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God's Blueprint For Married Couples

Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Sermon Delivered 2\24\02

Text: Genesis 2:18-25

There is one key statement about marriage that occurs four times in the Bible. To my knowledge, this is the only statement about marriage that God includes four times in the Bible. Letís take a look at this statement Ė

Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Matthew 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

Mark 10:7-8 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.

Ephesians 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

The outline for this chapter is going to focus on the three recurring statements in these versesÖ leave, cleave, and one flesh. Since God so often repeated these things, once before man fell into sin and three times after he fell into sin, I believe Godís blueprint for marriage can be found within these verses.

Outline Ė Godís Blueprint For Marriage

Leave -- Husbands & Wives Are Directed To Leave Their Fathers and Mothers!
Cleave -- Husbands & Wives Are Directed To Cleave To One Another
One Flesh -- Husbands & Wives Are Directed To An Exclusive One Flesh Relationship


Husbands And Wives Are Directed To Leave Their Fathers and Mothers!

What It Does Not Mean

  1. It does not mean you ignore, abandon or forsake your parents Ė Mark 7:9-13 makes that clear that God does not approve of this! 1 Timothy 5:4 , 8 indicates a special responsibility for children and close relatives to care for the widows in the family.
  2. It does not mean that you must make a move away from the vicinity in which your parents live Ė "Living too close to parents at the beginning of a marriage may make it more difficult to leave, but it is possible to leave your father and mother and still live next door. Conversely, it is possible to live a thousand miles away from your parents and not leave them. In fact, you may not have left your parents even though they are dead." Strengthening Your Marriage by Wayne Mack, page 1)

What It Does Mean

Once you are married there is to be a fundamental change in your relationship with your parents. Leaving your parents meansÖ

  1. The husband-wife relationship is now the priority relationship Ė Your relationship with your parents must now take a back seat to your relationship with your spouse. In fact, all other relationships must now be secondary.
  2. It means that you are more concerned about your spouse's ideas, opinions, and directives than you are of your parents Ė Some times there is a power struggle between the two sets of parents. A husband and wife must be careful that they do not allow the parents to manipulate them.
  3. It means you must not try to change your mate simply because your parents do not like something about him or her.
  4. It means that you are not primarily dependent on your parents for finances, affection, approval, council, etc.

Pointers For Parents

Parents, your goal should be to prepare your children to leave, not to stay. As they advance toward maturity you should train them to be independent of you, not dependent on you. Teach them to be decision makers and to manage their money carefully.

Husbands and wives make your mate your best friend, not your children. Donít become too emotionally dependent on your children. As your kids get older be sure to cultivate common interests with your mate. Learn to do things together and deepen your friendship together. Parents who make their children "their life" are in for difficult times when they leave the nest. Iím not saying to ignore your children, but I am saying they should be second and your spouse should be first.

When your children have married, donít try to run their lives! Donít criticize their spouse. You must allow the husband to be the head of his home, to make decisions for himself, to look to his wife, not you, as his helper and his responsibility. You must encourage your daughter to look to her husband for companionship, encouragement, affection, guidance, etc.


Husbands And Wives Are Directed To Cleave To One Another! The Hebrew word translated cleave in Genesis 2:24 is dabaq (daw-bak'; 1692), which means to adhere, stick or be joined together. The Greek word translated cleave or join to in the New Testament passages is proskollao, (pros-kol-lah'-o; 4347), which means to glue to. Marriage glues two people together!

Look at Mark 10:7-9 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. 9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. God planned marriage to be permanent. It is a vow until death do we part! Dr. Wayne Mack says this of marriage Ė "Marriage means that a husband and wife enter into a relationship for which they accept full responsibility and in which they commit themselves to each other regardless of what problems arise." Marriage is an irrevocable covenant or contract to which we are bound. God is clear about that. Malachi 2:14 says; Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. (See also Romans 7:2-3; Matthew 19:8-10)

Godís kind of marriage involves a total and irrevocable commitment of two people to each other in good times and in bad times, agreements and disagreements, in joy or in sorrow, in sickness or in health.

God's kind of marriage means that people know that they must face problems, discuss them, seek God's help in them, resolve them rather than run from them, because there is no way out. They are committed to one another for life. They must cleave to one another today and tomorrow, as long as they both shall live. So, work at keeping your marriage strong!

  • One Flesh

Husbands And Wives Are Directed To An Exclusive One-Flesh Relationship. Becoming one flesh involves the act of marriage but is more than just that physical act. Within the bounds of marriage and only within that boundary the sexual relationship is holy, beautiful and good (see Hebrews 13:4; Proverbs 5:18-19). A husband and wife are a team. Each is to be as concerned about the other's needs as he is about this own (Ephesians 5:28; Proverbs 31:12 & 27).

Godís Blueprint for Marriage:
Leave, Cleave And Be One Flesh!

[Adapted From Strengthening Your Marriage by Wayne Mack]

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First Baptist Church of Oak Creek

10550 S. Howell Ave. - Oak Creek, WI 53154

Phone: 414-762-7575

Pastor: David L. Brown, Ph.D.

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