In the beginning, God formed a man from the dust of the ground. Seeing that it was not good for him to be alone, God cast him into a deep sleep, extracted a rib from his side, fashioned it into a woman, and–in the first marriage ceremony–brought the woman to her husband. She was to be his companion, helper, lover, mother of his children, and “bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh” (Genesis 2).

According to the apostle Paul, these true historical events contain a great mystery. The first Adam represents the last Adam–Jesus Christ. The woman represents the Church, Christ’s Bride. Figuratively speaking, she comes from Christ’s very body, which God cast into the sleep of death at Calvary for the redemption of a sinful but beloved people. Now that Christ is awake from the dead, God is bringing that people to his Son, to be his eternal companion, helper, lover, and (spiritual) mother of his children. He is also her head, and she his body, so that she is “bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh” (Ephesians 5).

In this mystery we discover the deep reason why God opposes–and threatens to judge–any sexual behavior that departs from the marriage norm, whether pre-marital sex, adultery, divorce, or homosexual relations. He opposes them because such practices grievously disfigure a sacred institution that was meant to picture the joy of his heart: the eternal union of Christ and his Bride–a Bride constituted, in part, by former fornicators, adulterers, divorcĂ©es, and homosexuals, all of whom have now returned, in gratitude and joy, to the Healer and Lover of their souls.

As America continues to debate the ethics of homosexual marriage–and as Californians prepare to vote on it this November–may we ponder long and hard the biblical view of the mystery of marriage. For not only the Bible, but all history, all world religion, and all moral common sense warn us that no man, woman, or nation can safely cast it behind their back.

Dean Davis
September, 2008