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One of the things I find interesting about this passage is its simplicity. It basically reads, “Man should not be alone and he needs a helper. Woman is then made from his flesh and they become one.” At face value this communicates that marriage is an intimate, totally committed union (apparently crowned by sexual union) between a man and a woman for the sake of companionship and being helpmates to one another (at least). Interestingly enough, this passage doesn’t say anything about romance or warm fuzzy feelings, the very things it seems that we tend to think marriage revolves around nowadays. That isn’t to say that romance shouldn’t be a part of marriage, but this passage doesn’t seem to communicate that warm fuzzies were meant to be the primary thing that people should be looking for (from a potential spouse, in a marriage, etc.).
This view of marriage, apparently God’s ideal, seems to contradict a lot of what our culture thinks is acceptable or even good nowadays. God’s ideal seems to be that the context in which sexuality is to be celebrated is within the bounds of the unique and intimate relationship that marriage is, but our culture says that it is okay to celebrate sexuality in many other contexts in which it can just be casual or something like that. God’s ideal seems to be that marriage is permanent (at least on this side of the grave), but our culture often seems to think that it is okay to approach marriage with that attitude that says, “If marriage isn’t suiting my needs how I want it to, then I’m out.” (And I don’t mean to say that people should stay in abusive marriages or anything like that) God’s ideal seems to be that marriage is a union between a man and a women, and our culture thinks we somehow have a right to marry someone of any gender we so choose. (What I find interesting here, among many other things, is that, if God does not exist, then it isn’t clear to me how we accidental byproducts of nature have any sorts of rights at all. On the other hand, if God does exist and he has given us rights, then I would think that we should want to know what he says those rights are.) So, bottom line, it seems to me that God’s ideal for marriage differs from our own many times.