially in marriage is by staying close to Jesus and living His Kingdom way.


[1] Tony Evans, Tony Evans’ Book of Illustrations: Stories, Quotes, and Anecdotes from More than 30 Years of Preaching and Public Speaking (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2009), 200–201.

[2] https://bradhambrick.com/gcmfoundations3a/

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid

[6] Tony Evans, Tony Evans’ Book of Illustrations: Stories, Quotes, and Anecdotes from More than 30 Years of Preaching and Public Speaking (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2009), 203.

[7] Tony Evans, Tony Evans’ Book of Illustrations: Stories, Quotes, and Anecdotes from More than 30 Years of Preaching and Public Speaking (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2009), 203.

[8] Got Questions Ministries, Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2002–2013).

[9] Charles R. Swindoll, The Tale of the Tardy Oxcart and 1501 Other Stories (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2016), 362.

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