This same word is also used to exhort Israel to ”stick to” the Lord: “You shall fear the Lord your god; you shall serve Him, and to Him you shall hold fast [stick to), and take oath” in His Name” (Deut 10:20; see also 11:22).

PERMANENCE

Unlike the rest of creation, man and woman were made in God’s image. Human beings were created for the security, fulfillment and joy that can come only from stable, life­ long committed relationships. Animals, by contrast, breed by instinct alone. It does not matter who the partner is. Animals may have many mates throughout their life.

Man and woman, however, were designed by God to have a life­ long marriage to one mate. When God instituted marriage, He intended for the marriage of a man and woman to last for a lifetime. Our human nature, as created and intended by God, needs and requires a stable long-term relationship with one spouse.

Jesus reinforces this principle of permanency in marriage in Matthew 19:6: “What God has joined together, let not man separate”.

God has designed marriage to be permanent. In Malachi 2:16, God declares that He “hates divorce” and is opposed to it. He is fully aware of the destruction that comes to the couple, the children, and the many others who are affected when a marriage is destroyed. [Note: Read the more in-depth study on divorce later in this article.]

  1. “…and they shall become one flesh …” The term “one flesh” has a number of important implications.

SEXUAL UNION

Others have allowed lust and covetousness to rule them, and have turned sexuality into something that is cheap crude and selfish. They neglect to cherish this important expression of love and intimacy, and fail to reserve it only for their spouse.

Some people, in the name of religious holiness and piety, have treated human sexual expression as something that is dirty and shameful and only to be barely tolerated. But this cannot be supported from Scripture. From God’s original created order we can see that sexual expression between a husband and wife is designed by God. However, the beauty of human sexuality has become, twisted and misunderstood because of the distorting power of sin.

The God Who created us gave us a physical body, a soul (mind, will and emotions), and a spiritual nature. Our whole being – body, soul and spirit – is to become one with our spouse as we grow in marriage.

Our human sexual expression touches every part of our being. Becoming “one flesh” involves not only physical, but emotional and spiritual bonding and intimacy as well. This is why God intended for human sexuality to be experienced only within the safety, sanctity and permanence of the marriage union, with one other person.

God forbids sexual experiences outside of the marriage relationship. The Scriptures call such experiences “adultery” and “fornication” – sin! God never intended for people to have sexual experiences outside of marriage. The consequences of such experiences are very destructive to us personally and very damaging to our relationship with God. (Please read 1 Corinthians 6:15-20 for more insight.)