Reflections On Marriage -- By: David Wegener

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 03:1 (Mar 1998)
Article: Reflections On Marriage
Author: David Wegener

Reflections On Marriage

David Wegener

Looking Back On Fifteen Years And The Lord’s Design For Marriage In Genesis

Today, my wife and i celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. As I’ve been reflecting on our marriage, my mind has been drawn to Genesis 2:24: “For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” This beautiful verse has much to teach us. Here are some things I’ve gleaned from it.

1. When You Get Married, You Change Your Priorities.

The Hebrew word ya’azob is often translated “leave” but it can also mean “forsake”. This latter translation fits better with the fact that Israelite marriage was usually patrilocal. The husband did not physically leave his parents. His wife left hers and the new couple lived in or near his parents’ home. What does it mean, then, for a man to forsake his parents? It means his priorities must change. Prior to marriage, a man’s first obligation was to honor God. His second was to honor his father and his mother. But now a change has occurred. A man must still honor God first in his life. But now his obligation to his wife takes precedence over his obligations to his parents.1

When Terri and I were married, we realized that our priorities had to change. For this reason, we asked that the wedding homily be based on Philippians 2:3–4. “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests but also for the interests of others.” We knew that each of us was marrying a sinner—by God’s grace a redeemed sinner, but still a self-seeking, self-centered sinner.

Over the years we have learned that we must return to the cross of Christ again and again and die to our plans, our hopes and ourselves, and place the interest of each other and our growing family before our own interests. This week provided a graphic illustration of this. We had made plans to celebrate our anniversary by going out for a special dinner. But God has also granted us four children (ages 2–8) whom we dearly love. And three of them came down with various illnesses this week, one of which required a brief hospitalization. Plans had to be revised and postponed. When you get married, your priorities change.

2. When You Get Married, You Establish A Covenant.

A man is to cleave or stick to his wife. Both “forsake” and “stick” are covenantal terms. They are used to describe God’s covenant with His people. In both testaments, God...

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