And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. Genesis 1:26-30
God’s first command is for man to take dominion. Man is supposed to make the whole earth reflect God’s glory. To aid him in this task, God gives mankind the blessing of children. God’s intention is for the whole earth to reflect His glory. Obviously, man is unable to do this alone.
And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Genesis 2:18-23
God makes for the man a suitable helper thus giving man what he needs to fulfill His commands. However, we will find that man fails in his own strength.
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Genesis 2:24
A family is here defined as one man and one woman in a marriage covenant and those who are born from that union. The primary reason for marriage is to reflect God’s glory and enable man to keep God’s commands, specifically the command to multiply. Marriage and children are directly related. Reproduction is an essential part of marriage and family. All this takes place before the fall.
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. Genesis 3:16
After the fall the family undergoes some changes because of sin. For one, the marriage is going to end in death. Also, the harmony that God designed to be between husband and wife will be broken by sin. As a result of death, adoption becomes a way for others to join a family.
For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Ephesians 5:30-32
And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven. Mark 12:24-25
For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; Ephesians 2:18-19
All of this does not take God by surprise. Marriage was intended to bring Him glory by showing His love for His people, even when His people sin. Children also serve as a living illustration of God’s love for His bride multiplying until the earth is filled with His glory. As such earthly family becomes temporary, being eclipsed by the family of God which is eternal.