He had God and work, but that wasn’t enough. God and Adam both knew that there was still loneliness in the life of a man unless he has… what? This wasn’t good. So God made the man fall into a deep sleep, he opened Adam’s side, took out a rib, and created a woman from what he had removed. Adam needed something else, God took something from him, and then brought him exactly what he needed.
When Adam saw her, he was amazed at how much she was like him, but how incredibly different she was. How long did it take him to know that she was exactly what he needed to make it all good? “This at last is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. She will be called woman because she was taken from the man” (see Genesis 2:18-25). The Hebrew words are as similar as our English words for man and woman. Really close. Like the word to describe her, she is certainly different; but she’s a lot like him.
Then there are the words of companionship: “Leave father and mother and be united to his wife. The two shall become one flesh.” “United.” That’s powerful. “One flesh.” Imagine that! He was no longer lonely. He had the perfect companion; and they would unite and be one flesh.
“One flesh” certainly has sexual meaning to it.
When Paul warned the Corinthians about a sexual relationship with prostitutes he used language that sounds much like Genesis. “Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, ‘The two will become one flesh’” (1 Corinthians 6:16). “United.” That’s powerful. “One flesh.” Imagine that!
What’s the difference? What’s significant about marital sex? It has to be the permanency of the companionship that God intended when he brought Eve to her man. They belong to each other, have responsibility to each other, and have authority over each other in the sexual relationship (1 Corinthians 7:3-4) – for life. They are not to separate because, as husband and wife, they have been joined together by God. The difference is the permanency! Marital sex is forever!