Marriage is a blessing from God! How’s that for a somewhat abrupt start? But it’s true; God loves us so much that He gave us a way to get to know Him better, have wonderful companionship, and prepare for kingdom living through the institution of marriage.
There are so many lessons we can learn. How about we start with our theme text? God said that for this reason (marriage), a man shall leave father and mother. Family has ever been God’s ideal to provide a safe place for us as we prepare to venture from the nest. It’s where we learn morals, practical tips for living, how to use money, how to invest our time, and more. It’s where we receive our emotional blueprint, ability to cope with the issues that accompany living in the big bad world. Family is to be a safe place. I am not naive. I know we don’t all have great families where these are taught and modeled perfectly (I didn’t), but that’s another devotional thought. My point here is, that in an ideal setting, our parents’ marriage, their management of home and relationships with their children is intended to be a sanctuary, a micro-heaven on earth, preparatory for the heavenly kingdom, and the earth made new.
When a man child has received his moral compass, emotional blueprint, practical life training, etc. from home, and he finds a woman who pleases him and manifests the divine model of being a wife (i.e. she possesses foundational qualities of marriage material), he proposes, and if she agrees, they get married. Got it.
Remember, our theme text says that the man leaves his childhood home and the childlike emotional attachment, to cleave to his new wife. Unfortunately, in many marriages, this does not happen. Men and women leave home, get married, but still allow people outside their marriage to meddle. This is against God’s divine order. When various life difficulties arise in marriage, it is a matter between husband and wife, not them and extended family. If there are financial troubles, the private aspects are to be kept within the marriage. And whatever is shared with others needs to be agreeable to both spouses. If, God forbid, there are arguments, issues of adultery, personality conflicts, etc., the first line of defense is prayer, maybe counseling, and resolving the issues in the home. Matters of child rearing are to be decided and modified within our marriages. Our parents are great sources of advice and support, but not to define how our homes should run.
Now, for the cleaving part. There is so much to gain from being bound together with our spouses. We learn to laugh together, cry together, enjoy life together, make great memories together, and enjoy all levels of intimacy together. We learn a new level of prayer together and how to become a blessing to the larger society together. When we keep this in mind, we realize that there is no way to nurture this lasting bond unless we leave the nest of our upbringing, practically, and emotionally. This does not mean that our marriage becomes a fortress that bars our parents, siblings, and extended family from us. No. It simply means that our marriage must become its own contributor to those around us and not merely a replica of others’ approach to life.
I thank God for marriage. I thank Him for the privilege of being able to cleave to my wife, while learning how to cleave to my God as we await His appearing. Marriage was God’s idea. Let’s continually seek His guidance as we grow within ours.