There are two more verses in Genesis 2 that we need to examine; verses 23 and 24.
And the man 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”
For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. Gen. 2:23-24 (NASB)
When Adam sees Eve, he recognizes that she is the perfect companion whom he couldn’t find elsewhere. She is unique among all creation. Because of this (“for this cause,” or “therefore” in the King James) man is to leave his parents and cleave to his wife.
Leave – Strong’s 5800 – צזב – azab = to loosen, i.e. relinquish, forsake, permit, commit self.
Cleave – Strong’s 1692 – דבק – dabaq = cling, adhere, keep close to, join to
Why? That that they might become one flesh. The word “flesh” (Strong’s 1320) can mean physical flesh, but it can also mean a body as in a unit. We see this formalized in the marriage ceremony, where a man loosens himself from his parents and commits himself to his wife.
Why is this directed at the man and not the woman? That’s a good question, and one which theses verses don’t answer. Perhaps because men tend to be more task/career oriented while women are already more relationship oriented. That’s speculation on my part, but I think it often tends to be true.
The word “one” in Gen. 2:24 is of particular interest for how it is used elsewhere.
One – Strong’s 259 – אחד – echad = united, single, same
This is the same word that is used of God Himself as the Trinity,
Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is One! Deut. 6:4
It makes sense then, that the marriage unit is used as a picture of Christ and the church in Ephesians 5:23-32, which we looked at awhile back. Does that mean we apply what Paul’s description of unity to marriage?
Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Phil. 2:2
I think so. In fact, I think this verse from Philippians would be a great start to a four part series for pre-marital counseling! For those of you considering marriage, this might be an excellent checklist when you are wondering, “Is this the right one for me?”
For those of us already married, we are probably well aware of the areas in our marriages where we have either unity or disunity. Of course, we have been looking at God’s intent for men and women in a perfect, unfallen world. Still this gives us something to work toward.
It should also help us to better understand our role as parents. Hopefully we are not clinging to our children, but are preparing and training them to go out from us to be godly husbands and wives. Hopefully, we are not so emotionally bound to them that we will be unable to release them when the time comes.
In those two verses in Genesis 2 then, we see the pattern and the goal for a godly marriage.