Applying Genesis 2:24

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

There is not a companion verse in the Bible which expressly says that a woman should leave her father and mother, and cleave unto her husband. Yet I am sure this is implied in Genesis 2:24 and is borne out in the New Testament and in the narratives of the stories of the wives of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Can I have your thoughts on Genesis 2:24 and its applicability to a woman in a modern-day marriage?

A. I believe the verse is equally applicable to the man and the woman. The idea is that upon marrying each male offspring begins a new autonomous family unit with himself at its head. At that time he assumes the primary responsibility for his wife and any subsequent offspring. At the same time, his wife’s primary allegiance shifts from her father to her husband. The couple thus forms an inter-dependent family unit of their own. Spiritually, the two have become one. Paul expanded on this in Ephesians 5:22-31. Later, this idea manifests itself physically in the birth of each child, where the two literally become one.

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