Theme: God’s Design
Scriptures: Matthew 19:4-6 and Genesis 2:18
Know: The Scripture clearly describes God’s design for gender, intimacy, and marriage. Violating His design leads to various detrimental consequences.
Think: Make a conscious effort to view gender, intimacy, and marriage issues through the lens of God’s Word.
Do: Model well the design God has given me for gender, intimacy, and marriage.
Notes and questions:
C1 Marriage and divorce (Source).
C2 Some Bible basics
D1 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18, NASB77)
E1 The word man is a gender specific word. In this case, man refers to Adam.
E2 He needed someone. It was not another man that he needed. He needed a female.
E3 How was Adam lacking? What was he lacking? If he was sinless and perfect, how could a woman help? (God saw man lacked many things, only a wife could help). [Being single is not a sin. Some are single because they choose. Others are single because of various circumstances. See E4 below.]
F1 From the FreeDictionary lack means
F2 The state of needing something that is absent or unavailable.
F3 Even deficit
E4 Some principles about singleness
F1 They are not socially awkward just because they are single.
F2 God blesses singles as well as married. Some more so.
F3 God gives spiritual gifts to singles as well as to married.
F4 God calls singles to Christian ministries.
F5 If divorced, just being single is not a failure.
F6 Jesus was single.
F7 So was Paul.
D2 And the man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place. And the LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. And the man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (Genesis 2:20-25, NASB77)
E1 No helper suitable for him.
E2 God provided.
E3 What cause was it (Genesis 2:24) is referred to here?
E4 What all is implied in the term one flesh? (Hint: the word for flesh not only means flesh but also body or person).
E5 Does the term naked only talking about no clothes?
E6 Utley writes in his commentary on this passage: This should go with chapter 3. The implication of the phrase is that Adam had nothing to hide from himself, his spouse, his God (BDB 101, KB 161, Hithpolel IMPERFECT). Therefore it is an idiom of innocence. Things will soon change!
E6 Is the man a helper also?
C3 Gender in the Scriptural idea is the DNA of a female (XX) or male (XY).
C4 God lives in and wants truth. Truth is reality, not delusion.
B2 Why is God’s design best? (God’s design of physical, soul, spiritual things is best because God is omniscient and omnisapient).
B3 What does design mean? Give some examples.
C1 Why would God’s design be better than human design?
C2 Here is a link giving many papers on the evidence for creation. The pages deal mostly with design from truth, math, science, logic, Scriptures, etc.
C3 If you look up the term “what is the most beautiful design?” in a search engine, nearly all the entries refer to things designed by humans.
C4 Human design--no matter how complicated--is only a biomimicry.
C5 Biomimicry is defined as “Biomimicry is an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies.” Source: https://biomimicry.org/what-is-biomimicry/
D1 Here are some examples from their site: https://biomimicry.org/biomimicry-examples/
B4 Postmodern society
D1 First Five Main Tenets of Postmodernism Jim Leffel, a Christian apologist and director of The Crossroads Project, outlined the primary tenets of postmodernism in these five points:
E1 Reality is in the mind of the beholder. Reality is what's real to me, and I construct my own reality in my mind.
E2 People are not able to think independently because they are defined—“scripted,” molded—by their culture.
E3 We cannot judge things in another culture or in another person’s life, because our reality may be different from theirs. There is no possibility of “transculture objectivity.”
E4 We are moving in the direction of progress, but are arrogantly dominating nature and threatening our future.
E5 Nothing is ever proven, either by science, history, or any other discipline.
D3 Basically there is no objective truth (absolute truth), just opinion. So they reject the Bible, etc. because it teaches absolute truth.
C2 How does a postmodern mindset, worldview, affect the Christian?
B5 Is there any truth? What is truth? Where do we start when conversing with someone who holds to postmodernism?
C1 Need to start with some possibilities. Some may reject it; some may not.
E1 Is pain real or illusory?
