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Read Introduction to Ephesians


31For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”


Verses 31 and 32 give the example of Jesus Christ and how He cares for the church as to how a husband is to care for his wife.

Ephesians 5:31 is a quotation of Genesis 2:24.

For this reason

The phrase “for this reason” connects with the previous verses to 2:24 in the Genesis account. Since God ordained the institution of marriage in creation, the husband should form his own marriage entity.

a man shall leave his father and mother

When a husband does not leave the authority of his parents, problems arise in marriage. Leaving one’s parents does not mean absolute abandonment of parents but a radical change of relationship with them. On the human scale, the husband’s priority is now his wife. Sexual union of husband and wife is what separates couples in marriage from all others.

and be joined to his wife,

Marriage is the formation of a new unit with a new set of authorities. The words “joined to” means to be glued to. The idea is to be joined closely. Marriage does not occur until sexual union takes place.

and the two shall become one flesh.”

God formed Eve out of the body of Adam. The husband and wife are incomplete without each other. The marriage unit is indivisible in God’s eyes. Partners who divorce their spouses destroy part of themselves.


The bond between husband and wife should be the closest of all bonds between human beings.


The husband and wife are no longer two, but one. God’s design for marriage is that it is indivisible. Christ made us to be a part of His body. As Christ and the church are one, so the husband and wife are one. This oneness supersedes the close family tie.