The first marriage took place in a Garden. That sounds idyllic. Until you remember that the garden was actually Adam’s workplace. It must have been a bit like getting married in the office or the factory!

We must not minimze the joy and romance of the occasion. When Adam first saw his bride he burst out with the first poem in the Bible. In essence he said “Wow! This is what I’ve been waiting for!” But for all that exhileration, the context is clear: Adam desperately needed help at work, so God created “a helper fit for him” (Gen 2:18). And the mandate for their marriage and their whole family was to work the garden, and then extend the garden to subdue the wilderness state of the entire newly created world.

So marriage was born in the context of God’s Kingdom. His government was first to be seen in the order that God had ordained within the family, and that order was to bring peace into the earth. The biblical roles of husband and wife were established before sin entered the world; since the entrance of sin, we need extraordinary grace to adhere faithfully to those roles. But the husband/wife realtionship, lived according to God’s pattern, continues to express the divine plan for the effective administration of his government on the earth. That’s why marriage matters!

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Or, you can listen to chapter 9 as audio files: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

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