There are some who see this as applying to the man and not the woman. The idea is that the man is to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, but the wife is not bound by such an instruction. Jacob and Moses both lived with their wives’ families, and some find support for this position in light of what Jacob and Moses did. The main difficulty in understanding the text this way—even though the text refers to the man leaving his father and mother—is that Scripture often uses the male plural to indicate what humankind is to do: e.g., John 3:3: “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” Does Jesus mean to imply that women cannot be born again? Of course not. These instructions are likely, therefore, to be seen as applying to both the husband and the wife.

The husband is to leave his father and mother. The textbook says, “‘Leaving’ or ‘severance’ requires the young couple to establish a new home separate from their parents—sometimes the farther away the better” (p. 38). It is extremely important for the husband and wife to establish their independence when they marry. Finances need to be controlled by the husband and wife, and not their parents. That doesn’t mean that the parents can’t send gifts of money, nor does it mean that parents can’t’ continue to pay for college education if they so choose. However, Mom and Dad are no longer the providers. Arguments need to be kept from Mom and Dad. As we’ll discuss, there is no marriage which doesn’t have arguments. Yet, those arguments need to be worked out in the confines of the marriage. Boundaries need to be established for controlling parents. It’s imperative that neither spouse allows his/her parents to continue to have control.

The husband is to cleave to his wife. Again, notice what the textbook says: “Whereas the leaving is a public act, the cleaving is a private one. It is an act of commitment. The word cleave means to join together, to glue together, to weld together” (p. 39). This is, as the textbook notes, a commitment.

Read More

Leave a Reply Cancel reply