Listen: 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Genesis 2:24 is crystal-clear on this point, for it says, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Why does God want a man to LEAVE his parents? The parent-child relationship in the home was meant to be “temporary.” It was a time where the child learned to be subject to authority, to honor his father and mother, and to learn many other lessons to prepare him for life. As precious as this relationship is, it can’t be compared to the intimacy of the husband-wife relationship, which is intended to be “permanent,” and where the two “shall be one flesh.” This is implied in the word CLEAVE, which means “to pursue hard after someone” and “to stick to someone.” The husband-wife relationship is the closest relationship there is. It should be characterized by the husband continually “pursuing his wife,” which simply means he wants to be with her and to interact with her. He should desire to be close to her in every way, physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. He should “stick to her like glue!” Their bond should be that strong.

When the husband does “cleave unto his wife” in the way just described, they will experience that blessed “union” intimated in the words, “they shall be one flesh.” This is God’s wonderful design, to take two individuals and to create one entity. If a man fails to “leave and cleave,” this “oneness” will be threatened. I have personally observed husbands who still “cleave” to their parents. They spend more time with them than they do with their wife, and their emotional attachment is greater as well. The result can be disastrous and even lead to separation or divorce. Yet God’s desire is for them to be one PERMANENTLY, as we see in Matthew 19:6, “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let no man separate” (NASB). This is not only a lesson for husbands, but for parents or any other person NOT to come between a husband and his wife, which in turn may lead to the bond between them being broken.

I feel compelled to end with Ephesians 5:25 which reads, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it.” In this chapter we see that the husband-wife relationship is a picture of Christ and His eternal bride, the church. Christ’s love for His bride, which was manifested at the cross when He “gave Himself for it,” never fails and is indeed PERMANENT. We will be ONE with Him forever, enjoying the closest relationship and intimacy that can be known. What a privilege we have, as husbands, to show to the world through our union with our wives, the relationship we have with Christ. May we truly love our wives, “even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it.”  (155.9)  (DO)