NKJV - 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
I would say that the cited verse is not speaking of a married couple being prohibited from physically residing with the parents of either spouse, but instead is referring to the fact that the "one-flesh" nature of the marriage relationship (represented especially by the sexual union between the husband and wife, which, in God's view, should occur only within the context of marriage) creates a bond and commitment between a husband and wife that takes precedence from a relational standpoint over either partner's relationship with his or her parents, no matter how close that relationship may be or have been. If there is any pre-marital doubt on the part of either partner about making that level of mutual commitment, it would be better (in my opinion) to delay marriage until that issue can be resolved.
I believe this verse is addressing the issues of "trust" and "loyalty". When a person gets married their primary trust and loyalty is to their parents. The bible is counselling that, for the marriage to be successful, each spouse must transfer their primary trust and loyalty from their parents (ie leave their parents) to each other (ie cling to each other). If I am newly married, I naturally have alot of trust in my parents. They raised me. The protected, supported, encouraged, trained and disciplined me so I would grow up to be a responsible adult. They were there when I needed them and they helped me through difficult times in my life. But now I must begin to put my trust in my spouse. Trust is built over time through shared experiences. We must spend time together developing plans and goals, then strive together to achieve them. That builds trust. If I am newly married my primary loyalty is naturally to my parents and my extended family. We have been together for years, through thick and thin, and we all know each other very well. We can anticipate how each other will react in any given situation. But I am just getting to know my new spouse. Loyalty is a conscious decision we make that usually flows from trust. I become more loyal to my spouse as my trust grows. These issues are really important when problems develop in a marriage, and they will. Will I run back to my parents for support and strength when difficult issues surface in my marriage or will I stick with my spouse and together work these things out? Parents naturally side with their children, so when spouses elicit the support of the parents during a marriage crisis, all it does is build up walls, animosity, hurt feelings and destroyed relationships. God knows these things about our human nature, and he is deliberately counselling us to build strong trust and loyalty in our marriage, so it will survive and thrive when problems come along.
In my opinion, Genesis 2:23-24 offers a clear indication that when a couple gets married, both parties enter into an agreement to make their spouse their number one priority--apart from Jesus, of course. While it's certainly the best case scenario for each spouse to be able to enjoy healthy relationships with their parents and other family members after the marriage, it's my opinion that if parental and other relationships threaten the health of the marriage, measures should be taken to set boundaries with parents and others in order to ensure that the couple can continue to grow as they figure out how to become "one flesh." Look at the language in these verses: Genesis 2:23: "Then the man said, 'This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.'" There is a unique relationship established between Adam and Eve here that was bound to be different from any other relationship they would encounter. Even though the circumstances of Adam and Eve's relationship were incredibly unique due to the fact that they were the first humans created (no parents) and Eve was actually created from Adam, (she was "bone of his bone" and "flesh of his flesh"), their relationship serves as an example for us to follow. Adam's description of Eve basically states that they were one; Eve was created from Adam, then she was given back to him. Though disconnected when she was created, they were once again connected, and joined together by God Himself as one human unit. Before Eve was created they were literally one person, and this offers a picture to us of how important it is for married couple to strive to be one. The next verse confirms this, and also sets the precedence for the importance of a couple making their relationship a priority: Genesis 2:24: "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." I find it interesting that there were no parents for Adam and Eve to leave behind, yet it's part of the "commitment ceremony" of this first couple to establish the importance of their unity and oneness. This verse indicates that the preeminence of this marital union and future marital unions over other familial relationships is vitally important. In fact, very strong verbiage is used to describe both "leaving" and "cleaving": leave: a primitive root; to loosen, i.e. relinquish, permit, etc.:--commit self, fail, forsake, fortify, help, leave (destitute, off), refuse, X surely. hold fast to [cleave]: a primitive root; properly, to impinge, i.e. cling or adhere; figuratively, to catch by pursuit:--abide fast, cleave (fast together), follow close (hard after), be joined (together), keep (fast), overtake, pursue hard, stick, take. On a personal note, I've experienced firsthand the challenges of interfering in-laws, and my husband and I were forced to draw some hard lines with them in order for us to flourish as a couple. It was painful, but worth it for our health and sanity. It's simply wrong for anyone--including parents who "mean well"--to try to create division and strife between a couple. Marriage is hard enough as it is!
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.