A married couple should not abandon their relationships or responsibilities to parents and other family members. However, once they are married, their first priority is their spouse.
- “…and be joined to his wife…”.
The Hebrew word translated ‘joined” is dabaq. It means to “cling to” or “stick to” one’s spouse. This gives the idea of both passion and permanence that should characterize marriage.
Dabaq is also used in Genesis 34:3 to describe the passion in Shechem’s love for Dinah: “His soul clave unto [‘clung to’] Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel and spake kindly unto the damsel” (kjv).
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).
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.]
- “…and they shall become one flesh …” The term “one flesh” has a number of important implications.
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.