This is How it Continued - Rev. P.K. KEIZER

Taken from the Clarion (1976) Vol. 25, No. 16.

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24

Perhaps you have never paid special attention to the fact that there is much in favour of the statement that Eve was not created on the same day as Adam, namely on the sixth day. Otherwise on that sixth day much more would have happened than on the preceding days.

We read that on the sixth day God created: cattle, reptiles and wild animals. After that He kept divine counsel and created man. Further He would then on that same day have made the Garden of Eden. After that all sorts of animals passed by Adam, who looked at them attentively and gave them names which perfectly fit their nature. God also gave him before that the so-called "test-commandment" and considered with Himself to make a help meet for him. Then follows Adam's sleep and God's surgical action, from which no scar remained or bodily defect, for God filled up the place with flesh. Finally there is the awakening of Adam while he saw the Lord approaching him with Eve to give her to Adam who sang about her: "the wo-man!"

And all that in one day? Yes, it is, of -course, possible! Of course, God can do that!

When it says in Genesis 1:27, "God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female He created them," then we should pay attention to this "male and female." Scripture does speak here of Adam and Eve both, but not only of our first parents. God created "him"; that is a so-called collective pronoun and refers to the whole human race, men and women. If you would like to conclude from this verse that Eve, too, was created on the sixth day and, for instance, not on the eighth day, then I don't wish to fight about that. "If anyone is out to be put in the right, we do not have that custom, neither do the Churches of God." I Corinthians 11:16.

If only it is established that God created heaven and earth in six normal days and that everything was very good (1:31). Anyway, in Chapter 2:7 and 8 reference is made to Adam only, and in 2:8 God Himself says: "It is not good that man should be alone."

To create is the work of God alone. But after the seventh day, on which He rested, nevertheless we read frequently that God works: Psalm 51:12, Isaiah 45:7; 65:17, 18; Jeremiah 31:22; Amos 4:13; cf. also Psalm 104:13, 14.

Adam was for some time the only human being on earth. The only one! Wasn't that a terrible thing?

Adam was for some time the only human being on earth. The only one! Wasn't that a terrible thing? But he was not lonely in the gloomy sense which the word has with us. God his Father was always close by, walked with him and talked with him in that Garden of Eden which was inhabited by the most beautiful animals, such as we have never known them. Alone, but not lonesome!

Then God began again to create. Adam did not witness that. God brought him under "anaesthesia" and took away a rib of his. That rib points to his breastbone and his spine, which protect his heart. Children are born out of the generation of father and mother. Eve was created out of Adam's side, behind which was his heart. She was not born of Adam, but built into a separate being.

Adam appears to understand that. unity as it exists in marriage. He is elated. First he felt the one-ness of his own existence; now he feels the "twoness" and, when children are born, the plurality.

Two people: Adam as human being is not superior, but as man he is totally different from Eve who, as the woman is not inferior, but equally different in everything (and not only sexually.)

The fact that woman is "the other one" appears in everything: in her way of thinking, her speaking, her manner of reacting, her moving around, her task and place in vocation and art and every other aspect of life. They were both naked and were not ashamed for each other nor for God, as was the case later on.

During a youth conference the honest question was asked, "May a boy shake hands with a girl?" Of course! "May he kiss her?" Yes, if he succeeds. "May he go further, even to the last and most intimate unity?" No! "And why not? Everyone laughs at you if you say that you never went all the way, and then you simply don't rate. They look at you as if you are not 100%. Your friends mock you. And what are you then to say in reply? That that is not proper?" - "Who is it that forbids you that? Why do you have to make such a fuss about a wedding day? Why all those special clothes which cost handfuls of money? Why do you first have to declare before an official person that you love each other? What an old-fashioned nonsense and dead customs! It is a matter between the two of us alone, isn't it? Why can you shake hands, why go for a walk, why give a kiss (if you get the chance) and then all of a sudden: 'Stop, no further!?' And then - your whole long life tied to that one person? Come on!"

That was really an honest question; what are you to say to that?

They put the Bible in front of me on the table, for they knew themselves that it was not proper to go "all the way." However, the "Christian consensus of opinion" is breaking down more and more and has, in fact, been totally undermined; and now our boys and girls can no longer be content with just saying, "It is not proper," when they are being attacked at the office or in the factory or wherever they have their place of employment.

