A marriage Bible study helps us know God’s pattern for a perfect marriage. In our marriage Bible study, Genesis 2.18 contains the meaning of marriage and the reason why God established the marriage relationship.
From this verse, I find three simple observations that will help me in my marriage.
Notice how these three observations unfold in our text.
Notice that God said in Genesis 2.18: "It is not good for man to be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.'"
The Hebrew word translated as “alone” is a word that means, “isolated”. In the wisdom of God, He looks at man and sees that man is alone, and comes to the conclusion that this is not good. In the heart of God, He wants man to have companionship.
As you study marriage in the Bible, you see a lot of companionships.
There is another couple that is only mentioned once in the entire Bible. What you may find interesting about this couple is that the apostle Paul wrote an entire epistle to the husband. In Philemon verses 1,2 we read about Philemon, with his wife Apphia. The only time Philemon is mentioned in the entire bible is in Philemon 1.2 when the name appears side by side with his wife Apphia.
To help us understand this concept of companionship, consider this passage from the book of Hebrews.
Notice the phrases in these verses:
Repeatedly in these five verses, I am reading the Greek word "phileo" attached to brother, stranger, and silver. The Greek word "phileo" means, "to love as a friend".
Right in the middle of these verses about loving as a friend is verse 3 that says “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled” In a section of verses where friendship is repeated, inspiration inserts a thought about marriage. What is the conclusion? Marriage is designed for companionship. Study marriage in the Bible and you will find that it is a friendship.
Someone said that a friend is someone who knows all about you, and still likes you. Someone said, “A friend is a gift you give to yourself”. Give yourself a gift by being a friend to your spouse. God designed marriage for companionship, and not just someone from whom you look to for sensual pleasure. It is a companionship that grows and lasts a lifetime.
Notice again that God says in Genesis 2.18: “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.'"
The idea of being a helper expresses how husbands and wives are to care and nurture one another. Husbands and wives are to care for one another. Consider a passage from 1 Corinthians 11...
In these verses we find that there is a hierarchy. This is not listed in order of importance but in order of authority. A man is not any more important than a woman, but there is an order of authority.
When I study marriage in the Bible, I learn that the woman is the glory of man. Here in this same context in which man is described as having the authority, the writer describes how man and woman were created for each other, and how man and woman are interdependent upon each other. The woman is described as the glory of man. This is a passage that says that your wife is a gift from God. Your wife is your glory. She was made for you.
Our marriage Bible study also takes us to what Paul wrote in Ephesians 5, "So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church." (Eph. 5.28,29). Notice what this passage says to husbands...
I thought that the wife was to be the caregiver. I thought the wife was the be the nurturer in the family. Not according to Ephesians 5. In a marriage Bible study, husbands are just as much responsible for nurturing the wife as the wife is to the husband. God so designed marriage that both husband and wife nurture and cherish each other.
The story is told of an older wife who sat at the bedside of her husband who was sick and needed care. Her hair was white. Her hands were crippled from arthritis. But every night she massaged the back of her sick and dying husband. Her grandchildren asked her one day, “how can you take such good care of grandpa with your arthritis?” She replied, “Yes, my hands do hurt, and my back does ache. But my heart has never grown old”
I see young married couples that I have had the privilege of marrying. And I think it is such a beautiful thing seeing these couples so devoted to each other. But more than that, I am touched when I see couples who have been married for decades still holding hands, still caring for each other.
A marriage Bible study shows that this is why God designed marriage. Marriage was designed so that husbands and wives can care for each other.
Notice again that God said in Genesis 2.18: “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.'"
Husbands, how many times have you heard...
The word "comparable" comes from a Hebrew word that is defined like this: "front; to stand boldly out opposite; by implication (causatively), to manifest; figuratively, to announce (always by word of mouth to one present), specifically to expose, predict, explain, praise” [Strong]
To put it in simple terms, the word "comparable" is defined as one who stands out in distinction of another, and is the counterpart. The wife is the counterpart to the husband. And within this definition we find one of the ways that they are comparable. They are comparable in their ability to communicate.
This is a word that appears numerous times in the Old Testament and in most places, it is translated as “declare.” God made marriage so that two people who have something in common can talk to each other.
In this text we find in this marriage Bible study that God had made all the animals and each one was brought to Adam, one by one, and Adam was told to name all the animals. But not one of them was a suitable and comparable mate. (Gen. 2.20). There was no commonality, no comparison, and there was nothing that could be shared in reference to communication.
He could talk to himself. He could talk to God. But there was no one comparable to him with whom he could share his thoughts and feelings. God said that it was not good for man to be that way, so He would give him someone who can be his friend, someone who can care for him, and someone he can talk to.
Husbands and wives are talk to each other. To husbands and wives in Corinth, Paul wrote, "Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Cor. 7.5).
In this passage, he has sexual intimacy as the subject, and he says that husbands and wives are not to cease to communicate intimately unless you agree together to give yourselves time to communicate to God. When you are done communicating to God (prayer and fasting), then come together again so you can communicate intimately.
Marriage is to be a relationship in which husbands and wives communicate.
If you want a working relationship with God, then communication must be a part of that relationship as we talk to God in prayer. In the same way, if you want a working relationship with your wife or husband, then communication must be a part of that.
That doesn't mean that you yell at each other in anger. In means that you sit down together and one person expresses himself honestly and she listens and tries to understand. And she expresses herself honestly, and he listens and tries to understand. Communication is a must. That is not to say that it is always going to be easy. But husbands and wives must communicate.
One Final Observation:
In our society, couples are talking the sexual part of their marriage and are defining their marriage by this side issue. I'm not saying that it should not be part of the marriage. I'm not saying that it is not an important part of the marriage. But it was never designed to be the central focus of the marriage.
When the sexual part of marriage begins to fade in value in the marriage because of familiarity or because of age, then couples start thinking that there must be something wrong with the relationship. In doing so, couples are defining their marriage relationship in a way that God never did. Let’s get back to the Bible definition of marriage and God’s design.
It was God who designed marriage. And if we use the pattern of marriage that God outlines in the Bible, we can be assured of a happy, healthy marriage.
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