“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.”

Genesis 2:24

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Genesis 2:18-24

In some translations, the text reads, “a man forsakes his father and mother”. In my opinion, “leaves” gives a gentle feel to the man leaving his parents, while “forsakes” suggests a stronger form of abandonment or a turning away from something he valued. In the time that this account was written, a man’s primary obligation was to his parents. The Bible clarifies that it was his duty to forsake his parents and transfer his loyalty and allegiance to his betrothed. It was his duty to provide for, live with and care for his partner as he did for his parents.

The idea of a man who “clings to his wife” implies that a promise or contract is involved. The man must be completely committed to his partner. And lastly, “the two of them become one body” suggests the formation of a sexual relationship but also of the establishment of a family relationship. As Eve was created from Adam’s rib, they were already, in a sense, one body. As one body, the two become family with all the legalities, rights, and privileges accompanying such a close union. The first readers of Genesis would understand this image as marriage.

God ordained marriage and its many blessings. This beautiful union was born out of the heart of a loving God who bestowed marriage as a sacred ordinance upon the creation He made and the people He loved. God created man in His image and likeness and knew the need for fellowship and love. God made the first companion and the helper of man. They were to live together and become one body. God sanctified marriage and blessed it.

Heavenly Father,

We thank you for the institution of marriage and its many benefits and joys. Draw close to all who are married and keep your hand of protection over the sanctity of marriage. We ask that you continue to bless all married people and those preparing for this union.

Amen.

 
Gillian Hugo

Gillian was educated at Pretoria High School for Girls and at Johannesburg College of Education where she qualified as a pre-school teacher. She has taught for more than 20 years in the government and private sectors. Gillian is married and has 2 children. She is training as a mindset and mindfulness coach. Gillian enjoys being creative and her hobbies include watercolour painting, reading, travelling and she loves the beach!

library@jesuitinsitute.org.za
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