The golden sun peeked through the trees as dawn gave birth to another day. A pure white dove hovered over the dusty earth. A gentle breeze rustled through the trees clearing the mist in its path and falling on the sleeping man.
Aroused, the man sat up rubbing his eyes. “Was I dreaming or were those the fingers of God I felt touch my side?” Standing to his feet, the man nudged forward, squinting his eyes to focus on the image before him. His dearest friend, the Lord and Creator of the universe, stood next to the most captivating, ravishing creature, unlike any he had ever seen. Animals of all shapes, sizes, and varieties stood by in pairs, affirming God’s splendid creation, silent witnesses to the most spectacular union of God’s imagination.
Entranced, man watched as God took woman by the hand and led her down a flower-strewn path to face him. In that moment of understanding, man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (Gen.2:23).
And who gives this woman to be married to this man? “I do,” replies the clear, strong voice of God. And thus commenced the first garden wedding recorded in history.
And God’s message to the newly married couple?
1) Leave father and mother.
Notice in Genesis 2:24 that God instructs the man to leave his parents. As head of the home, he is ultimately responsible before God for how that home functions. He is to leave physically, emotionally, and financially. He is to respect and honor his parents (Eph.6:2), but he is no longer bound to obey them as he was as a child. He is to set the example before his wife in leaving parents.
2) Cleave to one another.
God instructs the man to commit to his wife. He is responsible for holding the union together. “Cleave” has the idea of being welded together so that each becomes a part of the other. They establish a new home with traditions, rules, and activities that reflect their unique personality as a couple. The man is to love and cherish his wife as Christ loves the Church while the wife is to respect her husband’s God-given authority as head of the home (Eph.5:33). Together they are fellow heirs of the grace of life, equal though functioning differently within the home (1Peter 3:7).
3) Become one flesh.
In God’s mysterious and thrilling design, the one flesh union between a man and a woman best represents His image. It also best represents His relationship with His child, one of openness, total exposure and abandonment to His purposes. Every time a husband and wife engage in sexual intercourse, they revisit the garden where God ordained, “And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed (Gen.2:25). As Ed Wheat says in his book Intended for Pleasure, “Adam and Eve could see each other as they really were, without shame, disappointment, or frustration. The sex relationship God had designed for them brought the blessings of companionship, unity, and delight.”
“I now pronounce you man and wife. What I have joined together, let no man put asunder!” declares God, the Creator and Master of the universe. “You may now kiss your bride,” God directs the eager groom.
Fire shines in the man’s eyes and an alluring smile crosses the woman’s lips. Their eyes lock in passionate knowledge. Reaching for one another, their lips part then meet in a deep and satisfying kiss, unleashing warm provocative sensations they have never experienced before. And it is only the beginning. The animals retreat in a knowing gesture. But God lingers to bless the union which He created. With pleasure, He affirms the lovemaking of His precious children within the context of the marital union.
And what God has joined together, let no man separate!
Ed Wheat, M.D. and Gaye Wheat. Intended for Pleasure, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1977. Used by permission.