B.M. Palmer & J. W. Alexander in their excellent book, The Family, write,
So how does this relate to courtship? Father’s are to be the covenant head of every relationship in the home, until such a time as there is a covenantal transferal to another head.The first giving away of a woman to a man is found in Genesis 2:21-24 and it was done by covenant transfer.
Under every government, the sovereignty must visit some recognizable head; there must be a last tribunal beyond which no appeal can lie. In the supreme sense, this belongs to God alone; but in the Family, which is constituted under His providence, the dread prerogative of representing His power attaches to the husband and father. He is delegated as the head of the domestic state, and his authority binds the house together. (p. 33. Sprinkle Publications).
And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 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. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.Many would glance by this text and never connect it with courtship. However, if we look closely, and let the Word speak, what we find here (in principle), is a giving of Eve to Adam, and a cleaving to her by Adam. For Adam, there was not a multiplicity of women to chose from. Some might say that this subtracts from our point and does not prove it. However, the omission of a choice of help meet is a strong indication that the LORD had one woman in mind for Adam, predetermined and foreordained. Secondly notice that right on the heels of this giving was a remarkable addendum. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Adam had no earthly parents, neither did Eve, but that did not stop the Holy Spirit from inserting for future generations, the fact that the son will “leave his father and mother” so that he might “cleave to his wife“. Leavening here does not simply mean leave the house, but leave the covenantal oversight of the parents to form a new covenantal entity. There is no doubt that the LORD had in mind to set a biblical precedent for future generations. Parents are to be involved! Not on the periphery, but in the detail. Fathers are the covenant head of the home, and must retain the very place of headship until the question is answered, “Who gives this woman to this man?” The father must be entirely involved in the molding of any relationship that belongs to his family unit. Even in the similitude of the Gospel, when we speak of Christ, the great Husband of the Church, His bride was given to him by the Father (John 10:29; John 17:6, John 17:9, John 17:23). The reverse is also true. A daughter is under the covenantal headship of her father until such a time as she is given to another. Deuteronomy 7 says, “Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.” Keep in mind, this is not an advocacy for arranged marriages, but a promotion of covenantal involvement on the part of the parents, and specifically the father. This is he God ordained way of creating the marriage bond.
To be continued…