Often, the fact that, in Scripture, the first human beings were a man (Adam) and a woman (Eve) and that this man and woman had a sexual relationship is assumed to be clear and irrefutable evidence that homosexuality is wrong. Presumably, “Adam and Eve” seem like such an airtight argument against “Adam and Steve” or “Elizabeth and Eve” because it is somehow thought that the procreative heterosexuality of Adam and Eve is a universal model that all human beings must follow without exception. The Catholic church’s centuries’ old practice of clerical celibacy (not to mention the example of Jesus Christ himself) alone demonstrates that this is not true. (See also “‘Deus Caritas Est’ and the Queerness of God’s Love“). However, the recent papal tendency to give interpretive priority to Genesis 2 over Genesis 1 also helps us understand why the “firstness” and even the necessary “firstness” of a “heterosexual” couple is not at all incompatible with the “goodness” of homosexuality.
In his encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, Pope Benedict argues that, in Genesis, it is clear that God created sex for persons. Sex was a way to fulfill Adam’s distinct personhood. In Benedict’s interpretation, “the biblical account of creation speaks of the solitude of Adam…and God’s decision to give him a helper.” God decides to give Adam a helper only because none of the other non-human creatures are “capable of being the helper that man needs, even though he has assigned a name to all the wild beasts and birds and thus made them fully a part of his life.” The word Benedict uses next is crucial: “so God forms a woman from the rib of man.” In Benedict’s view, the partnership between Adam and Eve, which Benedict somewhat anachronistically calls “marriage,” is interpreted to be erotic and sexual from the beginning, and occurs not because only heterosexual sex is moral, but because this partnership, of which sexual union is a real and essential part, fulfills Adam’s, and to a lesser extent, Eve’s personhood. According to Benedict, it is clear that God created a certain person first—Adam–and then created human sexuality as a means to fulfill the needs of this particular person.
In comparison to the tradition, this interpretation is really quite radical—its unintended implications on assessing the morality of homosexual sex are equally radical. God “created” heterosexual sex only because it was good for Adam. Moreover, God “created” heterosexual sex because, without it, Adam was disconcertingly unhappy. According to Benedict’s interpretation, if Adam could be fulfilled and satisfied by the company of God and the animals, it seems as though God would not have created sex. Now, if the church had not already conceded the existence both of homosexuality and homosexual persons, this interpretation would be irrelevant to assessing the morality of homosexual acts. Given that the church has conceded the existence of homosexual persons (in other words, at the official level at least, the church councils celibacy rather than change to homosexual persons), Benedict’s interpretation of the genesis of sex requires that the church ask what is good for homosexual persons. It is clear that, although the magisterium asserts, “homosexual activity prevents one’s own fulfillment and happiness by acting contrary to the creative wisdom of God,” they have not really looked to see whether or not this statement is actually true, instead they have assumed it to be true based upon their belief that it contradicts “the creative wisdom of God.”
In other words, the church must relate to homosexual persons in the same way that God related to Adam. In order to enable Adam’s flourishing, God had to abandon God’s preconceived notions about the good. At first, God thought that Adam’s solitude would not be an impediment to Adam’s flourishing, and God therefore thought that Adam’s relationships to God and non-human creation would be enough to make him happy. Through time, it was clear that Adam’s needs were not being met. Rather than telling Adam the Edenic equivalent of “bear the cross,” God created something new, Eve, and with her, inter-human relationality of all kinds—friendship, kinship, and both homosexual and heterosexual relationality. As Benedict shows, sex did not exist in the mind of God before God created Adam; rather, sex was a Divine innovation ordered towards the fulfillment of human needs. In other words, Adam was not created in conformity to some pre-existing sexual ideal; rather, God “created” sex and human relationships of all kinds in conformity to God’s discovery of Adam’s good.
