#GoodNews: The dilemma of a divorce can be prevented

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The Divorce Dilemma

I read this story [ http://j.mp/divorcedilemma ]months ago. It might have been last year. But it is a good lesson. We don’t know what someone is going through unless we are intimately interested and investing in them.

One of us might be fighting depression at home or one of us might be overworked at the new job and instead of burdening our spouse we bottle up our battles in order to protect our loved one.

That only works for a season. Eventually you are swallowed whole from the inside out emotionally, physically, & spiritually.

By the time you notice there is no romance, connection, or intimacy it feels way too late to begin sharing deep down feelings and emotions which you have harbored for so long.

The only stat that strikes me is not that 50% of people divorce (they say 45% & 50% of Christians), but the stat of 99% of married couples that pray together stay together.

Prayer is one of the most intimate tools God has given us. It allows us to open our hearts and share what we have on them. If we do this with our spouse we can remain intimate and we can be there for one another like we should be.

After all, marriage is a spiritual and sacred bond and triunion of two flesh becoming one with our Father God as the apex.

So let’s keep Jesus the center of our marriage and continue to keep all the communication open to prevent any battles that may afflict us when we are not together throughout each day.

#GoodNews: Marriage relationship mirrors Christ #DrawNear #Intimacy

THE ENEMY OF MARRIAGE

Marriage is the most meaningful and tender of all human relationships. Spouses open themselves up to each other as they do to no other person, even to their parents. As that relationship matures and trust deepens, their spiritual awareness also deepens. Thus, the enemy of God and man, Satan, designs to destroy these deepening relationships. If we believe the Bible, we have to believe there is a devil working to undo everything God has done.

Satan is the enemy of our marriage. He hates marriage and all that it represents because the tenderness of that relationship opens us up to God. In addition, the sacredness of marriage is related to Christ’s relationship with those who follow Him. Marriage is symbolic of the church. After admonishing the husband and wife to love each other, Paul says their relationship mirrors that of Christ and the church: This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:32).

Satan knows that in partnership there is strength. Therefore, he seeks to divide and destroy. He desires to isolate us from our mate through misunderstanding and stubbornness until we become easy prey for him. But we can fight the devil and stay strong by staying together spiritually

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#GoodNews: Married couples prevent divorce with submission #DrawNear #Intimacy #Divorce

SELFISHNESS

The second major cause for divorce, psychologists say, is obnoxious behavior. For example, divorces can be precipitated by excessive drinking, drug addiction, uncontrollable temper, moodiness, and unreasonable demands. Such behavior creates a climate of crisis which makes marriage difficult. These are all signs of selfishness; and God’s Word calls them sins, not character weaknesses.

Not long ago, an intensive study was made of one thousand married couples. After all the interviews, studies, and evaluations, ten major problems stood out. Unhappy partners (1) didn’t think alike in many things, (2) had little insight into each other’s feelings, (3) said things that hurt each other, (4) felt unloved, (5) felt they were taken for granted, (6) needed someone to confide in, (7) felt they had to give more than the other, (8) rarely complimented one another, (9) desired more affection, and (10) couldn’t talk to one another.

In reviewing these problems, it becomes obvious the mates were selfish. That’s what sin really is: selfishness. All sin is selfishness, insisting on one’s own way rather than walking in God’s way. It is tragic but true that most enter marriage asking “What can I get out of it?” rather than “What can I give?” It is indeed difficult to live with a mate whose selfishness manifests itself in obnoxious behavior. Such a mate makes God’s commandments hard to live by.

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#GoodNews: Divorce lawyer finds real love is hot! #DrawNear #Intimacy

BITTERNESS

A divorce lawyer once said, “There is nothing as cold as cold love.” His statement is contradictory, for real love can never be cold. What he meant is nothing hardens the heart more than love which has turned to bitterness. God specifically commands that we not become bitter. Paul adds: Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice (Ephesians 4:31). Bitterness freezes our souls.

Marriage will make us either better or bitter. Which we become depends a great deal on our attitudes. The Bible says: Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them (Colossians 3:19). Because we come from different backgrounds and have different views of life, we may easily drift into bitterness by allowing misunderstandings to drive us apart. This must not happen.

Our homes are not to be centers of conflict but sanctuaries from the hassles of life. So sometimes the wisest thing to do is retreat. Both husband and wife must be willing to give in. The Bible says: Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled (Hebrews 12:14-15). Whole families are often poisoned because they are disobedient to this commandment of our Lord.

