The Beginning . . . IV

Rev. Sudha Mehta©

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.(JB2000)

right hand 3

Photo from Pixabey

In my last post I wrote of God presenting Eve to Adam without any alternative choices. Let us pick up at the three point formula of marriage as I pointed out in the closing of that post The Beginning . . . Part III

  1. Leave
  2. Cleave.
  3. Become one flesh.
rings wedding
Photo by Deesha Chandra on
  1. Leave: It is reasonable to say at this point that God Himself performed the First wedding. Yet what does “leave his father and mother” mean,  since both Adam and Eve had no earthly parents at this point? God the Creator was certainly not saying they were to leave Him (Father)!

No, this was forward looking! Adam and Eve would have children in the future and their children would marry. Then this would be applicable.

Note this command (and it is a command) is given to the man, not to the woman. It may be argued that the command was given to mankind. Male and female were both to make a new start and separate from their parents to form a new unit.

man with his hands wrapped around woman s waist
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However, in generations yet future to Adam and Eve, in the Biblical culture the woman left her home to come and join the husband’s family. Sarah left her home to come with Abraham to Canaan. Rebekah left her family to join Isaac and his family, sight unseen. This continues to be the practice in many countries even today. These were (and are) patriarchal societies, where the man’s father ruled the clan, and mother remained the matriarch as long as she lived.

Creator God, foreseeing this pattern issued instructions for the man to set up his own home with his wife, where she (whom he brings from her parents home) would be queen. His heart was now to belong to his wife and not to his mother.

There are whole volumes that are written on the nuances/ dynamics of inter-family relationships in joint families which are still prevalent in so many countries. We can talk about cultural mandates and traditions on the headship of the parents and the required submission of the adult sons, and their wives, and so much more. We can discuss financial advantages to sharing the same house/kitchen/ etc.

Much can also be said of the dysfunctional aspects of joint families where generational differences abound. In many families emotional, physical and even sexual abuse is common. No matter what discussion we have, positive or negative, we are left without argument when we realize that Creator God, right at “The Beginning,” knowing human nature even before the Fall, said:

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.(JB2000)

I believe this “separation” has less to do with physical proximity with parents, and far more to do with emotional unity with the wife. As mankind grew and spread, people moved as clans and tribes where everyone was related.  It was right to stay close to each other even for safety. Tribes stuck together as they needed to. Marriages happened within tribes, among kinfolk for all kinds of reasons. None of that is wrong in and of itself. This “separation” our Creator commanded has to do with the heart. This command is presenting a Life-choice and revealing LOVE to be a decision before it becomes an emotion.

photo of man and woman wearing brown floral dress

Photo by Seruling Pagi on

2: Cleave: The command to CLEAVE to his wife is a call to intimacy with your wife that is much more than the physical union. This is a closeness that continues to deepen with age. No matter how old you get, the love you feel for each other deepens, and your commitment remains.

smiling man holding woman s left shoulder
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The years pass as you raise your children, build your careers, buy your homes, perhaps even buy your boats. You go through countless Parent Teacher meetings, sports practices, mom’s taxi service, cupcakes for the class, field trips, cleaning up after the kids, cleaning dog puke, picking up dog poop, changing diapers, sleepless nights with colicky babies or waiting for teenagers that stay out past curfews, comforting a baby to sleep, kissing boo-boos, or being the listening year to a heartbroken teen. You press through late work nights, dinner on the go, deadlines for presentations, demanding bosses, travel for work, or conferencing from home, and so much more. You have some fun times, and a lot of stress times. You go through tough times, your marriage is no exception to the rule, everybody does! You can come up with a looooong list of reasons why you do not have time to “Cleave” to your spouse. But God said. . . . and His formula still works best!

smiling man and woman wearing jackets
Photo by Tristan Le on

3. Become one flesh: What this means is obvious to you all, of this I am sure. Yes, the Creator designed them for Sex. He made them male and female with their specially designed anatomy for a fit. A fit that brings with it much more than physical fulfillment. The physical act of sex between a husband and wife is the consummation of the union of two souls.

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If the copulation that produced the population had been intended to be a loveless act, the fate of humanity would have been dismal even without the failure at the Forbidden- Fruit-Tree Site.

It is not known how long Adam and Eve were in the garden together before they were tempted by the Serpent, and subsequently driven out. One thing is for sure, they did not have any children before leaving the Garden. The Bible says they were naked and not ashamed. This makes clear that even though they were naked (and covered in God’s glory) they were totally innocent and knew no shame.

The Fall changed a lot of things, but their failure was not a surprise to the Creator. The way He designed marriage to work then is still the way to a successful marriage.

This same Scripture is repeated in the New Testament in:

Ephesians 5: 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shall be joined unto his wife, and they shall be two in one flesh.(JB2000)

4000 years had gone by since “The Beginning” when Paul wrote the Book of Ephesians, yet the Holy Spirit repeated the same formula when speaking to husbands and wives about the marriage relationship. Do you suppose another 2000 years later He is likely to change His instructions just because the culture demands it? No!

Hebrews 13: 8  Jesus Christ the same yesterday and today and for the ages. 9 Be not taken out of the way with diverse and strange doctrines.(JB2000)

Everything in this world may change, the One constant remains: our God! His Word stands true and faithful just as it always has.

There is much more to be said on these three Chapters in Genesis, and I am sure to come back at different times. For now, I will leave this and move on to other topics. Stick with me and I am sure you will discover much about Whom I serve.

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The Beginning . . . Part I

The Beginning . . . Part II

The Beginning . . . Part III

Born From Above

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Lucena Heivly says:

    Well written as always.

    Sent from my iPad



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