E2 How will you deal with pain?
E1 Is money real or illusory?
E2 What if you are short changed or someone steals your money? Is this wrong?
D3 If something is real or truth to you, how to you know?
D4 What do YOU say to flat earthers?
C2 Next go to the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20).
D1 Is there murder?
D2 Is there adultery? How would you feel if your best friend cheated on your girl-friend/boy-friend?
D3 Is there stealing?
C3 God has to do the rest. (When He [Holy Spirit] comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: (John 16:8, HCSB).
C4 Answer question honestly. If you don’t know, say so.
B6 How do we convince them that God’s designs are best?
C1 What is marriage? How do you know if you’re married? Is it a piece of paper, a witnessed event, you tell people you're married (common law), or something else?
C2 “So in answer He said to them: “Have you never read that the Creator at the beginning made them a male and a female? And He said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall be turned into one flesh’. So then, they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God joined together let not man separate!” (Matthew 19:4-6, WPNT).
D1 Who is the creator? Yahweh.
D2 How do we know? (The characteristics of God. None other has them).
D3 How did He make/create marriage?
D4 How are male and female joined together by God?
D5 Did God approve or allow any other type of joining?
C3 What are the basic types/styles of marriage?
D1 Egalitarian Described by Rachel Held Evans [warning she holds a very low view of Scriptures and even the Lord Jesus see this review, and here by the same reviewer] as
Women and men are equally:
- Created in God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:27).
- Share authority, dominion and agency in the world (Genesis 1:28).
- Responsible for and distorted by sin (Genesis 2:17, 3:11-19).
- Redeemed by Christ (John 3:16).
- Gifted by the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:17-18; Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 28; Ephesians 4:11-13).
- Responsible for using our God-given gifts (1 Corinthians 12:7, 2 Timothy 1:6-7).
E1 Both males and females are created in God’s image and likeness.
E2 Males are superior. Females are inferior. Thus females are not to have authority, dominion, or agency in the world.
E3 Both sin
E4 Both have been redeemed by Jesus Christ.
E5 Both are gifted by the Holy Spirit.
E6 Both are responsible to use their God-given gifts.
E7 Females are more easily deceived.
E8 Females are more prone to sin.
E9 Because of the above, males rule, females submit.
E1 Many different levels from near patriarchal to near egalitarian.
E2 For my 10 cents worth.
F1 Both males and females are created in God’s image and likeness.
F2 Sometime males are superior in their gifts and abilities, and sometimes females are superior.
F3 Both have authority, dominion, and agency in the world.
F4 Both are sinners.
F5 Both have been redeemed by Jesus Christ.
F6 Both are gifted by the Holy Spirit.
F7 Both are responsible to use their God-given gifts.
F8 Both male and female are deceived and can be deceived. Sometimes the male is more easily deceived, and sometimes the female.
F9 Both males and females sin. Sometimes males sin more than females, and sometimes females sin more. Both are prone to sin.
F10 Some males are better at leadership, and sometimes females are.
F11 51% and 49% (male/female authority ratio). This comes from my view of marriage, so see below.
F12 I would be a 9 on Rev Dr James M Leonard’s list of women in ministry.
C4 What is the purpose of marriage?
D1 One view: The man works and brings home the money. The woman takes care of the house and the children. This would be at least 70%/30% all the way to 100%/0% in male/female authority. Sometimes this is switched with the wife works and brings home the money and the man takes care of the house and children. In this type, the woman cannot work outside the home, and the husband makes the decisions.
D2 A male and female united by God and witnessed by God and people (witnesses) to
E1 Glorify God together: Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31, NKJV)
E2 Be a family team that goes through life worshipping, working, rejoicing, sorrowing, having fun, facing problems, etc. together.
E3 When a problem arises, identify, work to together for a solution, and follow the plan. Sometimes, though, a problem arises that cannot be agreed on no matter how hard you both try. In this case the husband has to make sure he loves his wife as Christ loves the church and the wife willing submits (yields) to her husband. This would be the 51%/49% ratio, because most of the time, there would be agreement. Also, if his idea was wrong, it is OK to tell him, “I told you so,” one time.