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#GoodNews: Secret to end Divorce epidemic found in Christian Marriage

Serious Business

Sociologists say our age is more polygamous than any other in history. Perhaps our polygamy wears a different face, but in principle it is the same. When partners divorce, remarry, divorce and remarry again, they are accumulating spouses. In some areas of our world, the rate is as high as one out of every two marriages dissolving in divorce. This cycle of union and separation is absolutely contrary to God’s Word.

The new U.S. Census Bureau data show that the divorce rate, after rising sharply in the early 1970’s, has remained relatively stable-not to mention high. Fewer than half the couples who first got married in the late 1970’s made it to their 25th anniversary. Of the women who first got hitched in the late 1980’s, only 57% reached their 15th anniversary, compared with 79% of brides in the late 1950’s.

Jesus says we are to leave our parents and “cleave to” our spouses. The verb cleave suggests there are times when we have to hold on tightly and tenaciously. Paul plainly agrees: Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband (1 Corinthians 7:10). He adds a word to the husbands: … And a husband is not to divorce his wife (1 Corinthians 7:11).

Marriage, according to God’s Word, is to be exclusive. Man is to worship one God and devote himself to one mate. The Old Testament stated that anyone guilty of coming between a husband and a wife would be put to death. Jesus goes even beyond the law forbidding adultery and says that anyone who cultivates the wish to commit adultery is already guilty of it in his heart.

Marriage is a covenant of love and loyalty between one man and one woman. It is a sacred relationship that should not be taken lightly, just as our relationship with Christ cannot be taken lightly.

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† Devo † No More Hiding #AnchorFAM #ParentingByDesign

After Adam and Eve ate from the tree, they realized they were naked. In response, they hid from God and sewed fig leaves together to cover their nakedness. God’s response to Adam’s sin was a question: “Where are you?” Now, you can be certain that God had not misplaced Adam! He asked the question for Adam’s benefit, not His.

The legacy of Adam and Eve’s act is that we are still hiding today. Shopping, food, drug and alcohol abuse, and sometimes even exercise represent our “fig leaves.” Still, God continues to ask us, “Where are you?” He is calling for us to come out of hiding and into a relationship with Him.

What an example for parents! Call your kids out of hiding by asking open-ended questions and listen to their answers with understanding, rather than meeting them with judgment and shame. If you need to give consequences for their disobedience, choose to give those consequences with empathy.

Meeting your kids with empathy helps them come out of hiding and into relationship.

But the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, Where are you? 10He said, I heard the sound of You [walking] in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.

Genesis 3:9-10

Sermon Notes: #DealingWithDivorce Jesus died for all sins. Not just the bad ones.

There is not one sin that is better or worse than the others.
From divorce to homosexuality to abortion you can approach sin with legalism or liberalism. But God is neither nor. God is just and righteous. Always. And forever.

The Bible is authoritative
God is gracious
We are to be gentle

People need a biblical understanding without being beat me up!

Justifications of divorce come by Moses = Adultery, Paul = Abandonment, but Jesus = Don’t divorce, just stay Married. God united two into one, therefore, let no man separate what He creates.

Marriage is the Pursuit of Holiness. Not the Pursuit of Happiness.
Sometimes it takes a lot of Blisters before you can embrace Bliss.

What God has put together He can hold together!!!

Trust The Lord. He can do miracles. Amen.

1 Cor 7:10-17. Matthew 19:1-3. Deut. 24. Mark 10.

To the married people I give charge–not I but the Lord–that the wife is not to separate from her husband. But if she does [separate from and divorce him], let her remain single or else be reconciled to her husband. And [I charge] the husband [also] that he should not put away or divorce his wife.

To the rest I declare–I, not the Lord [for Jesus did not discuss this]–that if any brother has a wife who does not believe [in Christ] and she consents to live with him, he should not leave or divorce her. And if any woman has an unbelieving husband and he consents to live with her, she should not leave or divorce him.

For the unbelieving husband is set apart (separated, withdrawn from heathen contamination, and affiliated with the Christian people) by union with his consecrated (set-apart) wife, and the unbelieving wife is set apart and separated through union with her consecrated husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean (unblessed heathen, outside the Christian covenant), but as it is they are prepared for God [pure and clean].

But if the unbelieving partner [actually] leaves, let him do so; in such [cases the remaining] brother or sister is not morally bound. But God has called us to peace. For, wife, how can you be sure of converting and saving your husband? Husband, how can you be sure of converting and saving your wife?

Only, let each one [seek to conduct himself and regulate his affairs so as to] lead the life which the Lord has allotted and imparted to him and to which God has invited and summoned him. This is my order in all the churches.

