For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Genesis 2:24 (NIV)
This familiar marriage scripture has double purpose: first to define marriage, then to describe God’s love for us, the bride of Christ.
The marriage piece begins in the Biblical creation story when God creates the woman by removing a rib from Adam’s side. Adam declares her bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh (Gen 2:23). God establishes this model:
When two people marry they prioritize their relationship over other family bonds.
They become one flesh as if they were made of one flesh like Adam and Eve.
In this personally intimate, intensely connected relationship the couple shares the joy of exclusive love. Our imperfect marriages pale in comparison with God’s perfection, but our experience of this deeply personal relationship helps us grasp the intensity of God’s personal love.
Using this scripture, the Apostle Paul (Eph 5:28-32) says the marriage relationship describes Christ’s love for the church. Jesus loves us as a husband loves his wife. We, as individuals and as a church, are members of His body, like Adam and Eve are one flesh. Christ left the Father to live on earth with us. He describes himself as the bridegroom (Lk 5) and He will come again for His bride (Rev 19:7).
Our response to this personal relationship is to love Him with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind because He demands exclusive ‘marital’ devotion. Adultery in our marriage to Jesus equals idolatry.
Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. (Ex 34:14)