Read 1:26–27. Where did human beings come from? How are they unique among all his creatures? What is the significance that both male and female are made in God’s image? What does it suggest about their relationship with God and with each other?
Read 2:16–17. What absolute command did God give mankind? How did this establish order between God the Creator and human beings? What significance does this have for the marriage relationship and the family?
Read 2:18–22. How did Adam and Eve happen to come together? What meaning did Jesus see in this? (Mk10:9) In light of this, how should we view marriage?
GOD’S PURPOSE FOR THE FAMILY
Read 1:28. With what great task did God entrust man and woman? Why is it important that this mission comes from God? To both man and woman? What difference does it make to know that God has a great purpose for man and woman together? How did God view them? (1:31) What is the ultimate purpose of man and woman? (1Co10:31)
Read 2:15,18. What did God want the man and the woman to be doing in the garden? What can we learn here about how couples can work together and help each other?
Read 2:24. What conclusion does the author draw from this event? What is involved in the man and the woman becoming one? (Mal2:15; Mk10:6–9) Think about the importance of love, a mutual and exclusive commitment, faithfulness, friendship, co-working, transparency (2:25), etc.
The first lesson covers the two creation accounts in Genesis, but it is limited to studying how God created man and woman and brought them together to form the first family. This lesson is not intended to explore all the aspects of God’s creation, but only how God created man and woman and the family. Inductive Bible study is done verse by verse in order in a Bible passage, but this lesson is organized around topics regarding the family, and so Bible verses in Genesis 1 and 2 are referred to back and forth throughout the study.
We will study Genesis in light of how the New Testament interprets it. When Jesus answered a question about marriage, he referred to Genesis 2:24 as the authoritative teaching for all believers about marriage (Mk10:6–7). In Ephesians 5:31 Apostle Paul also quotes Genesis 2:24.
In our time there are many ideas and cultural practices concerning marriage and the family, but God’s people need to accept God’s sovereignty in marriage and God’s original purpose and intention in marriage.
Lesson 1 is divided into two parts:
Part 1, “God Made the Family,” focuses on how God created both man and woman in his own image, gave them his absolute command and in his sovereign wisdom brought them together to form the first family. God made the family and he is the Lord of the family. God created both man and woman in his own image equally and independently for relationship with him, and each can be satisfied only in this relationship with him. On the basis of this relationship with God they can have a healthy relationship with each other. (see diagram)
Part 2, “God’s Purpose for the Family,” focuses on the mission God gave man and woman, how they were to co-work for this mission. Both husbands and wives need to receive mission from God. When they both do so, they can work together fruitfully and fulfill God’s purpose for their family. In Genesis 2:24–25 we find that God’s original purpose was that husbands and wives become one. It also teaches the nature of the marital union and guides us to the way of true happiness.
In studying this lesson, we must keep in mind that these things—God’s image, mission, relationship with God, perfect union with each other—were God’s original purpose, but that all creation has been marred by sin and the curse and can only be redeemed and restored in Christ.