Saturday 19 February 2022


The Old Testament reading on Sunday is from Genesis 2, v 4-9. 15-25     

I would be surprised to find many sermons this Sunday (or any Sunday) based on this passage. The problem is the main line Churches just don’t believe it has much credibility now, or are too afraid to preach it.

 In the first few verses. the state of the earth was  described as a barren land with nothing growing as God had not watered the ground, nor was there any man to care for it. God attended by causing springs of water, and having created animals, created the first human being, a man.

God next created a garden named Eden, a word meaning a paradise, and told us where it was, so we can place it as being where Armenia is now.  He gave man authority to name and rule over animals, and to tend to the garden.

 He told the man he could eat the fruit of any tree in the garden, except from  one tree, and if he did touch that tree he could die. This was a testing to see if man obeyed, and was faithful to God, but he did not, and brought sin into the world. He became subject to toil all his life.

 Loyalty to God was not given, and indeed loyalty is a quality of nature hard to find, and over the years. I have found it hard to find true faithfulness from people who I thought at one time reliable.  

 As Adam was disloyal to God, so are so many people to this passage. I cannot remember anyone I have met who accepts this passage, except a  friend I met from a Church in  Birmingham; a lady truly loyal to the Bible and the God who wrote it. In Deuteronomy 29, are these words; The LORD our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable for ever  for all that he has revealed to us.

This is God’s world, and he wants a relationship with us, and he expects to be able to trust and rely on us.

 God took pity on Adam, and said ‘it is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him’. Anyone who has led a solitary life will know how it can become depressing. All my life in two professions, I have been fully involved in public life, and have witnessed and tended to people completely left alone in their lives. Students alone for the fist time and totally lost in the big city; men/women forced to live away from home due to business; divorced people, men/women lost a life’s partner, a close friend (you thought) who wandered off. All are victims of loneliness, and in desperation find themselves doing and taking things they never would have contemplated doing.

 But it is an experience all people pass through in their lives, and feel a need for human companionship. God made us that way, and did not want us to suffer what can be extremely testing.  I often wonder how a man/woman who has been in a divorce has felt when the one they once loved, is now disliked or even hated. Or against their wishes divorced, and their ex who they still love, is with someone else. I cannot imagine the pain there must be

 God knew man would be lonely, and a failure on his own. He decided to provide a helper.  The LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. Whilst the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs.  The LORD God made a woman from the rib, and brought her to the man.  This was the most precious gift for the man, who now had a perfect companion.

 Matthew Henry wrote, ‘woman was made not out of man’s head to rule over him, not out of his foot to be trampled on, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, near to his heart to be loved’

 We must accept that God knows best, it is his world, he created all within, and when he wanted man to have a companion, He made a woman as the perfect answer, men and women with different made bodies for a purpose; someone who could complement man in every way, physically and mentally in a way other men could not, and men throughout the ages have appreciated and recognised this. God wanted to supply what was lacking in man’s life, and together they could have children and create the ideal family.

 Some people do not want to attach themselves to one person, others do not want children so see no need for marriage; others still, want to devote themselves to a career, where a partner would be a hindrance they feel.

 I think a partnership of a man/woman need not be limited to marriage, but in general life, bearing in mind men and women have different characters and emotions, by those differences, a mixed couple can be of enormous good for them as they give two approaches, and the tasks they are required to do are more fully dealt with.  This has been true from the very beginning of human existence: men and women designed to work together.

 God made men and women to have a natural attraction, opposites attracting. God planned the human heart to love, marry and have children. Most men if honest would concede how their wife has been of much help. Woman has been the greatest gift I have had, a wife thoroughly reliable and loyal to the extreme, always ready to support or comfort

.The Bible states a man should leave his parents and cleave to his wife.  Cleave means glued together, so the two should grow in love through the years in an exclusive commitment. As they do so they share likes and dislikes, and whilst they will have different strengths and weaknesses, each will help the other. They will find they can know the other’s feelings and often anticipate what the other is thinking. They need to trust each other and have no secrets. The wife is now the one in the man’s life who takes precedence over all others.    

So we have two people, equal yet different, no question of superiority or inferiority. They were not meant to be identical, men are generally stronger physically, more aggressive, women softer and sensitive and caring, specially equipped to be mothers, and usually live longer. We are a mixture that complements one another. The wife is now the one in the man’s life who takes precedence over all others.  

Marriage was the first institution created, before all else and through the years since the beginning of time, it has been practiced in every nation, and is the greatest stability for society. It is essential for the culture in which we live. One man, one woman, (no plurals) joined to share life together, raise families. This is God’s ordinance it is not something someone thought up.

Notice God said a man and a woman shall marry, and what God says God means. Jesus endorsed the teaching of God by performing his first miracle at a wedding ceremony.

 Marriage is under fierce attack from all sides to-day. And the deplorable and sad situation is the Church supports those challenging.  The man who led the greatest and only revival in this country, John Wesley, and founded and built the Methodist Church, preached strongly for marriage and laid out in the Methodist Church the marriage service, was betrayed by its present leaders who sought society’s cheap favor, by agreeing to perform same sex marriages above God’s Holy Word, without consulting members as they did two years ago, when it was decidedly rejected. Probably why members were not asked this time.

