Last night Mrs RJR and I went out for a meal to celebrate our wedding anniversary, because yesterday we celebrated 20 years of marriage.
Marriage is a wonderful thing, I would like to say we have never had an argument, fell out or disagreed but that is far from the truth. What I can say though, is that we still hold hands when walking and we still say a prayer together every night at bed time. We take turns, I say prayers on odd dates she does even dates, we remember whose day it is because she says that I'm "odd". Yes we are a church going pair, its no secret.
Back to our meal, I had a rack of ribs, they were excellent. I had looked forward to them all day and they didn't disappoint ! I think part of the reason for choosing the ribs was I had been thinking about ribs in the morning, but not the pork variety...
Ribs and marriage fit together well. The first married couple were Adam and Eve. The symbolism in the bible is that God created Eve from a rib taken from Adam side. this is beautiful on many levels. First off, its very fitting that God saved his greatest creation, woman, till the very last. Secondly why use the rib?
“woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.” (Matthew Henry)
There are some folk that think of this as a literal surgical removal of a rib, but for me its very much symbolism and men don't have 1 less rib than women, we all have the same ! There are however some medical symbols to be drawn.
"The function of ribs is threefold. First, they provide protection for the lungs and heart. The ribs more or less form a “cage” around these very important organs. Second, they are one of the few bones that continue to make red marrow (and thus blood cells) in the adult. Third, they serve as attachment points for chest muscles involved in respiration."(online dictionary)
So God chose to use something that protected Adams heart and lungs, the most vital of organs and also bones that produced Adams "life blood" Likewise Mrs RJR protects my heart I have entrusted her with its key, she has also become the air that I breath and the life in my blood.
But the symbolism goes deeper, explore with me Adam and Eves relationship
There is a perfect unity between these two mortals; they are “one flesh.” The word rib expresses the ultimate in proximity, intimacy, and identity. When Jeremiah speaks of “keepers of my tsela (rib)” he means bosom friends, inseparable companions. Such things are to be taken figuratively, when we are told not that the woman was made out of the rib or from the rib, but that she was the rib, a powerful metaphor. So likewise “bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh”, “and they shall cleave together as one flesh”—the condition is that of total identity. “Woman, because she was taken out of man” (Hugh Nibley)
In the case above the word cleave is to cling together not the alternate meaning of splitting apart. Splitting however does fit into the story too. In some translations, the word rib is taken to mean side, or half. suggesting that God used half of man not just a rib to make women... this would mean that man and wife are only whole, when united together.
So although marriage may be on the decline I am happy to report mine isn't, here is to the next 20 years !!