I've never been a good cook. We all have our talents, but that's just not one of mine! However, despite my lack of culinary skill, I do know this much: the order of the ingredients matters!
Well, that's also true for establishing and maintaining an amazing marriage. When we get the ingredients backwards, we don't end up with the intended result, but if we follow God's recipe, we'll see just how amazing marriage can actually be!
It is no coincidence that the Bible begins early on with this statement regarding marriage:
The imperative tone and the order of the verbs in this verse are not a coincidence. In God’s wisdom and sovereignty, He has spelled out the sequence of actions necessary for establishing and maintaining the foundation of an amazing marriage: leave, joined, become.
According to scripture, to start a marriage off right, we must first leave our parents, then we are to be joined together, and then we become one. Getting this order right is where many marriages struggle.
Too often, married couples forget to leave first! They remain emotionally or physically dependent on their family or friends. From the beginning of marriage, God has desired for a man and his wife to separate from their families and join together as one. This does not mean that the relationship with parents ends; instead, it means a change of priorities.
In the hierarchy of the family, the spouse becomes second to none. Marriage is designed and intended to be the number one human relationship, superseded only by our relationship with God.
The Hebrew word for “leave” is azab which can be translated “to relinquish.” What is being relinquished? Certainly not the relationship, but the nature of the relationship. The old model, the old paradigm is relinquished for a new one.
Think of it this way—when a marriage takes place, it's not so much the merging of two families, but the creation of a third family. That third family is the newly married couple. Becoming "one flesh" with your spouse becomes very difficult if you don't put them as the top relationship in your life.
This brings us to the next verb—joined. The Hebrew word for "joined" is dabaq and it can be translated “to glue.” This is not a passive word, but a verb that requires action. It is a conscious decision that two people make to not allow anyone or anything to interfere or divide their relationship.
They begin as two separate entities who now consciously and willingly merge together into one.
In other words, it is no longer helpful to have two divergent agendas or motives; instead, a married couple is joined by one shared purpose, one bond, and one life.
When we get the proper order of leaving followed by joining, then the stage is set for us to truly become one.
The word "one" is echad and it is a compound unity, which conveys the idea of a plurality with one united purpose. It's two unique individuals, drawn together by love, bound together by commitment, joined together by God, whose union creates something singular and new. In God's economy, think of it like this: 1+1=1.
That's God's recipe for the foundation of an amazing marriage!
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