Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.–Genesis 2:24
As I’ve been exploring the order of things created in Genesis, it’s interesting to me that immediately after God creates Eve, it is stated that a man should cleave to his wife so that they can become one flesh. Jesus emphasizes this close bond again in the Gospels.
The Hebrew word is “dabaq” which Strong’s defines as impinge, to cling to, to adhere to. Genesius’ Lexicon gives the deeper meaning of adhered, as glued to. To impinge, means to encroach on, that is overlap one’s space. We can deduce then that this means a man should stick very close to his wife. It indicates a very close relationship, so that they two are impinging on each’s other’s space, that they are glued to one another.
The biblical expectation then is that a man and his wife should be an inherent part of each other’s lives. Independent lifestyle does not appear to be a part of the biblical marriage, but rather than they need to be glued to each other. The reason is obvious, when they are living independent lifestyles, having a life outside of their marriage, it can come inbetween that close bond.
Further, when you look at the relationship between a man and his wife, a woman is supposed to be the help of the man. The intention of God was that the woman would help Adam in his endeavours, whether it was taking care of the Garden, or whether he has a calling in the Church (Paul mentions leading a wife about, i.e., that she would go on missions with her husband). Understanding that there are times when men and their wives have to separate, there should also be the expectation that normally, this would not be the case, except in war time, when naturally the men would go off to war and leave the woman safe at home. Even then, a man was taking a chance that his wife could become prey, such as in the case of David and his wives at Ziklag.
But as a rule, it appears that the Bible expects that the wife is an integral part of her husband’s life and endeavours. It does not ever seem to indicate that a wife is an expendable part of his life.
Pamela Parizo © 2017