God made mankind in his image, male and female. What is more, God gave to the man and woman great dignity and purpose. Only to mankind did God grant the capacity to know and relate to him. Only to mankind did God give the great creation mandate to fill the earth and have dominion over it. The man and woman are quite literally the handiwork of God, having been created supernaturally. In chapter two of Genesis we are given a closer look at the creation of mankind and more specifically, the relationship between the man and the woman.
It is significant that God created his image-bearers as embodied beings. God is spirit. He is not confined by creaturely limits. And while being embodied entails certain confines it also means that our bodies matter. The human body is not merely a husk for a spirit. It is true that Paul refers to our bodies as earthly “tents” in which we “groan” (2 Corinthians 5:1-4). Certainly, these bodies of ours are fallen and decaying. Nevertheless, the human body is a good creation of God. Indeed, the body is so good as designed and created by God, that he will redeem the bodies of his people in the age to come. Life in the age to come will not be a disembodied existence. The goodness of life in the new heaven and new earth will owe in part to the fact that we will finally be possessed of redeemed bodies fit for eternity (Romans 8:22-23).
The account of the creation of the woman begins with the divine observation that it was not good for man to be alone. The first and the most profound solution to man’s loneliness was the gift of a wife. Not simply a woman but a wife. And this woman, whom God created supernaturally from the man, was crafted to be a companion fit for him. God made the man and woman to be alike and unlike in precisely the ways that are necessary for physical intimacy, procreation, and complementary roles.
Perhaps at no other time in human history has there been such great need for instruction about what it means to be human. The current chaos surrounding human identity, marriage, sexuality and gender cries out for answers from God’s Word. In his perfect wisdom and power God made us not only who we are but what we are. And any attempt to transcend those good and life-preserving boundaries is simply a repeat of the sin in the garden when the man and woman sought to be their own makers. May God give us grace to trust that his design for humanity is both for his glory and our good.