Today’s reading: Genesis 1-3
Today’s reflection: Genesis 2:24-25
24)Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25) And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
This text is often summarized as ‘leave, cleave and conceive’, but by laying down a foundation for Godly marriage this simple text goes much deeper than those three words suggest. Here are 5 key principles that must be understood before saying ‘I do’:
Independence: For a man to leave father and mother, he must have the resources to support a home and raise children. Implied, a woman must too be ready to leave behind the comfort and familiarity of her parent’s home. Both must also be independently minded. Sensible enough to consider wise council from trusted sources, yet able to make their own decisions as a couple.
Maturity: More than just finances, those intending to marry must have the maturity to take the responsibilities of a marriage seriously. A spouse is not a roommate, sharing a house is not the same as making a home, and there is no return policy on children. Those considering marriage must be willing and able to make personal sacrifices for the benefit of their family.
Ability to make a Lifelong Commitment: The phrase ‘hold fast’ speaks to the permanence of marital commitment. The pledge of ‘until death do we part’ is not one that can be kept without significant and consistent effort. Amos 3:3 says, “can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” This tells us two must learn to agree if they desire to walk through life together.
Understanding of Sexual intimacy: This text makes it clear that the primary purpose of sex is neither pleasure nor procreation, but oneness. This miracle of two people becoming one mirrors the oneness of our Triune God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), contributes to the continued personal growth of husband and wife, and helps build a foundation for the nurture and development of children. Once formed this bond cannot be broken. It is for these reasons that the blessings of sexual intimacy were reserved for the commitment and security of marriage.
Complete Honesty: Said another way, ‘naked and unashamed’ means having nothing to hide. Trust is essential in marriage, and the only way trust can be maintained is by spouses being vulnerable–naked–before each other, and disclosing everything that might impact the success of their relationship.