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God had determined that man should have a help because it was not good for man to be alone. None of the animals could be this help. While Adam slept in a deep sleep God made a woman out of part of Adam himself. In consequence Adam could say, 'This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh'.
The way in which the woman was created showed that she was made to be with man in the closest union and friendship. The fact that Adam was first created then Eve showed that the man was to be the leader in marriage and the woman was to be dependent on him. We sometimes refer to 'the head of the house' when we are speaking of the husband. This does not mean that the woman is nothing better than a servant but it does mean that it is the duty of the man to make decisions in the home and that it is the duty of the wife to obey her husband. This does not make the man an absolute master of the woman because his domestic authority is what we call 'ministerial' and must always be guided by God's will as revealed in the Bible. Both husband and wife should act towards one another in love and in this relationship the man is responsible before God for the government of the home in such manner as will be for the benefit of all in it and for the glory of God. The respective duties of the man and woman are made plain by the apostle Paul, 'Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body ... Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it ... so ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself'. (Ephesians 5.22,23,25,28)
The husband is also spoken of as 'the bread-winner' of the family. This refers to the man's duty to work in order to provide his wife and children with food, clothing and shelter and such other benefits as can be afforded. If the man is physically and mentally well it is a great sin for him to disregard his responsibility to seek work and thereby support his family. 'If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel'. (1 Timothy 5.8) In times of unemployment it is less easy to find work and this results in great difficulties for those seeking it.
The way in which the woman was created is also important in connection with the permanence of marriage. Marriage is to be between one man and one woman. In some countries men have more than one wife. This is sinful and against God's original arrangement. When a man and a woman marry they leave the homes of their parents and begin a new home together. Anyone responsible for a separation of those united in matrimony greatly offends God. This was the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ. 'From the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder'. (Mark 10.6-9)
A home ordered as God intended is a happy place for children to grow and mature and be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. If you enjoy such a home do not spoil it by your own sinful selfishness and disobedience or sulking and bad temper but seek to live in it to the glory of God and your own everlasting good.
'Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth'. (Ephesians 6.1-3)
Determined, union, dependent, decisions, domestic, relationship, infidel, permanence, matrimony, twain, asunder, sulking.
1. Why was Eve created?
2. What was the woman made from? (Genesis 2.22)
3. How did the creation of the woman differ from that of the man?
4. What was shown by the fact that Adam was first created?
5. What is meant by calling the man the 'head of the house'?
6. What is the wife's duty to her husband?
7. What is the husband's duty to God in connection with the home?
8. What is the husband's duty to his wife?
9. Why was Eve called 'woman'? (Genesis 2.23)
10. Why is the husband sometimes called 'the bread-winner'?
11. What is marriage?
12. Answer 'true' or 'false' to each of the following statements.
(a) A man can have more wives than one without breaking God's law.
(b) A husband and wife can separate at any time without offending God.
(c) Marriage is a union of one man and one woman until death.
(d) Children are to teach their parents.
(e) A Christian home is a happy place.
13. What is the duty of children to their parents?
14. What are the duties of Christian parents to their children?
1. Using a junior science book to help you, find out the names of the different bones in the human body. Using a skeleton sketch write down the names you have discovered and draw an arrow to the appropriate part of the skeleton.
2. Produce a 'family tree' for your own family.
3. Draw pictures illustrating the main activities of fathers and the main activities of mothers in and around the home.
You will find it of great interest to trace the changes that have taken place in family life through the centuries and to see how in some countries family life has hardly changed in hundreds of years.
A junior Geography book will help you to compare family life in different parts of the world. Look at things like dwellings, clothing, diet and work.
Psalm 127.3-5 (Common Metre)
Lo, children are God's heritage,
the womb's fruit his reward.
The sons of youth as arrows are,
for strong men's hands prepar'd.
O happy is the man that hath
his quiver fill'd with those;
They unashamed in the gate
shall speak unto their foes.
Psalm 128 (Common Metre)
Bless'd is each one that fears the Lord,
and walketh in his ways;
For of thy labour thou shalt eat,
and happy be always.
Thy wife shall as a fruitful vine
by thy house' sides be found:
Thy children like to olive-plants
about thy table round.
Behold, the man that fears the Lord,
thus blessed shall he be.
The Lord shall out of Sion give
his blessing unto thee:
Thou shalt Jerus'lem's good behold
whilst thou on earth dost dwell.
Thou shalt thy children's children see,
and peace on Israel.