8 The centurion answered and said, "Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.
9 "For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, `Go,' and he goes; and to another, `Come,' and he comes; and to my servant, `Do this,' and he does it."
3 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
From this basic structure it appears that men are either in authority or under authority, or both. Thus, we do not see that men are an authority unto themselves. This should be useful to us in understanding roles of fathers with both their sons and daughters in regards to marriage. Authority has to do with one who governs and rules, who sets the boundaries and enacts discipline and/or reward. With that authority structure in place, let's get to the issue of who is the determiner of when a young man becomes an authority for a family of his own, or to put it simply, who determines when the young man is ready to pursue marriage. Let's ask how a family starts. The answer is found in the first family of the human race that was brought about: Adam & Eve. In Genesis 2 we read,
21 ¶ And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He
took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place.
22 Then the rib
which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her
to the man.
23 And Adam said: "This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my
flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man."
So, God made a woman just for Adam, a suitable helper. Did you get that? God made a woman to be the perfect companion for Adam. The Hebrew word is explicit in this. The word for made is banah and literally it means "build". God built Eve especially for Adam to be his suitable helper. Now there is no doubt that both Adam and his wife were equals before God. They were both a part of mankind. They were obviously different in that one was a man and the other a woman, and yet they were both made for specific roles and were equipped physically for those roles. I won't get into all the details of the roles here, since that will be for another post, however, we know that physically the man is structured for work and endurance in order that he can provide and protect and the woman is built in such a way as to conceive, bare and nurture children. These things are simply obvious, and yet one is to be in authority and the other under that
authority. It is not a dictatorship that is to be ruled heavy handed and tyrannically, but rather men are commanded to "love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her(Eph. 5:25). So we notice that the first Father, God, was directly involved in the selection, even the building of the wife of the first Adam and that He brought her unto Adam. Luke even says that Adam was the son of God (3:37). Adam was God's son, not divinely, but because of creation. Therefore in the very first marriage we see the father intimately involved in the selection of the wife for his son.
Next we notice the statement, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." We see that a man leaves out from under the authority, protection and provision of the home of his parents and comes directly under the authority of Jesus Christ as a new home is formed with his wife. This is a complete break with the authority of the home of his parents, though as their child he is still to honor them.
So the question comes, "Can a man leave the home before he takes a wife?" Well, the Lord Jesus, in quoting this passage on the subject of divorce, says, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." What is the reason a man leaves his father and mother, and likewise a daughter her mother and father? The only reason stated is to be joined to his wife. We might immediately ask, "What about to join the military?" or "What about going to college?" or other such questions. Well the one thing that is specific is that they are to leave their mother and father to be joined to a wife. The woman does the same thing. She is passed from the authority, protection and provision of her father to the authority, protection and provision of her husband. Thus he becomes head of her under the headship of Christ.