For this reason
a man shall leave
his father and mother
and be joined to his wife
and they shall become one flesh.
For what reason? Well, back up a verse and hear Adam, the first man given a helpmeet: The man said, "This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man."
As a mom, as a parent, we know you can't just say somthing once to your children. Lots of repetition is necessary. God, as our heavenly parent, repeats important things throughout the Bible. In our modern era, it is like God is clicking and dragging the important concepts of the Old Testament and highlighting them in the New. These are timeless. These apply to every dispensation. And to every generation.
God repeated it in Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:8, First Corinthians 6:16 and Ephesians 5:31.
Leave and Cleave.
Leave father and mother----wow looks like both are necessary for the proper raising and launching of a real man. Raising independent men, our goal. Men of character. Knowing God's way.
Be joined ... and they shall become one flesh: sounds like it is a process. Not a quick nor one shot thing.
Be joined to his wife. Guard your heart, eyes, and time from the distraction or anyone who would rob you of your wife. Porn, movies, co-workers, etc. The enemy knows our weakness, and marriage is under attack from the homosexual agenda, and the pleasure before responsibility crowd. The team must be guarded, nourished, kept in shape, grow. Making memories and history together. God's design.
The whole chapter of Ephesians 5 is worth a review. The Genesis verse is sandwiched in a very informative passage about how to handle a woman, and how to respect your man. Aren't you glad God gave us directions? We can love on our own. Our love is flawed. I doubt many newlyweds leave the church without breaking their vows with a frown or a glance or a sinful thought. We need God's help to appreciate the gift He has graciously given us. We need God's help to love with His perfect Love, the person He has given to enjoy life. We need God's help to restore and refresh when we are tired, fractious, worried, afraid.
And the First Corinthians chapter six is also worth a read in contest. The dangers, and the analogies--God does not waste a thing. He uses marriage to teach us about our relationship with Him. And the warning to be careful what you join yourself to. Where do you join your body, and time, and eyes? It is a choice. Daily. Hourly.
Thank You, Lord, for the gift of marriage. Please bless James and Amber, and make their wedding ceremony a time of reflection and renewal for all the marriages represented there to witness their vows. Guard our lips---may we be an encouragement and good example to James and Amber. Make us a help and not a hindrance. Make us a blessing. And please give James and Amber lots of love and laughter. Joy and Peace. Comfort in times of trouble, and prepare them and strengthen them for whatever lies ahead. Thank you for this Divine Institution that You designed to protect the human race from ourselves, and from the enemy. Marriage came before sin, and You preserved it on the other side of sin. That joining is still a mystery to me, even as Your teaching of Christ and His church is a mystery--such a complicated, multi-faceted, wonderous relationship.
For some reason, we won't need marriage in heaven. That makes some of us sad, that the one we are now joined will merely be a "friend" in heaven? That part is a mystery, too. Your Will be done. In Jesus Name. Amen.