Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 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. –Genesis 2:18-25
Marriage today is unpopular. The Pew Research Center just reported that barely half of the adults in the US are married, a record low down from 72% in 1972. New marriages declined by 5% from 2009-10, and if rates continue in just a few years married people will be a minority. Not only are people getting married less, but young people especially, just 20% of those 18 to 29 years old versus 79% in 1960, are not doing so. There are lots of factors causing this, but with divorce rates flat, today it can be simply stated less people want to get married. Why is this? Some have said that marriage is a dead institution, or only a living institution so long as we redefine it. But marriage is not a man-made artifact. It’s not a club like Rotary Club that we made up, although we certainly can make stuff up and call it marriage.
As we see in Genesis 2, marriage is there in the beginning, and for every man and woman entering into it since, it is a drastic beginning. To get what I mean you can’t think of the beginning of a math test (unless you really like math) or beginning in the back of the line at the DMV. This beginning is more like the click-click-click as the roller coaster climbs its first hill, or the crack of a gun that starts a body-breaking race. It is filled with anticipation and excitement. It cost a lot to just get here, and the real event is just getting started. (more…)