Adam and Eve.
God created the first man and woman, the first husband and wife. God created each of them as perfect humans and placed them in a perfect marriage. There is so much to learn from God’s template for a sacred marriage and relationship but I find one verse particularly illuminating.
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.
Genesis 2:23-25 (ESV)
The last verse, “naked but not ashamed”, has always intrigued me. This may be interpreted at many different levels but one meaning could be that husband and wife should be completely exposed and transparent with their feelings and intentions toward one another. These are lofty words, often conveyed in pre-marital counseling sessions. Eager young couples, including myself and my wife, will enthusiastically nod in agreement when admonished to seek this highest level of communication. However, the reality can sometimes be a bumpy road. Even between the most compatible couples, conflicts arise. Two different souls will inevitably lead to two or more different paths and opinions.
The world does not assist married couples in achieving this supreme level of a marital relationship and often instructs in wayward directions. The popular press, social media or television shows may shame us by exposing dark and hidden secrets about individuals and couples. It is a different type of exposure with our faults laid bare for all to witness. It is an exposure that inhibits a couple’s desire to be honest with each other.
God has created us with an innate desire to seek a perfect marriage, one that is completely exposed-honest, open, and trusting. We want to emulate the first perfect marriage but we are unable because sin has marred our relationship. We are exposed, naked and definitely ashamed. Yet we do not lose hope for God has provided an answer.
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Ephesians 5:31-33 (ESV)
The Apostle Paul references the same verse in Genesis in his letter to the Ephesian church. Husband and wife are to love each other as though they were loving their own selves. The union of marriage is much more than the union of a man and wife. It is the union of Jesus Christ and His Church. Fallen and marred by sin, believers in Jesus Christ are sanctified by faith in His Name.
A marriage represents our relationship with Jesus Christ. We stand naked and exposed before Him but are not ashamed because of His grace and mercy for all who have repented of their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.