Tavares D. Mathews
The Foundational Stones of Marriage
The Creation of Marriage
Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Man is formed
God formed man from the mud clay of the earth. (Gen. 2:7); Man is given a home, Garden of Eden (2:8); Man is given a job, to dress and keep the garden (2:15). God also gave man law, that is, a commandment (law) to keep, (2:16,17).
“It is not good for the man to be alone”
It is indeed interesting to note that God showed Adam his need before he created a helper suitable for him. It should be observed that it was God who said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” My point is, Adam had not recognized that need yet. After making this statement God brought the animals to Adam for him to name them, as Adam is naming them according to their nature and characteristics, he realizes that he was alone and he needed someone suitable for himself. “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.” (2:20) Woman is formed; she is taken from the flesh and bone of Adam’s side.
A role that is greatly overlooked in marriage is the role of its Creator. Marriage was created by God and was the first union that he authorized. Because He is the creator of marriage, he alone has the right to layout the design that man should follow to have strong martial relationships.
The Marriage of our First Parents
“And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.”(2:22) “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?” God’s says, “I do!” Adam’s vows were as follows: “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man.” (2:23)
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)
This verse is the foundational stone that every great marriage is built upon. Without this stone, marriages are destined for failure. Built on these stones are love, respect and trust, with the latter being characteristics of the first. Marriage is the bringing together of two lives to form one life. In this union, two different people, for no two people are the same, from two different backgrounds come together to form a union that only God can separate.
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Hebrew & Greek definitions:
to leave, loose, forsake, to depart from, leave behind, leave, let alone , like our “leave behind”, it is used of one who on being called away cannot take another with him
to cling, stick, stay close, keep close, stick to, stick with, follow closely, join to, to glue to
Please note that we are commanded to forsake everyone else, even mother and father, for there is no closer bond in all of God’s creation than the bond between a husband and a wife. Not even a mother and child can compare to the union that God first instituted. Leave and forsake all and cleave, be glued to and stick to your mate. This is a commandment from God. Sadly, in many marriages husbands and wives are forsaking each other and cleaving to parents and friends, rather than each other. This is not how God designed marriage to be built. Homes that are not built according to this blueprint are faulty. Notice God’s command for newly married soldiers.
“When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.” (Deuteronomy 24:5)
It is very clear that God intends for marriage to have a good foundation that will lead to the building of a beautiful and strong marriage. One of the reasons that many marriages fail is because one or both spouses have not obeyed the very first law of marriage…to leave (father, mother, & friends) and cleave to their spouse. The first years are vitally important because there has to be time for the two newly married individuals to get to know each other better outside of being around everyone else. In no way are we saying that there is to be no communication with others, that would be absurd, but we are saying that there must be given lots of time in the marriage for the two to really become one. This can only occur when individuals learn more about each other by constant communication. A word on communication: talking about what one watched on television or the latest song heard on the radio is not necessarily marriage building communication. Proper communication involves taking about matters of the heart. Spouses should feel free to express hurts and disappointments with their spouse without feeling as though they will be taken advantage of. Communication involves expressing hopes and plans for the future.
Notice the vows that we take:
Will you have this man to be your husband; to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?
These are not just words, but these are words of commitment that we agree to not only before man, but before GOD.
The LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth (Malachi 2:14)
Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (Matthew 19:6)
God hath joined us together – like two oxen working in a field, they must walk together or the field will not be plowed correctly.
Let not man put asunder – no one has the right to separate or cause division between a husband and wife…neither the husband nor the wife…not a friend, mother or father. This is God’s joining and no one has the right to separate what God has joined and ordained as holy. Many have come to the conclusion that if it does not work out then I can just get a divorce. God still declares, “What I have joined together – let not man put asunder!”
Success in marriage is not measured in years. Some would suppose that a couple married for 30, 50 60 years must have had a successful marriage. But, that is not necessarily the case. When a couple has followed the blueprint of God’s Word, lived sacrificially for each other and placed each other first (not the kids) then and only then can a marriage be viewed as successful.
The Conclusion of the Matter: God created marriage to be enjoyed by all. But, there are foundational measures that must be adhered to in order for there to be happiness, vitality and longevity in marriage.