Because Benedict privileges the second creation story as interpretively prior to the first creation story, it is therefore possible to interpret God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply,” which appears in the first creation story, not as an absolute and universally-binding command, but as a consequence of God’s recognition that it is “not good” for persons “to be alone.” In this way, not counting God’s pseudo-parthenogenetic creation of Eve from Adam’s body or non-sexual conception of Jesus Christ, procreation is the only way to ensure that human beings are “not alone.” In this way, we see that sexual procreation and the heterosexual desire which facilitates it are “first” not because, as Benedict assumes, it is the only way by which human beings become complete, but quite simply because it is the means through which God has chosen to bring new people into existence. The essential importance of heterosexual sex to the human species does not mean that it is the only type of relationship vital to human flourishing (even devoted spouses need friends and extended family, for example) or that human flourishing of particular individuals is impossible without it—as demonstrated by the examples of gays and lesbians and those called to celibacy. In this way, the heterosexuality of the first human beings need not be interpreted as evidence that only heterosexual sex is fully human.
 Deus Caritas Est. par. 11
 Deus Caritas Est par. 11
 while in the Catechism, the church hedges a bit on this, referring to “homosexual tendencies,” (2358) the church nonetheless admits that these tendencies are “deep-seated.” Moreover, I argue that this concession, along with the church’s use of the phrase “homosexual persons” (see: the “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons”) suggests that the church accepts the reality of homosexuality as therefore the existence of homosexual persons. This view is also supported by the fact that the church proposes celibacy rather than re-orientation as the solution to homosexuality.
 Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, par. 7
 Moreover, as I have demonstrated throughout this paper, even this assumption—that homosexual sex contradicts the creative wisdom of God—has not been established satisfactorily.
 Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons. Par. 12 John Paul II writes, “homosexual persons are called to enact the will of God in their life by joining whatever sufferings and difficulties they experience in virtue of their condition to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross”
 clearly, Pope Benedict’s celibacy is evidence that he also does not interpret this command in this way
 Genesis 2:18
 Benedict’s argument that “only in communion with the opposite sex can [man] become ‘complete’” seems to suggest as much. Deus Caritas Est
Katie, this is a great post. I wouldn’t have seen the way forward in Benedict’s read of Genesis.
Though it makes sense, on a certain level, to accept as much of an opponent’s premise as possible, I wonder if it is ultimately futile to accept the way that he’s reading Genesis–that is, that there was an Adam and Eve, that these chapters demonstrate God’s mandate for creation, etc.
WARNING: SYSTEMATICIAN TRYING TO READ THE BIBLE BELOW
If these chapters are composed of origin stories and liturgies of the Babylonian exile, then it makes sense that they would include reference to heterosexual coupling. Until very recently, everyone’s ancestors, by definition, engaged in heterosexual acts (whether they liked it or not is a different question). It makes sense to trace one’s genealogy to an ultimate pair and to use such a story to answer questions about the human condition (where do we come from? who made the world? why do we work? why do we rest? we do we mate? why are there snakes?). That is, heterosexuality may be more akin to the language of the story than its message, which I take to be more about sustaining identity during the exile.
Simply put, the text was not written as a polemic against homosexuality. That Benedict (or any theologian) picks out this aspect of the story–Adam and Eve’s heterosexuality–as normative seems a pretty big misreading of the text.
A theologian stands on firmer ground, I think, in reading the story for broad themes: the goodness of God, of creation, the need for community, the presence of sin, the promise of hope. I think this is what you’ve done by talking about sex and community as good.
I would just like to push it further and dismantle the entire project of thinking that Genesis matters at all for speaking about sexual ethics today. Wishful thinking, I suppose.
This is a very helpful consideration of the creation accounts, particularly within the confines of natural law. It also introduces human need and emotional fulfillment at a very basic level of creation; something to help reign in my gnostic tendencies. Thank you.
I like this post! I think I may be more pessimistic than you when it comes to whether or not “THE CHURCH TEACHES” that homosexuals actually exist. The Pastoral Letter’s title includes “homosexual persons,” but the body of the letter quickly slips back into talking about people who “have this condition” or who might “act on this orientation.” I would see the “deep-seated tendency” language not so much as a concession to the claim that homosexuals exist but as a refusal to say that homosexuality can have the same ontological status as heterosexuality. It’s not constitutive. It’s something you have (or lack), not something you are, according to this thinking. (“Concentrate on the person, not on the homosexual orientation itself,” says the USCCB’s letter. Could the same be said about how to relate to straight people?) And–I could be wrong here–I don’t think that the church has ever actually said that so-called reparative therapy *shouldn’t* be tried. “Always Our Children” gives this really piddly statement, implying that the problem with such therapy is not that it’s cruel and harmful but that it might fail to make you straight:
“Given the present state of medical and psychological knowledge, there is no guarantee that such therapy will succeed. Thus, there may be no obligation to undertake it, though some may find it helpful.”
