Genesis 2:24 is often exposited as the “Leave and Cleave” model of marriage – one as the one God intended it to be. Sermon after sermon on the two who are married becoming one flesh is taught and the need to leave old familial ties to cleave to the new one is taught. Interestingly though if you notice, most world systems have gotten this backward as in many cultures, it is is the woman who leaves her father and mother and cleaves to the man (husband). Though the command is given to the man, I don’t believe that this text is necessarily discriminatory based on gender as both male and female were created in God’s image and so I believe that both parties in the marriage ought to renounce old familial ties in exchange for the new one.
Close scrutiny of the scripture also reveals that the “leave and cleave” modus operandi does not merely have just an earthly application but also a heavenly one. Jesus Christ, the Man (in heaven) left his heavenly relationship with his Father in order to cleave to his bride, the Church (believers). Jesus called those who were refusing to believe in him, those who chose to ignore his word (the truth), not doing what he was asking them to, as the children of the devil (John 8:44) and each one of us, at times, refuse to express our love of Jesus, by not doing what he instructs us to. However, we as the Church are made from Christ, the Man – therefore we ought to leave our old familial ties with the evil one and this world and cleave to Christ, our bridegroom for we are one body (flesh) in Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27).
Points to ponder:
Let us leave our ties to this world and the evil one or his ways and let us cleave to Jesus Christ.
Genesis 2:24 (KJV)
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.