This article is our seventh in our series on the Ten Commandments and has been abbreviated for posting. Be sure to read and study all the scriptures quoted.
In the previous Bible studies, we have been covering the commandments that safeguard the incredible sacredness of human relationships and human life. The Fifth Commandment protects the government that God established in the home: “Honor thy father and thy mother ….” This commandment also preserves the parent and child relationship. The Sixth Commandment safeguards human life: “Thou shalt not [murder].”
The Seventh Commandment protects the most vital human relationship—that of husband and wife.
From Mount Sinai, our Creator commanded: “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). Almighty God gave this commandment to protect the honor and sanctity of marriage. The married state is the highest earthly relationship possible for human beings. The wording of the commandment directly forbids adultery. The sin of adultery violates the sacred rights granted by the marriage relationship. This means that the commandment forbids any use of sex outside of marriage. Premarital sex is a grievous wrong done to a future marriage. God considers it unfaithfulness prior to marriage.
Although our free-for-all society refuses to recognize it, the Creator [YHVH] has a lot to say about the use of sex. God designed sex and He set in motion a great law to regulate its use. Adultery and fornication are capital sins—demanding capital punishment. God told Moses this while the nation of Israel was encamped at Sinai: “And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death” (Leviticus 20:10). Men may try to reason around it, but adultery is a grave sin. In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul stated, “For the wages of sin is death …” (Romans 6:23). Paul means eternal death. When a person continues a life of sin—like adultery—without repentance, that individual faces God’s judgment in the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8).
Why does the sin of adultery call for such a severe punishment? God considers adultery such an awful sin because of the incredible purpose He planned for marriage. In our sophisticated, supposedly educated world, we have forgotten that the word holy should be associated with marriage and the use of sex in marriage. Men, women and children must come to understand the sacred meaning of marriage.
God’s Purposes for Marriage
To fully understand marriage, humans must not leave God out of the equation. Yet, our educational system does just that.
Millions of young people attending high schools, colleges and universities are taught science, math, language and history all based on the false theory of evolution. Evolution is simply man’s explanation of a creation without a creator. When will the brightest minds wake up to the understanding that the theory of evolution degrades both God and man? Man is not an animal. He is unique, created for an astounding purpose.
In God’s plan, marriage and man’s incredible human potential are closely connected. It is time for every human being to acknowledge that sex and marriage are God-designed and God-ordained. To do so, we must go to Genesis. When we clear our mind of all prejudice and let the truth speak to us, it is awesome what is revealed.
Mankind is made in God’s likeness and image (Genesis 1:26). The word likeness shows that we carry the same shape and bodily features as God—only physical. The word image refers to God’s character. During this mortal life, God intends that we build and reflect His righteous, holy character.
Moses gives us details of Adam and Eve’s creation in Genesis 2. He wrote, “And the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (verse 18). The scriptural record shows that God brought Adam to life first. However, God knew that Adam was incomplete in himself—it was not good that he was alone! Therefore, God decided to create a help meet, or suitable one, for him. God intended to create another human being that Adam could truly share his life with.
Notice that God drives this important point home for us. After Adam’s creation, God put Adam to work, requiring him to name the newly created animals. Adam saw firsthand the wonderfully designed pairing of the cattle, birds and other living creatures. “But for Adam there was not found an help meet for him” (verse 20). There was no other creature like Adam. He recognized immediately that he was alone—no one to talk with. There was no creature capable of sharing his hopes, dreams, joys and sorrows.
God then did something incredibly miraculous. He caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep and created a woman . This is not Hebrew myth—it is the revealed truth of God! God took that which was within Adam and created a new creature suitable for Adam. When Adam saw this creature, he was truly elated. He 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” (verse 23). Although Adam was created from the dust of the ground, Eve was not. She was molded and shaped from Adam’s own flesh. This fact carries deep meaning (Ephesians 5:22-33). Here was another human being who could share life with Adam. She was created to help Adam by being his wife and companion.
When presenting Eve to Adam, God said specifically, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). This verse proves that GOD instituted marriage—not man or the laws of man! Only God’s laws preserve and give honor to marriage. Only God defines what is a marriage and what is not.
God made man male and female (Genesis 1:27). God designed and created sex as a beautiful and holy thing. After the creation of man, Moses recorded, “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). God viewed the creation of sex in humans as very good. There is nothing shameful about God’s intended purposes for sex (Genesis 2:25). In fact, the proper use of sex—solely reserved for marriage—actually brings glory to God (1 Corinthians 6:20).
Making Man Complete
A primary purpose for sex and marriage is to make man and woman complete. Each is incomplete without the other. Adam alone was not able to fulfill the purpose for which God created him. He was not able to learn the vital lessons of building godly character without the woman God created to assist him.
At the time of our first parents’ creation, it is clear that God intended Adam and Eve to live together as husband and wife. Of course, that meant bodily union. The use of sex in marriage is not sin. Adam and Eve were meant to share everything in this life. They were to grow together and become one in mind and purpose. Building a happy, mutually supportive marriage would have given them a physical completeness they would not have experienced otherwise.
A second purpose of sex and marriage is for building a family. God told Adam and Eve: “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth …” (Genesis 1:28). With the birth of children comes the serious responsibility of protecting and teaching them. A stable, happy marriage is the key to a happy and stable home. A stable home-life is the only right way to properly nurture a child. God commands all couples, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). People in our fast-paced, materialistic society have become so self-centered that children are criminally neglected. Children are often left to themselves while parents pursue their own selfish goals.
Both parents are responsible for the supervision and education of their children. God charges the father with the overall responsibility to see to the needs of his wife and family (Ephesians 6:4). However, the wife must shoulder the daily care and training of children. She is the God-created helper to her husband, and this most definitely includes his children. A woman can only achieve the true happiness God intended for her by embracing her God-ordained role as wife, mother and homemaker. This is not the teaching of a man or men. God commands that young women be taught “to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:4-5). We cannot take family lightly and claim to be righteous. God the Father and Christ our savior put prime importance on family. So must all men and women. Amen!