Sonja–I hear what you are saying and I agree that “the church” does waver. However, JPII’s pastoral letter was entitled “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons” and in the catechism, right after it talks about “deep-seated tendencies” it says “homosexual persons are called to chastity” #2359.
Firstly, very nice article. I like how you have worked from within his paradigm to build your case and done so very effectively.
However, I’m going to agree with Erin Kidd that the more important hermeneutical move in the long run is to dismantle the use of Genesis in sexual ethics at all. It is extremely poor reasoning to take a collection of origin stories and leap to deontological premises from there. Are we also to understand from this story that snakes are evil and people who keep them as pets are perverting the natural order? What about the eating of fruit from trees – does this story have something moral to say about that?
Using Adam & Eve to argue for heteronormativity is cherry-picking in the highest degree.
Thanks for your comments.
With you and Erin, I agree that making Genesis almost exclusively about “sexual ethics” is an impoverished and somewhat distorted view of what Genesis is all about–as Erin alludes to, the Genesis creation narratives were written during the Babylonian Exile as a way to delegitimize not only Babylon’s own creation myth–the Enuma Elish–but also the entire ideological justification for empire.
Unfortunately, heteronormative interpretations of Genesis are still very much used to legitimize (and even mandate) homophobia so I think that we must refute the misinterpretations while presenting new ones.
I wonder if it might be appropriate to write a Targum of this passage that makes the same polemical moves as the original. Just as the original appropriates elements of the Enuma Elish in order to delegitimize them and deconstruct the ideology of empire, could we write one that appropriates elements of the heteronormative myth in order to rip it to shreds?
Is it time someone actually wrote the story of Adam & Steve?
I agree that the bigger problem is the hermeneutic behind Genesis’s use, but it still seems a significant insight, particularly as I consider discussing the issue with my church. The anthropology people read into Genesis is so strong that it’s nice to find some cracks in the wall before you hint that perhaps they haven’t read it correctly. And it adds some new exegetical options as well.
As for a new Targum; Hauerwas’ “Why Gays Are Morally Superior to Christians” kind of walks this road a bit, though for different issues
although hauerwas’ article no longer “works” after the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell! lol
I know! That’s one of the first things I thought when DADT got repealed, but I never had a good occasion to say it.
-“Horray, DADT just got repealed; I no longer have to hide who I am!”
-“Terrible! Now future generations won’t understand why Hauerwas’s article is so brilliant.”
There was just no way that could have gone over well.
Hauerwas’ stance on the status of gay relationships is in a constant process of evolution — in Hannah’s child, he writes: “I remain unsure if we can call the relationship between gay people “marriage,” but I know that [his friend] David’s friendship enriches Paula’s and my marriage. I hope and pray for the day when Christians can be so confident in their understanding of marriage that we can welcome gay relationships for their promise of building up the body of Christ.”
Notwithstanding, however, I’d prefer we not turned to Hauerwas as a founding move regarding the status of lesbian, gay, and bisexual Christians… In his own admission, his stance has evolved as a relationship of his friendship with particular gay men; his earlier writings suggested that individual gay couples make a case to the church for why their particular relationships should be accepted, making them more an exception than the rule.
I respect his willingness to listen and change, but I have a real wariness of upholding Hauerwas’ perspective as foundational for lgb Christians…
Thanks for the post. Everything you’ve written on Deus Caritas Est has been great!
I have a concern similar to E. SKidd. In institutional and popular contexts, the “everything is about sex” hermeneutic of JPII and BXVI (some call it “nuptial mysticism”) has not been too friendly to LGBT persons. But, as you have shown, I am convinced that this very logic has a sort of queerness that subverts attempts to heterosexualize the Bible and Theology. But I’m not sure this makes the whole approach worth taking. Sometimes I think that these sorts of theologians just need to take a cold shower and stop seeing everything as a figure of human sexuality. And that we might have a better conversation about sexuality once it ceases to be the most important thing about being human and being Christian (I’m ascribing that view to the nuptial mysticism theologians, not you!)
