Sunday School Material 9-8-13: God's Image: Male and Female  

(Genesis 2:18-25; 9/8/13)

Introduction:: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is God made Eve out of Adam’s rib and they were married. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to appreciate God’s expectations regarding both genders and marriage.

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Read Genesis 2:17-20

I. Problem. In our Sunday School material Adam had no suitable helper. And this was not good. Adam named all of the animals.

Applications -

- Not good to be alone. Notice in vs. 18 that it is said that “it is not good for man to be alone.” On one hand, every single person should not run out and get married.

Some people are not ready for marriage. Some people are not in the vicinity of who God wants them to marry. Marriage is great, when you are married to the right person.

But it is terrible, when married to the wrong person. Remember that Jeremiah, Jesus, and Paul were single.

On the other hand, the first human needed both companionship and a way to procreate. Thus, God makes a female for male.

Procreation is restricted to marriage. However, companionship and friendship can be found in other places than marriage.

Since we (i.e., believers) are in the one body of Christ, we should strive to be in fellowship with other believers. Let’s be open to God’s will being done, whether it be for a person to get married or to stay single.

- Stewardship over animals. Notice in vss. 19-20 of our Sunday School material that evidence of human dominion over the animals was that the first human named them.

There is some debate about the level of detail at which the first human named the animals.

However, it is clear that some level of naming took place. With the notion of having dominion over animals comes the responsibility to be wise stewards.

In the African American community, we tend to be so focused on survival issues that we don’t spend much time on issues like being wise stewards of the Earth (e.g., recycling, pollution, and global warming) and animals (e.g., care of pets, endangered species, and hunting regulations).

Let’s work on being wise stewards of all that God has placed in our trust and under our influence.

Read Genesis 2:21-23

II. Provision. We see in our Sunday School material that the Lord put the man to sleep. God took a rib from the sleep man and made a woman. The man named the woman, woman.

Applications -

- Women. Notice in vss. 21-23 of the Sunday School material that God made woman out of the rib of the first man. First, we should note that the woman was made by God, just like the man was made by God.

Neither one of them made themselves nor the other. God made both, and both are precious in God’s sight.

Second, God’s selection of a rib as the starting material for woman is open to debate. The more loving ideas include the rib is close to a man’s heart or it is from a place of equality.

The less loving ideas include the crookedness of the rib bone.  The answer to the question, “Why did God make woman out of a man’s rib?” is we don’t know.

We would hope that it has to do with equality and compatibility. Let’s work on appreciating that women were created by God to be compatible with men.

Our attitudes and actions (e.g., in family, church, community, etc.) towards women are attitudes and actions towards God’s creation.

Read Genesis 2:24-25

III. Principles. It is explained in our Sunday School material that a man is to leave his parents and unite with his wife. They became one flesh. They were naked and not ashamed. 

Applications -

- Leaving, cleaving, and becoming. Notice in vs. 24 that a man is to leave his parents, cleave to his wife, and become one with his wife. First, to leave means to put some distance between you and that which you left.

On one hand, men do not have to disown their parents. But on the other hand, the wife should be more important to the husband than the husband’s parents.

This is a huge ideal and why people ought not just rush into a Christian marriage.

Second, the husband is to cleave to his wife. Whereas, he used to cleave to his parents, he is now called to be closest to his wife.

Third, he is to become one with her. “Yes,” sexual relations are included (think about the inferences of being naked and not ashamed). However, becoming one is so much deeper and broader.

Being one in goals, plans, purpose, spiritual priorities, and so much more are in view. Let’s work on helping people have healthy Christian marriages.

We can help by providing Christian education, support, encouragement, and examples (i.e., be examples of strong Christian marriages). 

- Pastoral comments. The Pastor would note that Adam had a relationship with God, a job, and a place to stay before he had a wife. Men would do well to have the same today.

The Pastor would further note that for a healthy person to cleave and become one with someone with whom you are not compatible is simply asking for trouble.

Let’s promote the idea of healthy adult Christians getting married, instead of those who have some growing up to do.

Conclusion: Let’s work on appreciating God’s expectations regarding both genders and marriage. God has much for those who obey His will.

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