Scripture is quite clear that a Christian man should put his wife above everyone, including his parents. When God instituted marriage He instructed the man to actually LEAVE his parents and to CLEAVE unto his wife. Genesis 2:24 says, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” As important as a man’s relationship to his parents is, it is not to be compared with the relationship he has with his wife. He is to physically LEAVE his parents, which means he will no longer live with them. He will not be dependent on them anymore to meet his temporal needs, nor will he look to them to meet his emotional needs. He will now be the leader of a new family where he will be the provider for their physical needs, and his emotional needs will be met by his wife. We saw that the man is to “cleave unto his wife.” The word CLEAVE means “to stick to someone” and it implies that the husband/wife relationship is as close as two people can be. He will be close to her in every way possible…physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. It is no wonder that God chose to say, “and they shall be ONE FLESH.”

In view of what we have just considered, is it not clear that a Christian man should indeed “love his wife more than his parents?” It’s not that the man won’t love his father and mother, but his love for his wife will be on a higher plane altogether. In fact, Scripture compares his love for her with the love Christ has for the church. Ephesians 5:25 states, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it.” This speaks of a “sacrificing love” that is willing to give one’s time, energy, devotion, and even one’s very life (if called upon to do so) for the woman God has united you to. It goes on to say in Ephesians 5:28-29 to say, “So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body” (NASB). May the Lord convict every husband reading this to heed these words and to “nourish and cherish his wife.” We instinctively care for our bodies; let’s have the same care for the woman that God has been pleased to yoke us with in the highest and most intimate relationship on earth. It is striking that the apostle Paul chooses, in verse 30, to quote the verse we began with, “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” (Genesis 2:24).  (207.7)  (DO)