I recently posted a Blog titled, WHY WE ASKED KING JAMES TO BE OUR MARRIAGE COUNSELOR. In it I described why Chris and I have had a Marriage that has thrived over the last forty seven years. It was, as you will know if you have read it, filled with a number of scriptures that are, I believe, imperative in helping you to be happily married. One of the verses that I used was Ephesians 5:31 – For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. In that Blog I alluded to the fact that an entire Blog could be written from this verse alone, and, after a little pondering on the subject, I decided I would, in fact, go ahead and actually write such a Blog.
I think that I will approach this by simply breaking the verse down into three parts and deal with each one separately, and then do a brief summation of what I have said.
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother. There are several important aspects in this segment of the verse. First and foremost, I suppose, is the fact that Leave means “to go away from.” I think this mean both literally and figuratively.
There are times, because of financial considerations, that it is necessary for a couple to move in with one of the in-laws. This is never, however, a good idea – especially for an extended period of time. It is the ‘leaving” that allows a man to become a man, to accept the responsibility of having a wife/family, and depend on his spouse for the support and encouragement that they need.
The “figurative” part of this verse is a little more subtle. Once a marriage is established, the husband and wife are the two most important individuals to each other in the world. They should pursue their dreams for each other; they should share their opinions on marriage and child rearing; they should protect each other to the nth degree. What each other thinks becomes more important than what any of their parents think.
And shall be joined unto his wife. At about the time I went to college, a “social phenomenon” became much more prevalent on the American scene – couples living together rather than getting married. Now, I had an aunt who had a “common law” husband, but, for the most part, everyone I knew was married. When this act started becoming common place, the vernacular term was “shacking up,” which is defined as “to sleep and live together as unmarried sexual partners.” That definition, I believe, sums up the problem – it doesn’t say “as man and wife,” but, rather, only as “sexual partners.” You see, to be “husband and wife” takes commitment to each other, to be “sexual partners” takes no commitment at all!
I have heard people say, “We don’t have to get married. After all, the only difference between us and a married couple is a piece of paper.” While on the surface that seems pretty logical, the reality is that that piece of paper represents the commitment both people involved make to each other. If there is no commitment, there is no guilt when one or the other of the couple cheats, or walks out, on the other. As you can see, “being joined to each other” is an integral part of marriage!
And they two shall be one flesh. For the longest time, I thought this only referred to sex and the sexual consummation of the marriage. However, a number of years ago, Chris won a “working vacation” to Hawaii and was gone for two weeks. During that time I got sick, really sick!, and had a hard time shaking the effects. It took me a while, but I finally figured out why – – because Chris and I are “one flesh,” when she left half of my resistance went with her! I firmly believe that when God said “the two shall be one flesh,” He meant in every sense of the word! If you are married, you know how much strength you draw from your mate when they are around, and fully understand what I am talking about!
As you can see, every aspect of Eph. 5:31 is vitally important when we contemplate the concept of Holy Matrimony. I know that I am going to share this with my Grandchildren, so they can have a better, and deeper, understanding of Eph. 5:31, and I hope you will share it with your children and Grandchildren, too!