Becoming one flesh was more than a physical union. It was sacred to God. It was an intimacy to be shared with only one other person for a lifetime. One author writes, “This is such a sacred union that the apostle Paul warned the Corinthians of the dangers of corrupting it promiscuously.” The quote goes on, “To violate the marriage in such a way not only defiles the union between husband and wife; it also defiles the union between Christ and Christian.” Marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman that depicts for us the beauty and the glory of the union of the church with Christ as her husband. Just as our relationship with Christ should be exclusive, our relationship with our spouses is exclusive as well. Just as one would not corrupt the sacredness of the union of Christ with the church one should not corrupt the union between a man and a woman. The book of Proverbs is also filled with exhortations from a father to his son regarding loose sexual morals. They will rot a life! The union is very sacred.

The sacredness of that union can be seen in the reality of the product. The fruits of the union, the children, bear the genetic pattern of two people who have become one in the most intimate way possible. It’s a marvelous thing! It starts with the man and the woman becoming one flesh, two lives joined together as one, and results in a new life being brought forth into the world. The man and woman each contribute to make a new life. It’s unmistakably one of God’s purposes for marriage. Augustine of Hippo, in 300 AD, said, “…it is quite clear that they were created male and female, with bodies of different sexes, for the very purpose of begetting offspring, and so increasing, multiplying, and replenishing the earth; and it is great folly to oppose so plain a fact.”

During the pre-reformation era, the Church had decided that procreation is the only purpose for marriage while the intimacy and companionship were the product or the result. But the Biblical presentation of the process reverses that order. The purpose is intimacy and companionship. The result or product is children. Yet, there are those who cannot conceive. That does not make their marriage anything less sacred to God. Thus, while Genesis 1:28 affirms that procreation is a blessing given by God, it is not declared to be the primary purpose of marriage. Procreation is a blessing not a duty. It’s the carriage, not the horse. The book of Psalms is full of the many blessings of Children: The man of peace will have posterity (Ps. 37:37); children are like a warrior’s arrows (Ps. 127:4); like olive shoots around your table (Ps. 128:3). Proverbs adds that grandchildren are the crown of the old (Prov. 17:6). Indeed, the family is a multifaceted blessing from God.