Summary: The challenge of building a strong marriage in a world increasingly opposed to godly marriage.

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“The LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’ Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,

‘This at last is 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 his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” [1]

There are two very practical and human views of the creation of man and woman. One is the man’s view; the other is the woman’s view. Are you ready? The woman’s view of creation is first. Woman’s view says that God made the man, looked at him, and then He said, “I can do better than that.” So, He made the woman.

The man’s view states that God made the beasts and man, and then He rested. After a while, God created woman. Neither beast nor man has rested since.

Frankly, I relate jokes such as these with a degree of trepidation, because marriage is held in increasingly low esteem today; and even telling a joke can possibly be used to disparage commitment of a man to a woman and of a woman to a man. There are a great number of jokes illustrating the war between the sexes. I wonder if the humour directed at marriage actually masks a deep dissatisfaction, a gnawing resentment we moderns feel at the imposition of what we construe as a hopelessly outmoded institution.

Marriage is falling out of fashion; it is not unusual for people in their thirties and forties to have been in multiple relationships—relationships and not marriages. Our youth are sexually experienced at increasingly earlier ages. Gratuitous teenage sexual activity has become so commonplace that though we may still be disturbed, we are no longer shocked at reports of twelve-year-old girls having babies. One news article a few years back stated that one in five middle school students have engaged in sex. [2] The expectation that a bride—or that a groom—will be a virgin on their wedding night is increasingly remote. Despite our contention that the Bible is authoritative for faith and practise, some studies suggest that professing Christians may not be faring that much better than are outsiders.

I fear that defenders of marriage have already been defeated. Whenever we are compelled to define a social institution as well-established as marriage, that institution is ridiculed by the very fact that it requires definition. Nevertheless, I am compelled to define marriage because of the insistence by social and judicial activists that it is proper—and even desirable—to speak of same sex unions as marriage.

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