Just a few weeks ago, we celebrated Christmas. With four young children, a regular part of my Christmas experience is putting together new toys. It is my opinion that the toymakers and the makers of Tylenol must have some kind of arrangement. The toys get harder and harder to put together with more and more little pieces. A parent can work up an excedrin headache trying to make everything fit. The only comfort you have in this process is the all-important instruction sheet. Without it, I would probably be in a rubber room somewhere mumbling to myself about how Tab A should fit into Slot B.
Instructions are important aren't they. We use them all the time. We use recipes to make our meals, manuals to install our software, and prescriptions to take our medicine. Without instructions, we would have a tough time in life. Doesn't it make sense that instructions would be important when it comes to something as serious as marriage?
There are such instructions you know. They are found in God's Word, the Bible. Some of the most important instructions come from the book of Genesis which describes the God-given paradigm for marriage. In Genesis 2:18-25, we discover the original model for marriage. This model tells us about the purpose of marriage and the foundational principles which support healthy marriages.
We have already discussed how God gave us marriage to deal with our aloneness. Marriage is designed for companionship. Today, in vv. 23-25, we will see that marriage involves the formation of a new family in which the husband and wife develop a life of intimate oneness.
I. Marriage involves a new relational priority.
A. Leaving father and mother.
1. Focus is not physical and geographical separation.
The newly married couple often lived in close proximity to the father and mother.
2. Focus is relational obligations and priorities.
B. New relational priorities.
1. Parent-child relationship was the priority.
2. Marriage creates new priority - husband/wife.
3. Note the emphasis on the man's leadership. A man must leave... Not that the woman doesn't. But he takes the lead as the head of this new family unit.
ILL: Jay Adams writes, "God did not put a parent and child into the garden. Adam and Eve were husband and wife." "The relationship between parent and child is established through birth (or adoption); the relationship between husband and wife by covenant promises. Blood may be thicker than water, but it should not be thicker than promise. The contrast between the temporary parent- child relationship and the permanent husband-wife relationship once again forcefully points up the uniqueness of marriage in God's plan for human beings."
APP: The failure to fully appreciate the principle of leaving father and mother has caused many heartaches for married couples. Let me describe for you what happens when a spouse fails to fully leave father and mother.
Conflict - over who is really controlling things. Is it the new husband and wife who are running the new household, or is it a parent who is behind the scenes calling the shots.