Summary: Many people today are asking the question, “What is the definition of marriage?” At the same time they might wonder who sets the definition. Don’t you think that the One who designed marriage in the first place is the One who gets to set the definition?
The marriage debate is raging all over this nation. 31 states have amended their constitutions to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. West Virginia isn’t one of them. West Virginia is one of the states who is relying on legislative Defense of Marriage Acts. The problem is, the eight states that now legally recognize homosexual marriage, used to have Defense of Marriage Acts. In each of their cases, DOMA was overturned by their state supreme courts. In each of those cases, the question has been, who gets to define what marriage is? Is it the government that gets to define or redefine marriage? The answer to that question is—no. Government does not get to define marriage. Society does not get to define marriage. Petitions and polls and public opinion does not get to define marriage. Why? Because marriage has already been defined. It was defined by the One who created it. It was defined in our passage this morning by the One who designed it in the first place. The Bible tells us that God created three human institutions. He created human government. He created the church. And He created marriage. You would think that He would have created the church first. But He didn’t. He didn’t create the church until the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2. What about human government? Did God create that institution first? No—He didn’t institute human government until after the flood in Genesis 9 when He instituted the death penalty. So it wasn’t the church and it wasn’t human government. The first human institution that God created was marriage. That must mean it’s pretty important in God’s eyes, don’t you think? And make no mistake about it, God is the One who created marriage. Look at the words that are used in our passage. Verse 18 says, “and the Lord God said.” Then it says, “I will make.” Then verse 21 says, “And the Lord God caused… and He took… and He closed…” Verse 22: “He made… He brought.” That makes it pretty clear whose idea this was, doesn’t it? Adam didn’t sit there and think, “Boy, I sure would like to have someone to talk to.” He didn’t ask God for a helpmeet. It was God’s idea and God’s design and God did it. Marriage is completely and totally God’s doing. It is not our bright idea to stabilize society. God created it and God designed it. He literally removed a piece of Adam’s flesh and bone from him. Then He fashioned a woman from it—flesh of his very flesh and bone of his very bone. But at the same time unique and distinct from him. And then God made a way for that separated flesh and bone to be reunited back together. The design is beautiful. It is incredibly complex, but at the same time it’s incredibly simple. Everybody knows what it is, but no one can truly explain its richness and depth. Such a wonderfully simple and complex design can only come from a God who is the same way. How can you explain the complexities of God being three in one? How can you explain Jesus being fully man and fully God at the same time? God is so complex and unexplainable that even the most brilliant minds are humbled by Him. But at the same exact time, even the simplest child can know Him. I might not be able to explain the intricacies of the Trinity, but I can sing with all my heart—Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. The way God designed marriage is the same way. And only a God like that could design an institution like that. Not only did God design marriage, He also presided over it. Look at what happened in verse 22. After God created Eve, He didn’t just step back and let things happen. What did He do? He brought her unto the man. Do you see the picture there? God not only created the institution, He presides over it. We have a tradition in our weddings that we ask a question at the beginning. We ask, “Who gives this woman to this man to be wed?” And then usually the father of the bride says, “I do.” That symbolizes the fact that the father is bringing his daughter to the man. But that is just a symbol. Because God is the one who brings her. Even today—wherever it happens. Whether the wedding is in the courthouse or Vegas or in a local church… when a man and woman are married God presides over the wedding just like He presided over the very first one. He might not be invited… but it’s His institution and He will preside over it. He created it, He designed it, He presides over it and He presents the bride to be married. And as He does, He seals it. Look at verse 24. What word does it begin with? Therefore. In other words, because God created marriage. Because He designed it. Because He presides over the wedding. Because He gives the bride away. Because of those things, He seals it. He seals it by reuniting the flesh and bone that was separated in the creative act of making the woman. They are now sealed together as one. Cleaved together. One flesh. Well, that’s all okay in theory. All that stuff might have worked back in the day. But this is a new time. This is a new world. Things are different today. They are? What do you base that on? Has God changed? No—God hasn’t changed. And His reasons for instituting marriage in the first place haven’t changed. God had two main reasons for creating the institution of marriage and those have not changed. As a matter of fact, on this side of eternity, they will never change. God created marriage to provide for our needs. And God created marriage to picture His nature. First, God created marriage to provide for our needs. Look at verse 18: