From the very beginning, we learn that God created men and God created women (see Genesis 1:27). He made them different that He might make them one. Why is this important? Because any society that blurs the distinction between male and female is headed for disaster. And if you study history, it bears that out as well.
The Bible says that after each creative act, God said it was good. But when we read about His last act of creating man, it was "very good" (see Genesis 1:31). Read a little bit further and you learn something that wasn't good — man was alone: "And the LORD God said...I will make him an help meet for him" (Genesis 2:18).
But before Adam got his helpmate, God gave him a task. First, He wanted Adam to name the animals. God had a purpose in this order. He wanted Adam to realize that animals came in sets of two. Each one had a companion. So after Adam named the animals, then the Lord created Eve.
"Adam then 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.' " (Genesis 2:23). I am certainly not a Hebrew scholar, but those who are tell us that Adam said (loosely translated): "Wow! This is what I have been looking for! You did it right God. This is what I want."
And now for the key verse: "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh" (Genesis 2:24, emphasis mine). And there you have an outline for preparing a young person for marriage.
The Priority of Marriage — Leave
The relationship of parent and child is wonderful, but the Bible teaches that there is a higher human relationship and that is of husband and wife. Do you know what your job is as a parent? To prepare your child to leave.
A parent's job is to build character into their children so they can mature and be the individuals that God intended for them to be. The tighter grip you hold on your kids, the more they're going to want to get away.
Your job is to work yourself out of a job but not out of a relationship. You remain in their lives as a friend for a lifetime.
The Permanence of Marriage — Cleave
Cleave means to fasten together in an unbreakable bond. Mark 10:7-9 says, "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."
Parents need to teach their children that divorce is never an option. Show me two people who begin their marriage with the idea that if it doesn't work out, they can get a divorce, and I'll show you two people who are highly likely to get a divorce. When you get on this airplane, you throw away your parachute.
It is not love that sustains a marriage so much as it is marriage that sustains love. Commitment sustains love and keeps it growing. Divorce is the only game people play where both sides lose.
The Purpose of Marriage — One Flesh
When God says that the man and woman are to become "one flesh," He means that man and women will join as one — physically, psychologically, and spiritually.
Sex is a wonderful gift of God. It is a way of saying "I love you" that cannot be put into words. And when God tells us to flee fornication and not commit adultery, He is not trying to keep sex from us; He is trying to keep sex for us.
There is to be a marriage of our bodies, but there is also to be a marriage of our souls. Our egos, minds, wills, and hearts, are to be joined in love. And not only should we love one another; we ought to like each other.
There is to be a blending of spirits where the woman who loves Jesus joins the man who loves Jesus and together they praise the Lord. Together, they study the Word of God, pray and worship God.
The Bible says, "...a threefold cord is not quickly broken" (Ecclesiastes 4:12b). There is no higher communion than a couple who is of one flesh physically, psychologically, and spiritually.