 Similarly in the Church of England we have more than one bishop calling for traditional marriage to be abandoned to avoid offending others. See how God, the creator is left out again.  Now we have the claim that two people of the same sex can also marry, because God is love. There is no justification for that, but if two people want to live together, that is a matter for them to decide. Such is freedom and tolerance we are supposed to have in this country, something opponents of marriage do not believe in.

 But the Church cannot support, as God has taught against, saying a man shall not lie with another male as he would with a woman. This was quoted in guidance by Paul in his Letter to the Romans, when same sex was condemned. What others do is a personal matter, but it is blatantly wrong for any Christian to support or endorse.

Men and women are meant to be together in societies, and that the most basic unit of society is the married family of one man and one women together in a sexual relationship for life. Not a man and a man (nor a woman and a woman) in a sexual relationship, but a man and a woman. Not Adam and Steve, but Adam and Eve.

Another difficulty is, we can’t agree as to what is a man, and what is a woman; it is a very confused society  which cannot make its mind up.

Christians have to follow that which God said, men and women cannot be followers of Jesus Christ if they defy God’s teaching, he gives no leeway.

 Turning to the practical application to daily living, when two people marry they should make every effort to start a new life together in a home of their own. I heard one wise Minister saying, even get a caravan than live with parents, which in many cases means a parent will support their own child, which doesn’t help a life of peace. A cynic might say two women cannot share a kitchen as another reason.

God made woman to share with him, a mutual concern and responsibility in the home. Some women are left to run the home, because that it is thought is what women are for. Well gone are the days when fathers were seen as having a direct responsibility for discipline and behaviour, and children knew that.

There appears to be far more attractions, so to leave a wife as housekeeper, whilst the husband is off to football or whatever else. Sometimes the pet dog is given equal, if not more attention. In the current age, specially when women are engaged in careers, the husband if he cares for his wife, should help domestically.

There is a conception in Catholic Churches that a primary function of women is to be a producer of children, and sex should be restricted for that purpose.  I don’t see any support for that in the Bible, but there again the Bible has less influence in most denominations these days.

The Bible states a man shall be united with his wife and they become one flesh.    Genesis tells us that sex is good. The gift of sex or human sexuality is there right at the heart of God's good creation, after God had created male and female - he 'blessed them' and they were part of all that he had made.

It is essential for a successful marriage to exist, the two must be one at heart and mind. When Adam first saw his wife Eve, he said, This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh, she is one being with me. No longer should they be totally independent, that leads to disaster. They are one, and must learn to strive to agree, or rarely amicably disagree for there are some issues which would be unresolved. The consequences for arguments is hurt and much unpleasantness, and most will probably be trivial.

Constant bickering inevitably leads to divorce, and involves other people. Parents, family members, definitely children, the greatest losers. Children who love their mother and father become broken hearted, and feel abandoned, as they will be if the parents break up. Repeated social studies confirm that children of divorced parents fall behind in schools, less involved and at risk of falling into bad habits.

It is for this reason that divorce is such a terrible thing, especially after years of marriage.  Statistics suggest men are more likely to get involved with another woman, leaving the wife having to bring up children on her own. In recent times women also have strayed with another man when working closely.  I have thought about this lately, and wonder how can two people,  who must have thought a lot of each other at one time, possibly become estranged and know their partner is alive, but living another life without them. I find it so hard to imagine; I am finding it hard being on my own, but I recognise the cause of my separation was death, something beyond my wife or my own control.

 Men today have given up the role of leadership in the home. The Bible calls on men to exercise leadership, which in those terms means accepting responsibility of caring for the needs of the family, and not leaving it to the woman.  The Bible states leadership, not dictatorship, or bullying. The ideal couple will learn to discuss all matters and come to a shared decision, each preparing to accept one giving way in turns.  Believe me as time goes on, if you live in harmony, you will be able to know what your partner is thinking.

In Verse 25, "And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed." This speaks clearly of openness between man and wife, literally, nothing to hide. A married couple must, most certainly not have any secrets, for to have secrets has an ulterior motive, leading to a lack of trust and showing contempt for your partner.  If a subject needs secrets, give it up. No secrets, nothing that they do not share with each other, a complete openness. There is to be a complete freedom of communication, one with the other.

We have looked fully, and hopefully helpfully.  I have tried to remain faithful to Scripture, which no doubt will arouse criticism, but I trust no one will be offended, I have not intended to offend, just to tell it as it is written.

I wish all married couples, and proposed couples every happiness. If you have a marriage as happy as mine was, you will be truly blessed.


Eternal God, maker of harmony and happiness, we thank you for the gift of marriage in which men and women find fulfilment and the blessing of family life. Give patience to those looking forward to marriage; give courage to those who face difficulties within their marriage; give comfort to those whose marriage is broken; give gratitude to those whose marriages  are successful and fruitful. And let their lives reflect your glory and your love.  In Jesus name we pray

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