So what do you think? I think you’ve shown a promising way of interpreting what the pope says, but is his whole approach worth taking in the first place?
K Patrick–thanks for your comments.
I share your wariness towards a hyper-sexualized (or should I say, hyper-heterosexualized) interpretation of not just the creation stories but the Christian life itself. And certainly, I would hope that we could come to see that the creation stories are about much more than sex, original sin, or some vague notion that creation is good. So I share your sentiments there. My intentions with this post were not so much to set forth a definitive hermenuetical approach to Genesis but instead to think of how, evenwithin a hyper-heterosexualized interpretation of creation, there is still room to see homosexuality as a part of God’s good creation.
I just want to say, having had more time to think about this, that I really find your read insightful here, Katie — that there’s an improvisation on the part of God concerning what / who actually provides the form of companionship necessary for Adam “not to be alone.” That is such a clear read, and one that had not at all occurred to me. Thank you.
I think this post completely is disregarding some important sections of Deus Caritas Est.
(11) Using Platon idea of human as been an spherical form of two parts assembling for a completeness, he expresses clearly that Adam (who might be understood as a complete human been having both male and female forms in it) was divided into man (Adam) and woman (Eve), and thus, Adam needs Eve to be complete (not Adam and Steve). So he quotes Gen 2:24 #That is why a MAN leaves his father and mother and is united to his WIFE, and they become one”
(5) Body normally becomes merchandise through eros. Furthermore Deus caritas est tries to state that eros has been ruling throughout time and that is why the church has been “attacking” sexuality. So it tries to teach that it is not eros but human who must unite with soul (God&human together), so human does not make a choice basing on eros, self-interest or false sacrifice (when Adam would chose Steve because Adan thinks he is the only salvation for Steve), but basin on human (soul). Thus you find soulmates (this would like Gen 2:24). The truth is that it s because of eros that Adam would chose Steve over Eve. While Adam is seeking exclusively for a man, it is clear that he is using eros for choosing and that implies putting eros over God&Adam fusion (Adam agape towards God). It is clear that agape would dismantle eros if Adan were to seek Steve, unless Adam wanted eros (Steve) to be over God (and no the other way around) which means “not loving God above himself” and “not loving himself as the Adam he is”. In case of doubt, a good reassurance for this agape destroying wrong eros is the fact that if God were to give eros (Godly eros) such eros would be based on the completeness of the one (Gen 2:24, above)
It is interesting that sex is NOT shown as a creation for completeness but a manifestation. Hence, Adan can love Steve, and have a great companion, but such love would not imply eros, as eros would be against the very completeness in Adan and Eve as a spherical form… so Steve (son of the sphere Adam-Eve) cannot to take the place of Eve, because he (Steve) would not exist, or he would be breaking the sphere to pretend (out of pride) to create a new sphere that he would deem better than the one that already exists, just because Steve cannot love himself as he is and accept his own nature and his true love towards Elizabeth.
Eros can certainly be created by a human without resorting to God and agape and reason. So eros is not necessarily given by God.
Well that is a different reading for Deus Charitas Est.
2. It is significant that in his reply to the Pharisees, in which he appealed to the “beginning,” Christ indicated first of all the creation of man by referring to Genesis 1:27: “The Creator from the beginning created them male and female.” Only afterward did he quote the text of Genesis 2:24. The words which directly describe the unity and indissolubility of marriage are found in the immediate context of the second account of creation. Its characteristic feature is the separate creation of woman (cf. Gn 2:18-23), while the account of the creation of the first man is found in Genesis 2:5-7.
The Bible calls the first human being “man” (‘adam), but from the moment of the creation of the first woman, it begins to call him “man” (ish), in relation to ishshah (“woman,” because she was taken from the man—ish).(2)
Thanks for your comments and sorry for the delay in responding to you.
You make important points. I am sending you some posts I have written touching on these issues not to avoid answering you but just bc I think I was more articulate there than I could be here.
It is interesting I was not intending to reply any posts, however, events are not always as one intended them to be. This would have to be replied on your original post, but I’ll reply here instead.
(1) Masculinity and femininity are not as a total 100%, and that is something everyone is aware of, including JPII and BXVI. Those are multilayered concepts that enrich in complementariness so there is constant exchange of passiveness and activeness… however, that does not mean that passiveness and activeness is not a model for defining, for it is.