Then the last and only bulwark is: "What does the Lord God say in His Word?" And I don't think that this applies only to the younger ones!

Because God Himself "made" marriage, He is the only One who knows "how it works." First read His "instructions for use," otherwise accidents will happen.

"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother."

That's the first thing. "To leave," of course, does not mean "to despise." Never! It means as an adult "to leave the house," of course with the approval of the parents.

That is already a strange thing: a child, a part of yourself, whom you brought up together as parents, of whom you took care in days of illness, for whom you prayed, whom you brought to' school :And accompanied for years, "all of a sudden" goes along with a strange boy or a strange girl: "Thanks for everything," and you have "lost" your child. And even if you see them back within a week, everything is different! They are grown up, they live in another house, they take their own decisions. They have become independent.

That is the first thing: bodily and spiritually to be an adult, able before God and men to bear the responsibility for one another and eventually for a family.

To say "Yes" on the day of the engagement or the day of marriage to a boy or a girl that did not yet say "Yes" to the God of his (her) life, that is something you should not do!

To say "Yes" on the day of the engagement or the day of marriage to a boy or a girl that did not yet say "Yes" to the God of his (her) life, that is something you should not do!

The time of engagement does not mean, "Let's see whether it will work out," but "Learn to prove that it does work out."

For that reason there should not be any "child marriages" as is the case in the Orient. What an inconceivable misery is suffered by the girls in those regions!

Then there is the second point: "cleave unto his wife." To cleave unto her means that she is included in everything, that she is not kept out of anything, cf. Genesis 34:3; I Kings 11:2; Ruth 1:14; II Samuel 20:2.

You love one another, but you will also have to love one another. That is beautiful, when you have to do that which you love to do, also in days in which sometimes a cloud of estrangement is the reason why you have trouble finding his (her) hand. "You shall love."

Finally (!) there comes as the third and last point, "And they two shall be one flesh."

That is quite a bit more than just sexual intercourse! This can be interrupted for years, for instance because of illness. And ultimately it disappears altogether, after which there frequently is a happy married life for many years yet.

Sexual intercourse can be blest by God by means of the birth of children. There are many means nowadays to prevent that. "Sex" is something in itself and leaves deep wounds. Ask any Christian-psychiatrist!

But everything that can be done is certainly not yet permissible.

God "built this into" that which we mentioned above under "first" and "second." Only after that did He mention the third aspect: "to be one being," and part of that is the bodily unity.

Thus He created marriage and instituted this order.

In this institution "father and mother" definitely have a place, and, together with father and mother, "all who are in authority over us," and they are in this connection the civil authorities and the Church.

If we call all that unnecessary fuss, we so easily block the way for the blessing of the fifth commandment (which precedes the seventh): "that it may be well with you."

Animals do not get married; they mate from sexual urge.

Christians get married according to the creation-institution of God.

For that reason this institution is so disfigured by satanic hatred and human disobedience, which causes ever-growing destruction.

There is enormously much suffering. The girl may feel humiliated and made into an object to be used and exploited. The boy may ultimately feel like an animal.

Children, too, may suffer: "Your Daddy first was my Daddy." For many a child the foundation of his life has split right open under his little feet!

The tragic case of two students in Paris is well-known. They really loved each other, but they did not know what love was: to serve the other one. At home they now saw this man, then that man who was sitting in Dad's chair, or every time another woman in Mother's place. Love? Should they have their fling, sex, unlimited? Who is going to put the brake on me? They regarded each other too highly to just live together as the beasts. Then, in despair, they jumped off abridge over the river Seine. Existentialism a la Sartre had destroyed the institution of God so that it became unrecognizable.

But what is not made so widely known by television and radio is this: he with his grey hairs and bent back sitting at her deathbed, she totally wasted away. That's what had become of that beautiful girl of sixty years back! Then the old man arose, when no longer a sigh came out of that wasted "bundle": "My darling."

Together they enjoyed love, together they bore grief, together they sang and prayed, "till death do part."

Fortunately, such a sanctified and deepened communion of love is still found, more even than we may think, although it is tragic when we notice how many young people do not dare to promise and to demand faithfulness.

The riches of Genesis 2 are still there: "insofar as I receive such a benefit with a believing heart" (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord's Day 23).
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