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Ingredients for a Wedding

Words of Faith Final

Ingredients for a Wedding

Words of Faith 4-14-2021

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2021

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Ephesians 5

[31] "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."


     What does it take to have a wedding?  Some would say about 20 grand.  (The average cost of an American wedding is about $34k without the honeymoon included.)  Some would say just five things: a place, a preacher, a license, a bride and a groom. (And really, the preacher is expendable these days.)

      It is interesting that the Owner's Manual, God's Word, says there are three things involved in wedding another-- leaving, cleaving and becoming one flesh.  

      The words "for this reason" bridge the previous description of marriage to this practical talk about the wedding.  For this reason, for the purpose of mutual submission and the husband loving his wife just as Christ loved the church and as much as his own body, feeding and caring for her, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.

      Of course, Paul was quoting from Genesis 2:20-25.  So, the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. [21] So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. [22] Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. [23] The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man." [24] For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. [25] The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

      In the Genesis context, God created the human called Adam in His image.  The name actually means "dirt" or "ground" because he was made from dirt, but he bore the image of God reflecting both male and female.  But there was no corresponding partner or suitable helper for the man.  So, God removed a part of the human-- to be separated and called woman.  "Bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh" is the realization that man desires to be complete.

      This is what marriage is all about.  Marriage completes the human through a perfect corresponding partner.  Adam essentially declared that this one is "like me but different!"  And the difference was fascinating to him.  He was drawn by this difference.  In Genesis, it is for THIS reason, the draw of the difference, that a man will leave, cleave, and become one flesh. 

      The Greek word for leaving is rather simple.  It means to leave behind.  It did not mean to leave town or even the home.  It did not mean dishonor.  The Hebrew word in Genesis is more enlightening.  It means to loosen or relinquish, but it also means to fortify or help.  Part of the mystery here is that parents actually fortify and help their children when they release them to be strengthened in the relationship of marriage.  Mutual releasing actually strengthens! 

       Problems often arise when the couple does not adequately "leave."  This is not necessarily a physical departure.  In the ancient world, a couple almost always lived with the parents of the groom in an added area, but they still were allowed to make their own relationship without interference. This is the primary meaning of "leaving."  When a couple "leaves," they form a unique family unit with their own decision process.

       When a couple is not relinquished, or they do not loosen the ties of family, problems arise.  This can take the form of interference by parents, manipulation by family members, or failure to allow the couple to find their own identity and make decisions with the guidance of God.    


       Father God, show me how I can strengthen the institution of marriage by prayer, care, and counsel.  Help me to encourage those families that are struggling with the "leaving" of their children for marriage. Help me to be one who does not interfere or manipulate.  Help me today to rest in Your plan.  In Jesus' Name.