In Genesis 1, God’s creations of Adam and Eve appear to be simultaneous. God says, “Let us make man in our image,” and then he proceeds to create both male and female—Adam and Eve (Ge 1:26, 27). In Genesis 2, however, we learn there was a gap between them. He created Adam, placed him in the garden of Eden, forbade him from eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and only later did he form Eve (Ge 2:15, 17). Why? Why not create them at the same time?
God wanted Adam to see how much he needed Eve. She was a gift to him to be loved, respected, and appreciated, which perhaps Adam would have missed had God not first given him a taste of life without her.
Even after the Lord declares, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper corresponding to him,” he doesn’t immediately create Eve (Ge 2:18). Instead, he parades every living creature before Adam and assigns Adam with the task of naming them (Ge 2:19). God intentionally confronts Adam with his loneliness by forcing him to face every last creature on earth, causing him to realize no helper could be found corresponding to him (Ge 2:20). He was unique and alone.
Now equipped with this painful awareness, God causes a deep sleep to come over Adam (Ge 2:21). He takes one of his ribs, closes the flesh at that place, forms a woman from that rib, and brings her to Adam like the first father walking his daughter down the aisle (Ge 2:21, 22). When Adam wakes and sees his bride, he is overjoyed and shouts:
This one, at last, is bone of my bone
and flesh of my flesh;
this one will be called “woman,”
for she was taken from man. (Genesis 2:23)
Adam knows she is a part of him. Genesis says when a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, they become one flesh (Ge 2:24). No two creatures on earth could ever experience that kind of intimacy outside of a husband and his wife. God reserves the most incredible relationship for one man and woman within the marriage covenant.
Men, God created us to want the precious gift he gave Adam. Your longing to find a good woman is godly. Your desire to share your life with her is admirable. If you haven’t discovered her yet, please don’t lose heart. Wait on the Lord’s perfect timing. If you have found her, marry her. By God’s design, the companionship your soul craves will never be found outside the sacred marriage covenant.
If you have married her, husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her (Eph 5:25). Love her. Serve her. Nurture her. Protect her. Treat her better than you would ever treat yourself. Remind yourself often that the secret to a successful marriage is Christ. The apostle Paul says marriage was a profound mystery for thousands of years (Eph 5:32). No one truly understood why marriage existed until the first advent of Christ. Only after he willingly laid down his life for his bride, the church, could we grasp why God created a man to need a woman and vice versa. The secret to marriage is the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Set aside those self-help books and study the gospel.
Furthermore, never take your wife for granted. Despite her imperfections, which you are to take an active role in cleansing with the washing of water by the word of God (i.e., leading her in holiness), she’s a priceless gift from God (Eph 5:26). She is bone of your bone and flesh of your flesh (Ge 2:23). She is your perfect, God-ordained companion.