Union of Seamless Complements—Adam and Eve Purpose of Marriage

United and Inseparable Except in Judgment

The biblical account of Adam and Eve conveys an understanding that God created marriage to combine a man and woman into a union of fitting complements, well suited to fulfill the purpose of representing him among all creation. We learn from his judgment of their disobedience that God holds a man and wife in inseparable responsibility to obey him. Both will incur punishment for an act of disobedience. However, he judges them individually when they disobey and assigns each separate responsibility for his or her punishment.

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We study the account of Adam and Eve to understand God’s purpose for marriage as a union of fitting complements well suited to fulfill his purpose for human beings. He created Adam first to fill the purpose but decided that Adam alone was inadequate. He declared that Adam needed a comparable helper from within in order to fulfill the responsibilities of representing God among other creations. Therefore, he created Eve as Adam’s comparable helper so the two together will be adequate to fulfill God’s purpose for humans.

Husband accepts from wife
Husband accepts from wife
TheGloryStory.com FreeBibleImages.org

The creation account includes their initial life in the Garden of Eden, disobedience to God in eating from the forbidden, and punishment and removal from the initial “Garden of Eden” environment to the current life that we know. He pronounced a specific punishment for each after they disobeyed him. We learn from his judgment of their disobedience that God holds a man and wife in inseparable responsibility to obey him. Both will incur punishment for an act of disobedience. However, he judges them individually when they disobey and assigns each separate responsibility for his or her punishment.

We discuss the account of creation to understand the broad but clear statement of God’s purpose for people, he created Adam to fill the purpose, and later created Eve as a fitting complement for Adam because he found Adam inadequate alone to fulfill the purpose. Further, we discuss the disobedience and punishment to understand he held them jointly and inseparably responsible for obedience but punished them individually so each can manage his or her punishment separately.

Created for a Purpose

Mankind to govern the universe
Mankind to govern universe in image of God
Sweet Publishing FreeBibleImages.org

God creates people to represent him among ourselves and the earth and its other living and non-living inhabitants. He created people for this purpose as declared in the bible: “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” [Genesis 1:26].

Image in this statement could not be referring to a physical likeness or representation of God. The physical likeness of God is not known and is difficult to relate to that of any human being. If the statement were about physical likeness, then the bible verse could invoke questions such as: Is God white or black, male or female, tall or short, fat or thin, or others? However, the statement conveys a message about God’s purpose for humans and in what manner the purpose should be implemented. To understand the meaning of “image of God,” we need to discuss other aspects of the “purpose of people” declaration.

PROVIDER ASSISTANT The declaration conveys an understanding that God creates every person to be his provider assistant: to assist him in providing for the needs of other human beings and living and non-living inhabitants of the earth. He often performs his ultimate-provider function in human form, in a way that is natural and non-threatening to human understanding. For example, if God decides to give money to somebody, he would not suddenly drop money in cash or bank deposit but will setup events that result in the person or persons receiving money in ways that are natural and explicable. The people that he places in position to accomplish the task are his provider assistants in that purpose.

Be fruitful and multiply
Be fruitful and multiply
Sweet Publishing FreeBibleImages.org

God creates every person to encounter numerous opportunities through life to function as his provider assistant. This purpose for people is included in the declaration: “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” [Genesis 1:28].

UNLIMITED CONDITIONAL MANDATE The authority to “fill the earth and subdue it” is all encompassing and covers every possible human activity. By this authority, we (human beings) are given the rights and responsibilities to occupy and populate the earth and explore its living and non-living inhabitants: to understand their needs, capabilities, and ways of adapting the capabilities to provide for the needs; so that we may survive, multiply, and prosper.

God's provider assistants for a paralyzed
God’s provider assistants for a paralyzed
LumoProject.com freebibleimages.org

The mandate is wide-reaching and unlimited, except by the conditions that God stated in the declaration: “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule” over the earth and its inhabitants [Genesis 1:26]. The condition that God creates people in his image implies that every human activity performed under the mandate must convey the image of God to all that could be affected. If an activity conveys the image of God, then it is covered by the mandate. Conversely, the mandate does not cover any activity that does not convey the image of God.

IMAGE OF GOD The image of God implies that God creates people to represent him among all creations, to interact with other creations (other people and the earth and its inhabitants) the same way that he would if he was in human form. He created Adam first into this role and Eve later to combine them into a union of seamless complements well suited to fulfill the purpose.

