Scripture: (Gen. 2:23-25)
23 And the man said:
This one, at last, is bone of my bone,
and flesh of my flesh;
this one will be called woman,
for she was taken from man.
24 This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh. 25 Both the man and his wife were naked, yet felt no shame.
Many pre-marital counselors inform couples that when they marry, they are also marrying that other person’s family. A groom is not just getting a wife, he is getting her whole family. A bride is not just marrying a husband, she is getting the good, the bad, and the ugly of his family. When you marry someone, you inherit all the issues of that person’s family.
It is interesting in this passage that, with the first couple, God reminds them the significance of “leaving and cleaving.” But who was he speaking of? Adam and Eve didn’t have parents at this time. They didn’t have in-laws. So why is this command included here?
Because God knew the danger associated when someone would let anyone come before that person’s spouse. Oftentimes, marriages can suffer because of family ties that force people to become dependent on anyone other than the spouse. A wife feels threatened when her husband listens to his mother more he does to her. A husband feels betrayed when his wife tells his wrongdoings to her family.
God stated that when we are married, we become one. We are no longer a team; we become one. In order to become one, you can’t allow anything divisive to enter even if it is a family member. Well intended family members can cause great damage to a marriage. Today, show your spouse how significant he or she is. How can you show that your spouse takes priority above anyone else in this life?
-Excerpt from LifeWay’s Life Truth’s “I (Still) Do” Curriculum available in May 2010
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.