(1 Corinthians 7:10-17 AMP)

NOW WHEN Jesus had finished saying these things, He left Galilee and went into the part of Judea that is beyond the Jordan; And great throngs accompanied Him, and He cured them there. And Pharisees came to Him and put Him to the test by asking, Is it lawful and right to dismiss and repudiate and divorce one’s wife for any and every cause? He replied, Have you never read that He Who made them from the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be united firmly (joined inseparably) to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder (separate). They said to Him, Why then did Moses command [us] to give a certificate of divorce and thus to dismiss and repudiate a wife? He said to them, Because of the hardness (stubbornness and perversity) of your hearts Moses permitted you to dismiss and repudiate and divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been so [ordained]. I say to you: whoever dismisses (repudiates, divorces) his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. The disciples said to Him, If the case of a man with his wife is like this, it is neither profitable nor advisable to marry. But He said to them, Not all men can accept this saying, but it is for those to whom [the capacity to receive] it has been given. For there are eunuchs who have been born incapable of marriage; and there are eunuchs who have been made so by men; and there are eunuchs who have made themselves incapable of marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let him who is able to accept this accept it.

(Matthew 19:1-12 AMP)

WHEN A man takes a wife and marries her, if then she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a bill of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, And when she departs out of his house she goes and marries another man, And if the latter husband dislikes her and writes her a bill of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies, who took her as his wife, Then her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife after she is defiled. For that is an abomination before the Lord; and you shall not bring guilt upon the land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance. When a man is newly married, he shall not go out with the army or be charged with any business; he shall be free at home one year and shall cheer his wife whom he has taken.

(Deuteronomy 24:1-5 AMP)

God created Marriage, men created Divorce #SameSexMarriage #BiblicalMarriage

An understandable argument for same-sex marriage is that the high rate of divorce has done more to harm the family than same-sex marriage ever would. It’s a very legitimate point that exposes obvious hypocrisy in the church today.

Jesus was once asked, “Is it ever lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” Jesus answered the question about divorce by talking about marriage, saying, “He who created them from the beginning made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh…what therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

In short, God’s intention for marriage is “only between a man and a woman for life.” This speaks to the need for repentance in the church when it comes to marriage commitment. Jesus upheld God’s original plan for marriage, and so should we.

So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:6 ESV)

Being a Child of Parents: Honor Your Father and Mother #AnchorFAM

If you surveyed one hundred teenagers about their parents, how many would respond, “My parents are precious, valuable people whom God has given to me for my good. I appreciate their guidance, life principles, correction, and rules”? Hah! Probably not too many. Sadly, parents are more likely seen as jailers or parole officers who arbitrarily limit children’s freedom.

The God I know, however, thinks parents are worthy of praise and wants you to think so too. (By the way, this is not just for little kids and teenagers; this is also for you in your 40s, 50s, and 60s.)

“Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you” (Deuteronomy 5:16).

This is not just the right thing to do so God won’t be angry with you and punish you. Honoring your parents triggers the release of a flood of benefit into your life. God has attached a double promise to parent-respecters:

–I will increase the quantity of your life.

–I will increase the quality of your life.

What does it mean to honor your parents? It means cultivating a spirit of gratitude, because they have done far more for you than you will ever know. Because they have made sacrifices you only partially understand to bring you benefit. If it is from them that you first heard about Jesus, it is they who gave you heaven.

“Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”

Devo: Divorce Prevention #RightFromTheHeart

Everybody likes to be thought of as number one! America is a nation that prides itself on being number one in many categories, but we are number one in a category that is not good–we’re number one in divorce. One out of every two marriages ends in divorce.

When Jesus was asked about divorce, He made it clear that it was never what God had in mind. Then, He quickly began to talk about marriage and the commitment that’s involved. Obviously, a marriage that lasts a lifetime is what God desires. So, let me suggest 12 words for you and your spouse to live by; words that help with divorce prevention:

* I love you.
* I admire you.
* I was wrong.
* Please forgive me.”

Expressing love and admiration, admitting when we are wrong and asking forgiveness are the ingredients for divorce prevention. Wouldn’t it be great if, one day, America became number one in marriages that last?

“For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord , the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.” (Malachi 2:16 ESV)

Devo: Loveless Love #RightFromTheHeart

Most modern songs center on man’s search for love. Seldom is that love found, but the search goes on. Ironically, while our songs extol the virtues of love, our homes are breaking up. In Cleveland, Ohio, there is now one divorce for every two marriages. In all of North America, the divorce rates are climbing. Some sociologists say family life will not survive much longer. It is tragic that few know real love but experience merely a “loveless love” built on periods of passion rather than virtue. The Song of Solomon is an ode to the undying love.

Written by Solomon, this book has been interpreted in various ways. Usually, it is considered an allegory depicting Christ and the church, telling of the great love between the two. However, the book is also very valuable as a memorial exalting the virtues of marital love and devotion. It should be read with care and appreciation. As in the book of Esther, the name of God is not mentioned. However, the inference is there, making this not only an inspired but an inspiring book.

Songs are always expressions of an overflowing heart. The Bible contains many of these compositions, among them the songs of Moses, Deborah, Barak, Hannah, David, and Mary. In Revelation, we hear of the songs of the redeemed, that one day all those who accept Christ will sing. While these songs deal with the mighty doings of God and break into thanksgiving and praise, the Song of Solomon is the most exquisite and beautiful representation of human love in literature. Pray that a similar love will fill your heart and home daily.

The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. (The Song of Solomon 2:12 ESV)

Devo: Marriage with Unbelievers #DrawNear #DivineIntimacy

The fifth reason for marriage breakups is religious differences. While the arrest rate for juvenile delinquency is much higher for the children of non-religious parents, children of parents who regularly attend church stay in college longer and have more meaningful lives. Likewise, it is true that religious couples have fewer divorces than the non-religious. However, religious differences can divide a family.

The Bible says many problems are caused by the marriage of Christians and unbelievers: Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16).

Yet, what about those who have made such choices in the past and married unbelievers? Or what about those who have found Christ after marriage but whose partners are still unconverted? God’s Word says that while we are not to select unbelievers for mates, we are also not to leave them if we are married to them (1 Corinthians 7:13-14). The children should be the primary consideration in this case. They need the godly influence of at least one parent who knows Christ.

Stay away from people who are not followers of the Lord! Can someone who is good get along with someone who is evil? Are light and darkness the same?

(2 Corinthians 6:14 CEV)

Devo: In-Laws #DrawNear #DivineIntimacy

The fourth most common cause for divorce relates to in-law trouble. It is true that when you marry your mate you also “marry” his or her family. Although the Scripture is clear that we are to forsake our parents and cleave to our mates, nonetheless it does not say we are to ignore them. God’s Word commands: Honor your father and your mother (Exodus 20:12). If we keep this commandment, we have the promise that our life will be extended.

Sometimes, however, mates include their parents too much in their marriage. It is a foolish wife who insists that her husband forever make a choice between his parents and her. Only a foolish husband would insist that his wife make a similar choice. The choice was made at the wedding altar; it is unnecessary and disastrous to vie for love in a tense tug-of-war ever after.

Meddling mothers-in-law and fathers-in-law need to allow their children to be free to form their own families and develop their own lifestyle. Parental possessiveness and childish overdependence can crush a marriage or make it terribly tense. Mothers should not “smother” and fathers should not “snoopervise.”

Of course, in-law problems have always been with us. Jacob had difficulty with his in-laws. Yet it does not have to be so. Mature evaluation and fairness on both parts can help eliminate these problems. Ruth and Orpah are classic examples of how very real love can develop among in-laws.

Devo: Affairs #DrawNear #DivineIntimacy

Without question, the most painful cause of divorce is betrayal through sexual infidelity. Psychologists say the third most frequent reason given for divorce is adultery of some kind, either heterosexual or homosexual. This despite God’s specific prohibition: You shall not commit adultery.

Statistics reveal that about half of all married men and one-fourth of all married women commit adultery at some time during their married life. Extensive studies show that three groups of people are more likely than others to betray the marriage bed: (1) those who engaged in premarital sex, (2) those who are unhappy in their married life, especially their sex life, and (3) those who have no faith and religious affiliation. Some studies indicate three times as many non-churchgoers get involved as those who attend church.

Commenting on extramarital affairs, one prominent psychologist says, “Of all the hundreds of adulterers I have counseled, I have yet to meet a happy one.” We simply cannot break the laws of God and get away with it. We must always remember that God’s Ten Commandments are commandments, not suggestions.

Be faithful in marriage!

Devo: Selfishness #Divorce #Marriage #DrawNear

SELFISHNESS

The second major cause for divorce, psychologists say, is obnoxious behavior. For example, divorces can be precipitated by excessive drinking, drug addiction, uncontrollable temper, moodiness, and unreasonable demands. Such behavior creates a climate of crisis which makes marriage difficult. These are all signs of selfishness; and God’s Word calls them sins, not character weaknesses.

Not long ago, an intensive study was made of one thousand married couples. After all the interviews, studies, and evaluations, ten major problems stood out. Unhappy partners (1) didn’t think alike in many things, (2) had little insight into each other’s feelings, (3) said things that hurt each other, (4) felt unloved, (5) felt they were taken for granted, (6) needed someone to confide in, (7) felt they had to give more than the other, (8) rarely complimented one another, (9) desired more affection, and (10) couldn’t talk to one another.

In reviewing these problems, it becomes obvious the mates were selfish. That’s what sin really is: selfishness. All sin is selfishness, insisting on one’s own way rather than walking in God’s way. It is tragic but true that most enter marriage asking “What can I get out of it?” rather than “What can I give?” It is indeed difficult to live with a mate whose selfishness manifests itself in obnoxious behavior. Such a mate makes God’s commandments hard to live by.

Being greedy causes trouble for your family, but you protect yourself by refusing bribes.

(Proverbs 15:27 CEV)

Devo: Possessor or Possessed? (Causes of Divorce 2) #DrawNear #DivineIntimacy #Marriage

Psychologists rate finances as the number one cause of divorce. As we learned in the previous guide, partners in marriage often have different feelings about money. Money to some breeds self-indulgence. Husbands who have not grown up can wreak havoc in marriage. One cynic said the only difference between men and boys is the cost of their toys. Women, too, can be self-indulgent, spending for many items that are not necessary. But happy and healthy couples use their money as an expression of faith. They realize God has made them stewards of money, and they use it to expand their souls. Jesus said: It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).

One of the benefits of tithing to God and His work is the development of a proper view of money. Each week, as we give our 10 percent to the Lord’s work, we are exercising unselfishness and declaring that we do not hold onto possessions too tightly. The wise husband and wife do not let possessions possess them; they possess their possessions.

Divorces do come because of money problems. The Bible warns: For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (1 Timothy 6:10). The wise couple gets a proper grip on the meaning of money and comes to agreement on how it is to be properly dispersed. We must remember the Bible says: He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house (Proverbs 15:27).

Being greedy causes trouble for your family, but you protect yourself by refusing bribes.

(Proverbs 15:27 CEV)

Devo: Causes of Divorce #DrawNear #DivineIntimacy #Marriage

Astute psychologists have made sophisticated studies of the causes of divorce. They classify these causes into: (1) finance; (2) obnoxious behavior; (3) extramarital affairs; (4) in-laws; and (5) religious differences. In our consideration of the next few guides, we will look at each of these areas to see what God’s Word has to say.

The first of the causes for divorce is said to be finances. Prosperity brings problems to a marriage that are unknown in poverty. The economically deprived need all their financial resources to merely pay for food, shelter, and clothing. However, as prosperity comes, couples find themselves with more than enough for survival. Tension then develops because they disagree on how to use the money. Good questions to ask are “What does money mean to me?” and “What does money mean to my mate?” To many, money means status. The “keeping up with the Joneses” syndrome becomes a compulsion. Those locked into such a view will over-borrow and ultimately keep their financial needs so critical they have little time to enjoy and love one another.

Others see money as security. They often become hoarders. In being miserly, they heap up for themselves treasures but still are frustrated because they have not learned that security can come only from Christ, not from things possessed. Jesus told a story about a rich farmer who hoarded (Luke 12:16-21). In Jesus’ eyes, this man was a fool. If we have no proper concept of resources then we, too, are fools.

Then he said to the crowd, “Don’t be greedy! Owning a lot of things won’t make your life safe.”

(Luke 12:15 CEV)

Devo: Bone From Bone #Marriage #Divorce #DrawNear #DivineIntimacy

Divorce is the growing sickness of our age, threatening the very existence of the home. Approximately one in every three marriages ends in divorce, and evidence suggests the toll is rising. The sharp upward rise began in 1969, when 639,000 couples broke the record set in 1946 with the dissolution of many hasty wartime marriages. Since 1969, the divorce rate has steadily increased more than the marriage rate and the population growth. Commenting on the current attitude toward divorce, lawyer Max Lichtenberg says, “Marriage is no longer viewed as something made in heaven. It’s a legal contract.”

This “worldly” view toward marriage is tragic and totally anti-biblical. Jesus pointedly said of the marriage relationship: So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate (Matthew 19:6). Jesus tells us that marriage is a union, not a contract.

The special nature of marriage was further illustrated when God created woman. Note that the females of all other species were created independently of the male. However, when God created woman He drew flesh from the man’s flesh and bone from his bone. Man is incomplete without woman because she is part of him. Woman is incomplete without man because he is part of her. In marriage, a union of the two is formed, and they become one flesh. A broken union is a rift in God’s creation. Adam said of Eve: This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man (Genesis 2:23).

and the man exclaimed, “Here is someone like me! She is part of my body, my own flesh and bones. She came from me, a man. So I will name her Woman!”

(Genesis 2:23 CEV)