Sunday, August 30, 2009

Therefore a man . . .

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 KJV

I guess I figured that I would use a Concordance and find the first usage of the word "Therefore". The first place I could find it used in Scripture was very early in the book of Genesis. 

God is making a statement here. He is speaking to me as a man.  He is making a statement about how the God-centered family is to be designed.

The King James Version uses an old word; cleave. I went to Dictionary.com for a definition. Here is what I found.
  • to adhere closely; stick; cling (usually followed by to).
  • to remain faithful (usually followed by to): to cleave to one's principles in spite of persecution.
I think the first definition reflects the design God had in mind here in that we are to cleave so closely and tightly that we become one. The second definition speaks to the permanence of that bond. We are to remain faithful to one another.

God is also making a statement to us men about priorities. One of the highest priorities before we are married is our parents. That is well and good. In fact, God will make a very specific commandment about our relationship to our parents in just a few more chapters in Genesis. God makes the statement that we are to "honor" our parents. I never read later in Scripture that He alters that command. Nor do I see that it has an expiration date.

What I do see is that, as men of God, our priorities change. Once I am a husband my top priority (from an Earthly perspective) is my beloved bride. All else pales in comparison. My old "single" priorities and practices begin to change in light of the one to whom I have cleaved. The "rights" that I had before are tempered by the "responsibilities" that I now have as a husband. We are now in a new and Divine relationship that God himself ordained. The role we have as a father are even greater than the role of husband.  But that can be the subject of another post in the future.

God intends that clinging to one another as being so close to one another that the two become one. It is not a "Velcro" bond.  It is an epoxy bond.  And I don't see anywhere later in Scripture where we are to cease clinging faithfully to one another. Rather, the bond is one that lasts until we breathe our last breath here on Earth.

What's it there for?

I think God is describing the best way for that relationship to be the most successful.

What do you think?

Photo used under the following license agreement: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/

[This post dedicated to a set of newlyweds approaching their first anniversary and a set of newlyweds who about to begin their lives together.]

1 comment:

  1. Good Post Kevin. When it comes to my relationship with my wife, I keep Eph 5:25 close to my heart. We are to love our wives as Christ loved the church. I enjoyed your velcro vs. epoxy analogy. Very good.
    -john a.

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