The Bible is crystal-clear that God, Who instituted marriage, intended marriage to be between ONE MAN and ONE WOMAN. We read of this in Genesis 2:18, 21-24: “And the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him A HELPER comparable to him….And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into A WOMAN, and He brought HER to the THE MAN. And Adam said: This is now 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 mother and be joined to HIS WIFE, and THEY SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.” We see here that God determined from the very beginning that A MAN would take ONE WOMAN to be his wife and in the holy institution of matrimony they “become one flesh.”

We know that ever since the fall of man this holy union has been abandoned by many men and thus we read in Scripture of men having MANY WIVES. The greatest example of this is found in 1st Kings 11:1 & 3, “But King Solomon loved many foreign women…and he had SEVEN HUNDRED WIVES….and his wives turned away his heart.” Solomon paid a heavy price for disobeying God’s plan for marriage, for his heart was turned away from God and his kingdom also suffered greatly. Men will always suffer bitter consequences for straying from God’s perfect plan of marriage.

Jesus upheld this Divine plan for marriage. In Matthew 19:3 the Pharisees asked Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” In His answer (in verses 4-5) to them He took them back to what we just saw in Genesis: “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?” He then added, “So then, they are NO LONGER TWO but ONE FLESH. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (verse 6).

This truth was also confirmed in the New Testament epistles, for we read in 1st Timothy 3:2 that an elder was to be “the husband of ONE WIFE” and in verse 3 we read, “Let deacons be the husbands of ONE WIFE.” Again, this has always been God’s will in spite of man’s failure to obey it.

I can’t close this meditation without saying a word about the PICTURE that the husband and the wife present to us. In Ephesians 5:31-31 we read, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning CHRIST AND THE CHURCH.” Every scriptural marriage illustrates the holy union between “Christ and the church,” for the church is THE BRIDE OF CHRIST! I would encourage you to read Ephesians 5:22-30; 2nd Corinthians 11:1-2 and Revelation 19:7-9.

Would you like to consider one more picture of Christ and His bride? We saw in Genesis that Adam was put to sleep and that the woman, his bride, was formed out of his side. This is an amazing picture of Christ going into the sleep of death on the cross where He allowed wicked men to pierce His side with a spear. What came out of His side? John 19:34 tells us “and immediately BLOOD and water came out.” How is the Bride of Christ being formed? Ah, by the “blood of Christ,” for every redeemed sinner is part of the church which is His Bride (see 1st Peter 1:18-19 and Acts 20:28). So, just as the woman was formed out of Adam’s side, the church is being formed out of Christ’s riven side. Amazing grace!  (414.3)  (DO)