Principle NO 4:
The Principle of Leave and Cleave – Genesis 2:24 – Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.……….
There are 3 key words from this text i.e LEAVE, CLEAVE and ONE FLESH. After you have accepted your spouse, you have to apply this next principle which is LEAVE and CLEAVE.
There are so many things you have to LEAVE in other to perfectly CLEAVE to your spouse. Yes, the bible specifically mentioned your father and mother but it’s not only your biological parents you are to leave. “Father and Mother” also means what you are DEPENDANT of. However, the leaving and cleaving simply means prioritizing your marriage above every other things; your spouse above every other persons.
Marriage involves sacrifice that is why it’s a unique type of union that is compared to that of Jesus Christ and The Church. Our Lord Jesus Christ sacrificed a lot for the church. One of the sacrifice and the very first you have to make for your marriage is to adopt this principle “LEAVE and CLEAVE”. Leave your Ego, Leave your Pride…….
However many couples used this principle as an excuse to stop taking care of their parents even while they still didn’t perfectly cleave to themselves. How do you balance “LEAVE and CLEAVE” with honouring your parents?
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24)
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1)
“Honour your father and mother, so that you may live long on the earth” (Exodus 20:12)
There are two types of relationships in a family. The Parent-Child relationship (PCR) and The Husband-Wife relationship (HWR). The PCR is the temporary one which leads to LEAVING while the HWR is the permanent one which leads to CLEAVING (“……………let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19:6). Problems occur in family life when these two roles are reversed and the PCR is treated as the primary relationship. When an adult child has married and this PCR remains primary, the newly-formed union is seriously threatened.
The word Cleave is an Hebrew word translated to mean;
1. to pursuing hard after someone else and
2. being glued or stuck to something/someone.
So a man/woman is to pursue hard after his/her spouse after the marriage has occurred and is to be “stuck to him/her like glue.” (the courtship should not end with the wedding vows!). This cleaving indicates such closeness that there should be no closer relationship than that between the two spouses, not with any former friend or with any parent. That is why your spouse must be your best friend.
To “cleave” means not giving up when things aren’t going well. It includes talking things out, carefully listening to your spouse express his/her thoughts and feelings, patiently willing to work to correct problems, being willing to admit when you’re wrong and asking forgiveness, hanging in there with your spouse when everything seems to be going wrong, in order to discover commitment, security and oneness with your spouse. Cleaving never think of separation or divorce, Cleaving is about unity and oneness.
And they shall become one flesh – Marriage takes two individuals and creates a new single entity. There is to be such sharing and oneness in every aspect (physical, emotional, intellectual, financial, etc.) that the resulting unity can be best described as “one flesh.” Again, when there is greater sharing and emotional support gained from a continuing Parent-Child relationship than from the Husband-Wife relationship, the oneness within the marriage is being seriously threatened and is un-biblical.
Have you cleft to your spouse? Is your marriage your priority? What have you sacrificed or sacrificing to make your marriage the best?
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