For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife and they shall become one flesh. – Genesis 2:24
You can separate two pieces of wood taped together, but you cannot separate without great damage two pieces of wood glued together. Cleaving involves unswerving loyalty to one’s marital partner…
Accepting the Biblical standard for cleaving means asking ourselves when contemplating marriage:
‘Am I prepared to make a lifetime commitment to my prospective spouse, for better or for worse till death do us part? Once married, cleaving means to ask ourselves: Will this action, word, decision, or attitude draw us closer together or further apart? Will it build up or tear down our relationship?
For a Christian committed to living by the principles of God’s word, any course of action which weakens the cleaving must be regarded as contrary to God’s design for a marriage covenant.
Having been married for 20 years, I have come to realize that to cleave means that we are now one. We’re no longer two individuals with our separate agendas and plans. Everything we do affects one another, somehow and some way. We’re now our own family, distinct from the families we grew up in.
Did you note that? We’re “distinct from the families we grew up in” –not an extension. It’s a matter of figuring out together what YOUR mark is to be on the world, as husband and wife –as a team. Those who were once your primary family are now to take a back seat to the priorities, which you mark out as a family. You still love your family and friends, but you no longer allow them to take precedence over your spouse.
What does it mean ‘to cleave’? From Genesis 2, it means ‘to adhere to, stick to, to be attached by a strong tie.’ You might be thinking, ‘Yes, that’s me. I’m stuck!’ But that isn’t the meaning here. In the original Hebrew, this verb form speaks of doing something aggressively. In other words, you’re not stuck to something like on fly paper, trying to get loose. Rather, you’re holding on.
Imagine walking along the edge of a cliff and suddenly lose your footing. As you go over the side, you grab a branch and hold on to it. It’s something you’ve done by will, because your life depends on it. That’s the implication of the word ‘cleave’ here.
Therefore, you must periodically examine your life and ask yourself if any relationship or pursuit in which you are currently involved would put distance between you and your spouse. Will it draw you closer together or drive you apart? Will it build your relationship or tear it down?
It is not always the big things that bring a marriage down. It is often the small things. As the Scripture says, it’s ‘the little foxes that spoil the vines’ (Song of Solomon 2:15). In marriage, it can be neglect, or the unwillingness to hold on tightly to your spouse.
Some questions to discuss before you say ‘I Do’.
Why are we getting married? Pregnancy, financial/social security, loneliness or wanting to get out of the family home are not valid reasons to get married.
What do we as a couple want out of life?
Does religion play an important part in your life?
Do you think faith and spirituality are important in marriage?
What is your image of God?
What are your expectations of our sexual relationship?
Can we both forgive?
How will we make decisions together?
What do you think we’ll be doing in thirty or forty years?
Have you ever hit someone?
Are you willing to replace the toilet roll or clean the dishes?
What values do you want to bring from your family into our marriage?
What do you like and dislike about your parents’ marriage?
What do you like and dislike about my family?
What was your childhood like?
Was your family an affectionate one?
Do I have trust issues or feel insecure?
Do you believe we should be doing everything together?
What are our financial goals?
Do we want to have children?
What is your parenting philosophy?
Do you have any children already?
Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.