Chapter Three     The Husband and His Wife 


“And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and keep it.’…. ‘And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, this is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Gen. 2:15-24).


We see that from the very beginning that God set up a unique relationship. This covenant of the marriage relationship created and established by God, is a picture of the relationship between Christ who is the husband, and His Church, which is His bride.


God placed the man His garden that He created, with the express purpose of dressing and keeping it.  He was not there to sit around idly. No, he was to work in His garden. Beloved this is not like the labor that we experience today when we work by the sweat of our brow, no his labor was easy! And in so doing his labor that his creator God had commanded him, he was blest to enter into rest! (See Ps. 95:11, Heb. 3:11, 4:3-5)

Let’s pause right here and ask ourselves one question, what would happen to the garden if Adam did not “dress and keep” it? Now the Hebrew word for “dress” is the word, 'abad, (aw-bad') which means to work, to cultivate just like a husbandman in the fields, to make ready for show, groom, ornament a thing. Adam was to work in the garden to “dress it and keep it” as a show place to the glory of God. He cared for it, by trimming, removing the weeds, picking out the little stones, and removing anything that would detract from the garden. He was to shamar, (shaw-mar') which means to “keep” the garden. He was to hedge about it (as with thorns), guard it, protect, shield, and preserve it!


Some people will think to themselves, “I don’t think that there were any “weeds” in God’s garden. But please try to keep an open mind here. We need to ask ourselves, “What is a weed anyway?” What is it that comes to mind when you hear the word weed? When we think of a weed we think of it from the point of view of sin. Our gardens today are worked by the sweat of our brows because of sin. And to us a weed is a bad thing. Why, because they cause our natural garden to be choked out. Adam’s burden in the garden was not at all like the burden we have today. The weeds in that garden took away from the beauty of that lovely garden, which was a reflection or picture of the glory of God in His Church. This teaches us that we too need to work in the garden of our marriage relationship, to “dress it and keep it’” and that’s what this writing is all about.


So here was Adam in this beautiful garden, but he was all alone. And God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make an “help meet” for him.” Now what is a “help meet?” These two English  words “help” and “meet”  are only one  Hebrew word, 'ezer  (ay'-zer) which is a helper. This “help meet” that God was to create for Adam was there for a purpose too! Yes, she like the man Adam was not to sit idly by in the garden, but she was to be a “help meet” for him. She was not to be his slave. But she would be there to advise, uphold, encourage, befriend, to sustain, and nourish him...she was to be his fitting and perfect partner!


Yes, a she was to be his helper and much, much more! So God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and He took one of his ribs from his side and made a woman. The Hebrew word for woman is “ishshah”(ish-shaw), which is the same word for wife, which has a meaning that is not always expressed in English. She was not a child, but a full-grown woman. The word woman literally means a man plus a wife... she is a woman.


And God brought her to “meet” Adam. They were joined together into the union of marriage,  one man, and one woman. “And Adam said, this is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.” He knew that this was not like any other “flesh” that he had seen in the garden before. She was made from one of his bones, and was flesh of his flesh. Not like the flesh of the animals that God had brought before him, no she was taken from him! And he said, “she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”


Now let’s look at these words “leave” and “cleave.” A man is to “leave,” or forsake, relinquish, and give up his father and his mother, and then “cleave,” unto his wife. Now the word “cleave” has two meanings, first to cling, adhere, fasten, and to unite together. And second it also means to sever, hew, split, and divide (See Ps. 74:15).


In the marriage relationship, as it was designed by its Creator, God, there is to be both a cutting away, and an uniting together at the same time! When we read the word of God doesn’t it declare, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12.) Yes, the covenant of God, in the marriage union, divides and unites at the same time! It divides and cuts us away from our old bonds, and unites us into our new God given and God designed ones.

The covenant of the grace of God, Jesus Christ, our Husband, who came down from heaven, to redeem us, His bride! He severed Himself from heaven and from His glory that He had with the father, and united us unto Himself…forever! He “cleaves” unto us! He is ONE in the Father and we are ONE in Him, and He is in us! (See John 14:20)


Marriage is a covenant that has been divinely instituted by God to be a life long vocation. And along with this knowledge we need to understand the obligations and responsibilities that we are to assume when we enter into that union. And these obligations and responsibilities should never be taken and entered into lightly. When we enter into this covenant we need to keep in mind at all times that God Himself has ordained it, and has given us His guidelines to govern us while we live and grow in it.


By examining Ephesians 5:15-33, we learn that the husband and his wife are to “walk circumspectly,” with a watchful eye, in the wisdom of God, being heedful of one another, “not as fools,” keeping the presence of the mind of Christ, being “wise, redeeming the time.” A husband and his wife are to redeem their time together by buying up every opportunity, and moment together, making the most of every opportunity that God blesses them to have, giving each other the best advantage in their time and interaction (see also Col. 4:5), “because the days are evil.”


And always praying for each other, asking the Lord to reveal His will for them, and “speaking to” themselves “in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in” their “heart” to Him who created the covenant relationship of marriage and the family that they have  entered into. Not being “drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” We should remember to always be “giving thanks for all things.” Thanking God for every opportunity that He has blessed them with in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.