Eve Joins Adam:
Union of Seamless Complements

God created Adam first but later found him inadequate alone to fulfill his purpose for people: “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him” [Genesis 2:18]. The comparable helper is more than just another pair of hands. The declaration of the need for a comparable helper refers to a creation that will combine with Adam to form a team well suited for fulfilling the purpose of “fill the earth and subdue it.” The purpose includes the team reproducing themselves and propagating the rights and responsibilities of the mandate through future generations.

Not a comparable helper
Not a comparable helper
Sweet Publishing FreeBibleImages.org

SEARCH FOR HELPER God led Adam in a search through other existing creations but none was found well suited to fulfill the role of comparable helper [Genesis 2:20]: “So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.” The physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual features that God desired of the comparable helper could not be found in any of the existing creations.

Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh
Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh
Sweet Publishing FreeBibleImages.org

HELPER FROM WITHIN God created Eve from within Adam, named woman because she was taken from a man, to join him as comparable helper. The woman will assist Adam with the overall mission. They will reproduce themselves and work together seamlessly toward fulfilling the purpose of their creation. They can stand in for each other, recognize who does what better, and easily share roles effectively. Furthermore, they complement each other. One is strong where the other is weak, or able where the other is unable. They fit together to make a whole, like pieces of a jig-saw puzzle.

MARRIAGE God referred to her as a helper comparable to him and, thus, defined marriage as a man and woman combining into a union of fitting complements, united for the purpose of fulfilling God’s mission for human beings: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” [Genesis 2:24].

Inseparable Except in Judgment

The account of Adam and Eve fall to temptation conveys an understanding that a husband and wife are inseparable in the eyes of God. They are jointly responsible for performing their duties in obedience to God. When they disobey, they share responsibility no matter how the disobedience occurs. However, God judges them individually for the disobedience so each is separately responsible for his or her punishment.

The devil, disguised as a serpent, convinced Eve to eat of the forbidden tree. She ate, provided some to her husband, who also ate. God held Adam and Eve jointly responsible for the disobedience, showing they were inseparable to him.

Leader in joint responsibility
Leader in joint responsibility
Sweet Publishing FreeBibleImages.org

FAMILY LEADER However, he directed questions to Adam, though the temptation came through Eve. Questioning Adam conveys the understanding that he considered Adam leader [Genesis 3:11]: “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”

Recall that God created Adam first for the mission and Eve later to join Adam as his comparable helper. Therefore, Adam was the mission leader and Eve his helper. The man of the family is the leader in God’s eyes. However, the meaning of leader has to be understood in the light of marriage being a union of fitting complements. The man and his wife contribute to family leadership according to their responsibilities.

This sense of shared leadership could explain Adam remaining passive, though fully aware, as his wife interacted with the serpent: “…She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate” [Genesis 3:6]. He was “with her” as she interacted with the serpent and accepted the fruit from her when she decided they should eat it. However, by following her decision, he allowed and joined his wife to disobey God. Therefore, he failed in his role as leader.

JUDGED INDIVIDUALLY God questioned Adam as leader but held him and his wife jointly responsible for the disobedience. They and every husband and wife are inseparable in performing their duties and share responsibility for disobeying God. However, they incur punishment individually.

In the example of Adam and Eve, God punished Eve for being the channel for disobedience and Adam for failing to lead his family away from sin: “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’” [Genesis 3:17]. Because God judges a husband and wife individually when they disobey him, each can manage his or her punishment separately. Recall that a person can “manage” punishment by repenting and asking for forgiveness. The husband and wife can do so individually but always should join in prayer because they are inseparable to God.

Summary of What We Learned

The biblical account of Adam and Eve conveys an understanding that God created marriage to combine a man and woman into a union of fitting complements, well suited to fulfill the purpose of representing him among all creation. We learn from his judgment of their disobedience that God holds a man and wife in inseparable responsibility to obey him. Both will incur punishment for an act of disobedience. However, he judges them individually when they disobey and assigns each separate responsibility for his or her punishment.

More Information

Please watch this bible study on video at VIDEO_LINK , listen to or download the audio at AUDIO_LINK . You can also download a PDF copy of the PowerPoint presentation from PDF_LINK.

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