Reading: Genesis 1:27-28; Ephesians 5:22-33
God created us within our families. The family has an enormously important place in God’s work. God works through the families. He called Abraham, and in him ‘all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). Not the individuals, but the families. And Abraham and his family belonged to God’s covenant (Genesis 17).
Paul writes in Ephesians 3: 14-15: “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named”
In the way we live together on this earth, we will also reflect Who God is. We do that in different ways. The Bible speaks about three different kinds of relationships in which we reflect God.
Genesis 1: 27-28: So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
God’s image: Male and female
Male and female He created them, together in God’s image. God is not male or female. Nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus’. God is often being called ‘Father’ in the Bible and the male pronoun is being used for God. Still, it is important to notice that the Bible can also speak about God as acting like a mother, without saying that God is female. Isaiah 49:15 (“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!) and Isaiah 66:13 (As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”). Matthew 23:37 about the Lord Jesus (how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.) It is remarkable that the language of the Bible reflects the fact that male and female are one. The word ‘brothers’ in the Bible includes the sisters as well. It is through sin that the good harmony between male and female is destroyed and becomes a source of tensions. That is not how God intended it and how He created it. There was good harmony, just like there is harmony in God. The Bible uses ‘He’ for God, but that does not mean that God is male. God ordained that the man is the head and the woman is in the man. She is his body. She is even taken from Adam’s body: God took a rib from Adam and made Eve. Therefore, He addresses the man and in him also the woman. And therefore, He also teaches us to address Him with the male pronoun. Not to set the woman apart, but to indicate the harmony there is between male and female. It is only the result of sin that there is tension between man and woman and that the use of the male pronoun is perceived as negative towards women.
The Bible teaches us that to represent God as His image, there must be male and female. Male is not complete without female. Female cannot function without male. They both need each other. To reflect the unity in God, and to bring forth, or to procreate.
Male and female together are needed to bring forth children. God brought forth the heavens and the earth. He created. Man and woman represent God when they bring forth children. That is why God created them male and female (Genesis 1:27) and that is why God brought them together to become one flesh (Genesis 2:24). This becoming one flesh speaks about the ultimate unity between husband and wife, and this unity reflects the unity of God. It is this unity which brings forth: in the human situation the children, reflecting the unity in God: the unity between Father and the Son which brings forth this creation (John 1:1-3: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.) The Son was with the Father in the beginning, was one with the Father, and through Him, all things were made. Male and female in their unity are only a reflection of God. Together they are His image. Eve was made from Adam, out of his flesh. They were one. Within marriage, they become one again, and within this unity, they procreate and bring forth children.
Key text: Genesis 1: 27-28: So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Meditation: The unity between husband and wife reflects the unity in God. Therefore, we will respect marriage as a divine institution. We will show our respect for God’s institution in the way we talk about marriage, in the way we talk about sexuality, in the way we talk about the opposite sex. Reflect on this and consider if you do see God’s glory in the institution of marriage.