E4 The description of marriage would not be Old Testament men but the marriage called good by God in Genesis 2:18-25 and the Lord Jesus in Matthew 19:4-6. The men/husbands in the Old Testament did not follow God’s design.
C1 God’s will is to never divorce. That is His plan and design.
C2 Due to people being sinners, there are times He allows it.
D1 Allowed for
E1 Adultery (“And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” (Matthew 19:9, NKJV)
E2 Desertion (But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such [cases.] But God has called us to peace. (1 Corinthians 7:15, NKJV). This would allow an abused spouse to LEAVE, because the vows have been deserted.
E3 Deuteronomy 24:1-4. Barbara Roberts explains it better than any: I don’t believe that in verse one of Deuteronomy 24, Moses was giving a law that permitted divorce. Rather, I believe that in verses one to four of that chapter, Moses was giving a law that prohibited one particular type of remarriage after divorce. That law prohibited a man remarrying a woman he had previously divorced if she had married another man after he divorced her and if that subsequent marriage of hers had terminated (either by divorce or by the death of her second husband). I read verses 1 to 3 as the case study example which sets out the particular and limited conditions in which remarriage after divorce is not allowed.
D2 Not allowed for
E1 A husband falsely accusing his wife of sexual activity before they were married. Deuteronomy 22:13-21.
E2 A man who had sex with a single, not betrothed, women would have to marry her. This would be a shotgun wedding. ““If a man finds a young woman, a virgin [who] is not engaged, and he seizes her and he has sex with her and they are caught, then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty [shekels] of silver, and she shall become his wife because he violated her, and he is not allowed to divorce her during his lifetime. A man may not take the wife of his father, and [so] he may not dishonor his father. (Deuteronomy 22:28-30, LEB). This would not be rape, as most translations have it, but premarital sex, for they were caught, discovered. Also see here: What Does the Bible Say About Sexual Assault?
E3 Rapists faced death as in Genesis 34, especially Genesis 34:25 (the case of Dinah). So also death was the penalty for those who raped the concubine (Judges 19-21). King David’s daughter Tamar was raped by her half-brother. He died also when Absalom killed him (2 Samuel 13).
B9 Problem marriages
C1 Misunderstanding of what love is.
D1 Love is a choice, not a happening. Love is a giving, not a getting.
E1 ἀγάπη agápē is the love of choice. See the choice in John 15:13, Romans 13:10, Luke 11:42, 1 Thessalonians 1:3, etc. and etc.
E2 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. (Romans 13:10, WPNT). My and your closest neighbor is our spouse.
D2 In a problem marriage, the spouses are not choosing to love.
D3 1 Corinthians 13, is this love in action. If I love my wife, I will be doing these things from the heart.
D4 Some, narcissists for example, only have a façade. They act 1 Corinthians 13 in public, but haters, abuses, hitters, yellers, and everything else evil in private.
D5 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:31-32, NLT)
C2 Misunderstanding of what marriage is. See Purpose of marriage above, B7, C4, D2 in the outline.
B10 How can we raise our children and discuss with others we meet so they understand God’s design?
C1 Understand what God’s design is.
C2 Live God’s design.
C3 God shows His design for marriage in Genesis 2. This was pronounced good. It is one man (XY) with one woman (XX). There is no other marriage or relationship design approved of in the Bible.
B11 Does God’s design change over time, in different cultures, or based on people’s personal preferences?
B12 What is the result of NOT following God’s design? There is a way that seems upright ⌞to⌟ a man, but its end is the way of death. (Proverbs 14:12 [LEB])
B13 Next week:
C1 In His Likeness
C2 Theme: Made in the image of God.
C3 Scriptures: Genesis 1:27 and Romans 5:12-21