Fertile Journey Through Genesis: Chapter 2:23-25
"'This one at last
Is bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh.
This one shall be called Woman, ['ish],
For from man ['ish] she was taken.'
Hence a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, so that they become one flesh. The two of them were naked, the man and his wife, yet they felt no shame." (Genesis 2:23-25)
As men and women we feel compelled to return to one another. We are compelled because of our creation. The first human was likely neither male nor female. Neither is God male or female. It is in our coming together that we more fully reflect the image of God.
It is in our nature to cling to one another and in our uniquely shared nakedness to be unashamed.
It is interesting that in the second telling of the creation story in Genesis 2, there is no command from God to reproduce. The first telling in Genesis 1 is more about the mechanics of creating and filling the earth, whereas the second telling in Genesis 2 focuses more upon the relationships in God's act of creating. In the first the instruction is given to all of creation to "be fertile and increase." In the second we learn of the special intimate bond of husband and wife.
The coming together of husband and wife is not about the creation of new life (a.k.a. reproduction), but about the returning to one's origin, of finding completion, and reflecting the fullness of God's image.
Many churches today in their attempt to protect the "sanctity of marriage" hold tightly to a theology that defines marriage in the context of reproduction. But perhaps the "sanctity of marriage" instead comes in the unique "clinging" of husband and wife - the beauty of their being together naked and unashamed - their separating from their parents in order to become of one flesh, and of course in their union reflecting a more full image of God.