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Bone of My Bones
Overview: The creation story concludes with the formation of Eve as a precursor to the institution of marriage and a requisite to the command to be fruitful and multiply. Although Adam lived under the favor of God in a pristine environment with the ability to be productive in his work and creative with his mind, his life apart from human companionship was still incomplete. The Lord filled this void by fashioning the woman as Adam’s helper. Using different material but with the same care as before, God formed the woman and brought her to the man. Adam’s response of praise, gratitude, and commitment is followed by a pronouncement on the covenant nature of marriage. The original audience would have thus captured the undertones of human vitality and covenant fidelity as they experienced life together in a fallen world.
01. Biblical marriage is instituted by God for the enjoyment of those who seek to be married, for the procurement of a stable society, and for a better understanding of God’s covenant love for the church.
02. Biblical community is designed by God for the edification of those who profess to know the Lord, for the advancement of the kingdom of God, and as a living illustration of God’s covenant love for the church.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION AND DISCOVERY
1. What advantages did Adam have in the garden of Eden that brought him joy? Why was his life yet incomplete? In what specific way did the Lord demonstrate to Adam that his life was incomplete? How does this narrative point to your own experience of seeking fulfillment through companionship?
2. How does the idea of Eve being a “helper” to Adam seem to suggest inferiority? How do we know that the Bible does not teach that women are inferior to men? [Hint: see Genesis 1:27]. How does the use of the term “helper” in the Bible help us to appreciate the ways in which Eve complemented Adam? See Exodus 18:4 and Psalm 20:2 for further insight.
3. Why do you suppose Eve was created from Adam’s rib rather than from the dust of the ground? In what way does Adam’s recognition of her construction from his rib indicate a personal bond between the two? How did the fact that God brought her to Adam set the tone for their marital relationship?
4. Why does Genesis inform us that marriage requires severing ties with mother and father in order to establish a new relationship? What difficulties can occur when a spouse continues to cleave to one’s parents rather than cleaving to his/her spouse?
5. How can people who are single find meaningful companionship in the church? In what ways can the church be more sensitive to those who wish to remain single (i.e., by not assuming they should be married)? In what ways can the church be more active in affirming those who wish to remain single?
For Further Reading: Timothy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage (Penguin, 2011)