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In looking at marriage we need to start at the beginning as there's some misconceptions on many parts of Scripture.

The place I want to start is a Hebrew poem. The poem is written in a
parallelism, a palillogical parallelism to be exact.

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27

In this type of poem there is a little work to be done in order to see a wonderful truth.

This poem is in three lines and we want to highlight, ONCE, on each line man, him, them. This is the three parts of the poem, once per line, the author is relating to man. Then we highlight references to God's image on each of the three lines in a different color. When you get to line three, you will see there is not a specific word used for God's image. Instead, we have "male and female". This term, male and female, is colored in the image coloring.

Below is an example of how this turns out.
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As we will seen in the study of The Beginning, in most places of Genesis chapter 1 and the first part of chapter 2, the word man is translated from the Hebrew ha'adam. This is where the translators got the idea that Adam is the name of the first man. In Genesis 2:23 the word for man changes to iys. In Genesis 1:27 there is a different Hebrew word for man and that is zâḵâr while female comes from the word neqêḇâ. These two words point straight to the sexual differences of male and female.

By coloring these portions of this poem we discover that it wasn't just ha'adam that was created in God's image but rather male (zâḵâr) and female (neqêḇâ) that is the image of God. These two Hebrew words, noting the sexual nature of the two, tells us that the image of God is not found in ha'adam, iys, or isah alone but rather in the union, the marriage, of male and female. Let me say this again. Man was not created in God's image. The Bible is telling us the union of man and woman, the marriage of man and woman, the two different created sexes, is what God created in His image. From the beginning God had a plan, a purpose, for the marriage between a man and woman and that purpose is to show His image.

The image of God is not that He has two arms, two legs, two eyes, etc. It's also not eluding to a "
three part being." The image is a metaphorical statement. The image is the character of God. In a marriage, we should walk in the character of God. Not SHOULD walk in but it's NECESSARY that we walk in the character of God. In his letter to the Galatians, Paul tells us the "fruit of the spirit", which is to say, "the Character of God" is "love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23). Each one of these character traits must be practiced within a marriage for it to be successful. Not successful to the world's standards but successful to God's standards which is, what He designed it for, to be His image to the world. It's this image that caused YHWH to say, "It's not good for man to be alone" as a man alone cannot portray this image.

By practicing God's character with our spouse, we are better prepared and able to take this to those outside our marriage. It's like a practice. As we will see in a future study, this very practice is almost an exact replica of what it's like in our relationship with God. Living with a person 365 days a year and working to learn them better, understand them more, and overlook the things we don't care for. Having long-suffering when we think they did something against us. Understanding they may be dealing with something outside of our understanding. Loving them unconditionally.

In this practice, we take this to the streets with our marriage and people who view a seemingly perfect marriage want to know how you accomplish it and the only answer is, we treat each other the same way God treats us in each situation. Then's God's image is proclaimed to those around us as a God who is not judgmental (not that He's not a good judge) but actually a God of love, forgiveness, long-suffering, genteelness, who comes to our rescue in times of need.

I challenge you today to think about your actions and reactions to your spouse through the lens of God.