In 1 Peter 3:7, the Bible does use the term “weaker vessel” for the wife. However, this refers to her lesser physical strength and her vulnerability as a woman; it does not mean that a wife is inferior to her husband. (Remember, this verse also refers to “giving honor to the wife”.)
Eve was created to complement Adam. The word “complement” means that which completes; or that which must be added to make a symmetrical whole.
Adam needed a helper comparable to him in order to have children, enjoy a sexual relationship, and have help with work. BUT, God intended even more than that: the full partnership of a man and a woman. He created marriage so that man and woman would experience the joy and strength that come from true companionship and mutual sharing and support in all of life’s responsibilities. What a loving Creator we have! He created us to be a joy and a fulfillment to one another in a loving relationship as husband and wife.
Genesis 2:21, 22 reaffirms this. God used a rib from Adam to form Eve. God did not use a bone from Adam’s head, to represent him being over her. Nor did God use a bone from Adam’s foot, to show that Eve was to be lower than him. God formed Eve using a rib, to clearly represent her created place by Adam’s side – protected under his arm and close by to stand with him and support him (see Proverbs 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes 4:9,10). God intended marriage to be a relationship of intimacy and harmony, strength and joy, support and fulfillment.
D. SOME FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF MARRIAGE
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Gen 2:24).
In Genesis 2:24 Moses, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, continues to reveal to us the basic foundations of the marriage relationship. This verse shows us that marriage is more than a relationship based on convenience, or just emotional or physical attraction.
Scripture reveals three fundamental principles to us here. It is important for us to grasp these principles if we are to fully understand the marriage union in God’s created order.
- “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother.”
In a traditional translation, “leave” would suggest that the man is to physically move away from his parents and set up his household elsewhere. But the Hebrew word in this case would more accurately be translated “forsake”. However; this would not be taken to mean that a man should no longer have relationship with his parents (see Exodus 20:12 and Leviticus 19:3).
“Forsaking” should be understood to mean “changing one’s priorities”. When a single man or woman live with their parents, their first obligation is to their parents. But when they marry, their first obligation changes – it is now to each other as husband and wife. This means that for the married couple, their parents are no longer free to command them or have authority over them. The husband and wife now form a complete unit. Their first responsibility is now to each other.