Marriage is a God-given institution provided by Him for the benefit of humanity. In this post I want to consider more fully the purpose of marriage. From Genesis 2 I want to assert that there are two primary purposes of marriage.
Companionship. In Genesis 2:18 we read The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’ Then after Adam had had the living creatures brought to him and he had named them, we further read in Genesis 2:20b-22 that for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. As Adam scanned those living creatures he found he could have no fellowship with them; there was no deep companionship to found in interacting with them. Adam was lonely. Adam was then provided with Eve who was to be a companion for him. Marriages are then meant to be places of companionship where a man and a woman can share the full depths of their lives.
Serving God together. As Adam was given someone to be with him, it is critical to observe the role that this person who was called to be his wife was to have. She was to be his helper. In Genesis 2:18, as we have already mentioned, we read that The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’ If we go back earlier in the passage we notice that God had given Adam work to do. The command is stated like this : The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it (Gen. 2:15). Adam had been given responsibility to serve God in looking after the garden. Eve was given to him as one to help him in this task of serving God. She was his helper. At the very heart of marriage then, is the call of God for married couples to serve God together. That was what the intention was when the Lord gave Eve to Adam. The book “Married for God” by Christopher Ash wonderfully develops this idea (see here).
All married couples need to remember these two reasons for God giving marriage. Marriages are at their strongest and healthiest when husband and wife are serving God together as companion delighting in each others company and presence.