Guadalupe is not masculine when she is playing an active roll commanding Juan Diego, instead she is a most holy feminine MOTHER, not a daughter… this also applies to Jesus submission in Canaan where He is a masculine and active son.
I think you are lost on this gender, hence you cannot see while passiveness and activeness are indeed a ruling guide for gender but are not a law. Indeed men’s love is different from women’s love. To guide you in this endeavor a good example is to use a case where, in a couple, there is feminine active love, (which is different from a masculine active love): It came to my mind 8mm with Nicolage Cage (Tom Welles). I hope you have seen it and you remember when after many events he feels “overwhelmed”, “soul-destroyed”, and/or “infected” and he wails to his wife “Save me!”. Then she embraces him him providing him with such a marvelous feminine active love that is an impressive resemblance of a mother to her child, but in a marriage relationship… You can tell that the greatest feeling is not the one of (active) protection loved (however included), by a healing and embracing love (I SAVE YOU so that you regain your power [and either you can fight another battle o quit it]). If the roles where inverted, you can tell it would not be a mostly heeling and embracing love (however included), but it would especially filled with a caring and protecting love (I SAVE YOU so that you don’t get hurt anymore [and either you use this to fill your heart with this love power to fight another battle, or you quit it]).
. Some other points to comment on this article:
– I think religion does not teaches itself that you should be as you should be, instead that you may be whatever you want as long as you are within God’s will, and you learn God’s will by loving Him.
– Sex-driveness (in male or woman) is to use eros for governing. This would be wrong in the light of Deus Caritas est.
– intersexed people are a proof that there is not a right to have sex/intercourse or a right to be male or female, our only right might be God’s souls who may guide by their own godly nature or not. Those people may easily just stop worrying about this gender stuff and let themselves be guided by the love of God who would guide their lives in accordance with God’s law and voice, as we should do as well irrespective of our gender.
(2) First paragraph is not what it is intended. The purpose of rejection is aimed at preventing child abuse and fostering healthy hearts (you can prejudice both as you want, however it is base on abovementioned eros rule, and on the purification through crucifixion)
– “According to Pope Benedict, the yearning for completion that lies in the heart of each being is fulfilled only sexually” THAT IS NOT TRUE, you read this on your own (holy communion is NOT a matter of sex)… and this assumption invalids the following paragraphs
– Even though God “assigns a name to all the wild beasts and birds and thus made them fully a part of his life,” they are incapable either of being the helper Adam needs or fulfilling his need for companionship . THIS WAS BEFORE ADAM WAS DIVIDED INTO ISH AND ISHSHAAN so Adam was a complete being.
– ” Pope Benedict’s use of gendered pronouns in the sentence, “among all the nations He chooses Israel and loves her,” emphasizes his belief in the masculinity of God the lover and the femininity of Israel the beloved” This is NOT intentional, but it is a common statement. Referring to humanity as mankind is because the word “man” “mankind” is also commonplace and it is not intended to have a gender mark; this also applies to other languages, and “man” is read as lacking of gender.
– “God’s masculinity establishes the heterosexuality of God’s eros” I just want to point out that there is no eros in the love of God: “God loves, and his love may certainly be called eros, yet it is also totally agape”. (Deus Caritas est 9)
– “God’s eros for man is both fully eros and fully agape” (9) where did you get this 9 ? In the same paragraph, your God’s eros relationship toward Adam as a man in creation is also dismantled by the fact that, once again, Adam was not a man, at least, no in the sense of this paragraph. And it was a totally agape love from the view that it was a descending love given by God toward Adam
. Reading the following paragraphs in the light of what i have stated here, makes it lack of reason so I wont finish reading it. I would just want to point out that the love from God toward humanity is seen as masculine love in the light that God is acting as a male provider in the full sense of masculinity as we understand and He has resorted to Mary to provide us with a feminine godly love to the eyes of humanity.
