Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24, NKJV)
Marriage is the first institution created by God. Before there was any Government or Kingdom on Earth, God ordained marriage as right and good. Genesis 2:24 makes some things clear about God's view of marriage:
1. There must be a "leaving" that takes place. "A man shall leave his father and mother" has great significance. It does not mean that we should disown our parents or shun them, but it does mean that when a person makes the commitment to marry, they are committing wholly and completely to that person. Many marriages suffer greatly because "leaving" does not take place on the part of one or both spouses. Sometimes, the in-laws work mightily to keep this "leaving" from happening. Parents can give their child an enormous gift by insisting that this "leaving" takes place when the child gets married. Don't interfere in your child's marriage relationship. Do all you can to lovingly insist that your child no longer depend on you for emotional and financial support.
2. There must be a "cleaving" that takes place. "Cleaving" speaks of the personal aspect of tender love and faithfulness between the two who are together in marriage. The reason it is so vital for "leaving" to happen is so that "cleaving" can take place. A spouse should have his/her needs met within the marriage relationship, and both husband and wife must make it a priority to meet the needs of the person they are married to if that is going to happen. Marriage can be a truly miraculous relationship when this happens under God's guidance and blessing.
3. The two must become "one flesh." Marriage is not a joint venture. It is not a business arrangement. Too many marriages resemble some kind of joint venture rather than two individuals becoming "one flesh." The sexual union is reflected here, but becoming "one flesh" is so much more. It is recognition that in marriage two lives truly are joined together to become "one" under God. The more married people do to join their lives together, the more they will become "one flesh." A married couple should be "one flesh" in their finances, in their plans, in their vacations, in decision-making, etc. The more you keep your lives separate, the less you will become "one flesh" as a married couple.
4. It should go without saying that Biblically, marriage is the union of a man and a woman. "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. . . " The Bible never even considers anything else! The debate today over whether same-sex "couples" should marry is totally out of bounds from a Bible perspective. Society can create laws and rules that would call such relationships "marriage," but in God's sight it shall never be considered as such. Marriage is the relationship of one man with one woman. That's what it is! Every person in America is free to get married - every person! You just have to marry someone of the opposite sex, because that is what marriage is!
That definition of marriage is consistent with the Bible and with thousands of years of history. Our affirmation of the Biblical view of marriage does not mean we should not be respectful of those who disagree. We must always be guided by the love of Christ, even when confronted by those who do not accept the clear teaching of God's Word. But we must stand for the truth of God's Word and for the preservation of marriage in our society. Marriage as God intends for it to be, is God's blessing to all who are willing to follow His design.