Genesis 2:24 - Is only the man instructed to leave his parents?


Genesis 2:24 says, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.”

I have had people tell me that this verse implies that only the man in a marriage is required to separate from his parents. Since the verse doesn’t specify anything for the woman, she can maintain a stronger bond with her parents than the man can with his.

Is this true? Is this interpretation missing historical context?


I think what you are saying is way overthinking it. I don’t see a problem with both husband and wife maintaining contact with their parents after they are married. Plus since a man is suppose to be a provider and its his last name that keeps the family going think that’s why its written in terms of man. Even st Paul often wrote brothers in Christ or brother was he excluding females? People usually wrote in terms of masculinity and male terms back then with words like “mankind” or today when we say hey you guys when talking to a group of people.


It’s a complete misunderstanding. There is no requirement that either husband or wife should leave their parents.

Let me point you to the explanation of this verse by St. Paul:

Eph 5: 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her 26 to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, 27 that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 So [also] husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body.

31 “For this reason a man shall leave [his] father and [his] mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.”
32 This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the church. 33 In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself, and the wife should respect her husband.

In other words, it is Christ who left His Father in heaven and joined Himself to the Church on earth. Then He left His mother on earth and returned with His Bride, to His Throne in heaven.

I hope that helps.


“Man” is used in the generic sense as it is also used in the catechism for both men and woman.

The marriage of a woman is one of her parent’s highest honour, I seriously doubt the woman had it differently.


A man can’t start a family as a dependent of his parents. When they die his family is destitute.


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