Summary: God places an overwhelming priority on the family.
Genesis 2 (The NET Bible)
2:18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion for him who corresponds to him.” 2:19 The Lord God formed out of the ground every living animal of the field and every bird of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them, and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 2:20 So the man named all the animals, the birds of the air, and the living creatures of the field, but for Adam no companion who corresponded to him was found. 2:21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep, and while he was asleep, he took part of the man’s side and closed up the place with flesh. 2:22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the part he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 2:23 Then the man said, “This one at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one will be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” 2:24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and unites with his wife, and they become a new family. 2:25 The man and his wife were both naked, but they were not ashamed.
1:26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, after our likeness, so they may rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move on the earth.” 1:27 God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them. 1:28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply! Fill the earth and subdue it! Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every creature that moves on the ground.”
Explanation: Note a subtle difference. The author did not consider gender to be an important feature to stress in his account of the creation of the other forms of life. But for humans, it’s important to note. We are like God in function. Being made in God’s image in verse 27 is extended into verse 28 to further describe what this means. We (male and female) are to do two things: 1. Reproduce: In procreation, we will share in the divine work of creating human life in the image of God. A man and a woman can co-create a living soul with God.
Illustration: The most incredible worship experience that I ever had was not in a church or concert or prayer meeting. It was in a birthing room in Palm Beach Gardens, FL on May 10, 1991 at about 8:29 AM. When I looked up and saw little Megan Leigh, I realized that a miracle had taken place. I had shared in God’s Genesis week by co-creating a human life, a living soul. I was literally crying and smiling at the same time. I had partnered with God to create a human life.
Explanation: 2. Rule: In ruling, we will serve as God’s vice-regents on earth. We are His representatives, His servant-masters. It’s a responsible stewardship, not exploitative dominion. We are not to be ruled over by the creation. We are to reflect God’s creativity. Human-beings can compose a symphony or design a computer, paint a picture and plan a building, or devise a new recipe. A baby can stack blocks on the floor and make a playhouse and, in imagination, enter it and live in it. No animal can do this. Man has the function of creativity because he is made in the image of God. This is the dignity of mankind that separates him, by a vast gulf, from the whole animal creation. Adam was to be an engaged Leader/Lover in the family (Eph.5), not a passive bystander. When the Leader/Lover is missing, the family suffers.