– “men, as people, are different from women in the way that penises are from vaginas” I wouldn’t put it in this word, i think it is a delimiting view. AND “because this sexual difference symbolizes the difference between men and women as people, only sexually different people (that is, only men and women) are capable of the type of compatibility ” I dont think so, for instance a man can have his penis cut and he will be a man nonetheless, and only compatible in this complementariness idea to women. A think i would put it all the way around “Ti is because only sexually (GENDER) different people are capable to the type of COMPLEMENTARINESS that a sexual symbol is given to make it easier to notice the difference” meaning that genitalia are not needed to provide gender, there are just an aid that helps you to see the type of soul (in case of doubt).
– “the flourishing of family life” (I guess this would mean that men would have certain personality traits–assertiveness, leadership, ability to acquire a well-paying job, knowledge of sports, affinity for playful rough-housing–and women another set of traits–deference, kindness, patience, generosity, receptivity, a desire to bear children?)” I think your guess is wrong and full or prejudice. The flourishing of family life is actually not based on complementariness (although that would be the best, and I suppose it might be the God’s will, even if it rarely occurs); the flourishing of family life is based on the sign of a family union (which actually do imply father and mother) in a work toward salvation… Luckily the union in a work toward salvation can be irrespective of a family union or a sing. but the FAMILY concept in “Family life” is just based on the concept of a procreative family (man and woman)… An the personal traits you are mentioning are actually irrespective of the flourishing, they are just part of any individual. Actually what you may ask yourself from this is “why the family is the perfect catholic model for a family?” and a reply to this question might be as simple as “this is the model that we have learn form Adam as been given to them by God; and this is the only model that within itself can actually create family out of communion (the only model through which man and woman couples can have their own children = family)”. And the second question would be “why some models are rejected?” Because they cannot be used as a model, the model to be used is the models provided by God, which actually means “there are other family shapes that can attain salvation and purification -which actually may include a family of three or more parents- but it is within human to see if their own family is the holy path for sacrifice, purification and salvation” Then again, you might argue that there are models completely and totally rejected: well actually the only thing that is really rejected is clear sexual behavior within the nets of adultery (and not family shapes): there are families with two parents and no mother, if the brother-in-love lives with the widower, for instance, and both take care of the children.
– “complementariness” in Jordan and Pippen is not the same “complentariness” we are speaking of.
– “Even if sexual complementarity were true, it would not be an argument against same-sex relationships.” Well, this is for you to know that you are aware that you won’t find complementariness on a same gender couple. Still, it is up to you to accept or reject this. So if you accept it, you’ll know that you might find many people with which you might feel complete, but at the same you’ll know that you’ll never be really complete. If you reject this, then you do as you please, and lets hope you find a good match that will help you on your path towards sacrifice, purification and salvation.
– “thwart the call to a life of that form of self-giving” DOS NOT MEAN “although gay people can be generous in other areas of their lives, it is impossible for a gay or lesbian person to be generous and self-giving to their romantic partner. ” It only means “of that FORM of self-giving”, still this also harms other types of self-giving one way or another.
– “For this reason, we don’t need to actually look at the lives of lesbian and gay people to see if their love is either possible or good because we already know it is not.” This at a certain point true, but I think it is also not true, this is just the simplistic view of the fact. We must accept that there might be possible and good love, however, there will always be a stain of lack of love to oneself which would increasingly stain any love in a lesbian/gay couple that would inevitably fall into lust. Yes, I’m declaring that a homosexual intercourse relation is unavoidable doomed to lust I’d like to add that there are people that approves such lust within a heterosexual couple and we know such lust would only mean that such heterosexual couple is stained and drastically harmed. While you might not worry as this lust (for you are inadvertedly declaring that lust won’t damage the love within a couple and that couple’s love toward humanity and toward its own family), it actually does beyond our understanding and human judgement. Even if we don’t see the harm i causes, and even if our senses cannot detect it, it consumes human souls and destroy the power and purity of the couple as intended by God. We are to worry about it, both in homosexual and heterosexual couples, for it is in detriment to our world, even if we are doing good deeds and the Mercy of God is upon us. So yes, you can actually find lesbian/gay couples working MUCH better than heterosexual couples… but all of this it is not about a well-working relationship, it is about the model “life-self-giving” “lust lacking” “sacrificing” mission of a couple provided as a model by God when They divided Adam in two. So religion is not trying to defend heterosexual couples as are most commonly known, but a model of a couple that was created by God and in that creation was meant by God, even if we all are to hard-hearted to follow it.