Every now and then I hear that people are saying that you can only be a whole person if you are married. This theory is supposedly taken from the creation account, Adam and Eve are made to be one flesh. But was Adam incomplete before the creation of Eve, surely the text tells us nothing of the kind. It tells us that Eve was created from Adam as a helper suitable for him. do we really have to take this to mean that until Eve was created Adam was somehow incomplete as a person. Genesis 2:8 says,
Then Yahweh God said, “it is not good that the man is alone. I will make for him a helper ⌊as his counterpart⌋.”
Adam was given someone as a friend, companion and helper but it does not say he was incomplete as a person. Genesis 1 asserts that both male and female are made in the image of God but it does not say that we have to be married to reflect that image. If at the heart of it the image of God is relational then that image is reflected in any healthy relationships formed by any human being. Another passage sometime appealed to is Ephesians 5,
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for her; 26 in order that he might sanctify her by cleansing her* with the washing of water by the word; 27 in order that he might present to himself the church glorious, not having a spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she may be holy and blameless. 28 Thus also husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. The one who loves his own wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as also Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 (This mystery is great, but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.) 33 Only you also, each one of you, must thus love his own wife as himself, and the wife ⌊must respect⌋ her husband.
Notice hear that Paul refers to Husbands and wives and he appeals to the one flesh that is created by the marriage bond. But this passage is written by a SINGLE man, a man who was very secure as a person because of his oneness with Jesus Christ.
This leads me to what I think is the final fault with this argument and that is that the only perfect,complete, whole person to have ever walked this earth was a SINGLE MAN called Jesus. We are called to model our lives on his, we are being made into the image of Christ.
Yes marriage is a precious institution given by God where there can be a great depth of intimacy but one only has to look at the state of some marriages to know that some very broken people are married and some whole people are single. We are called to live in healthy relationships with one another but we are not to make out that if we are married we are somehow more whole than a single person. Let us all model our lives on our Saviour’s,receive his love and grace and then we will be whole people whatever our marital status.