Monday, April 18, 2011

Leave and Cleave

  As with every event that has ever occurred in my life - God always manages to miraculously coincide my experiences with a way to learn from them.  Often enough, though, I fail to see that wide open door of learning - instead, choosing to wallow in my problems and try to make them go away all by myself - and hope to ignore and forget them forever.  If you've ever done the same - you know this certainly isn't the easy way out - because your problems always catch up to you again and if you didn't learn the first time, you'll make even bigger mistakes the second (or third, fourth, hundredth...) time.
  I'm going to help you to learn from one of these moments that I had - another ''First Day'' event. I can only hope and pray that I have thoroughly learned my lesson - and am passing on valid and valuable information to you.  (I am only briefly touching on this subject, as there are a few other great articles written on this - which I will give you the references at the end of the blog)

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.'  (KJV)

The definition of the word 'leave' in the original Hebrew language is to 'loosen, relinquish'. The definition of 'cleave' is to 'cling or adhere; abide fast, follow close (hard after), be joined, pursue hard, stick'.
This verse needs to be applied in EVERY SINGLE MARRIAGE - yet is often overlooked - or not understood properly.  This verse is THE ORIGINAL and most basic plan for all marriages.
  Let's start with the 'leave' part; the much harder part - in my opinion.
The first part of the verse tells us our first step:  You must physically, mentally and spiritually loosen your ties to your parents.  (And they MUST do likewise to you).  This is what will create that bond between you and your spouse that nobody should be able to break (not even parents, intentionally or unintentionally).
  Mark 10: 5-9  'Jesus replied...."A man leaves his father and mother and gets married.  He becomes like one person with his wife.  Then, they are no longer two people, but one.  And NO ONE should separate a couple that God has joined together."  
To quote Victor Casillas from Facebook Group, Companions in Covenant;  "Couples fail to leave for two main reasons:  1) They don't want to:  Either one or both of the spouses is in some type of attachment, bondage or 'soul tie' to one or both parents.  2) The parents won't let them:  Either one or both of the parents is keeping one of the spouses in some bondage, attachment or 'soul tie'".  (Whether any of the individuals mean to or not - it happens ALL THE TIME)

  The second part of the verse is our second step: You must physically, mentally and spiritually be GLUED to your spouse.  In her book 'A Woman After God's Own Heart', Elizabeth George says on this subject exactly, 'Your husband is to be NUMBER ONE in your life (after God) - and he needs to know it.  And everyone else needs to know it too.'  She goes on to explain how to 'choose your husband over ALL other relationships'. (I HIGHLY recommend reading this book! -There's a 'husband' version too!)
  This doesn't mean IGNORE your parents, children or other people that are important in your life - it simply means to seek your spouse on ALL matters before going to someone else (even when they can't help you).  For example - if you are having a spiritual battle - your spouse NEEDS to know what's going on - and you will need to tell them if you are going to visit and ask someone else for help and advice.  This is a simple act of respect.  In the case of a wife, it is your duty of obedience.  (That's another BIG can o' worms that I won't open right now).  Another example - If you and your spouse disagree ('fight' if that's what you call it) without settling it, and your first instinct is to call your Mom or your sister or brother - then you are in the wrong.  
  Author Jill Briscoe puts it this way:  She sat her to-be-married daughter down and told her she was no longer to be dependent on her parents for anything and was not allowed to come running home in a crisis.  Later, when her married daughter would call her with a certain problem or even very good news, Jill would always make sure that her daughter's husband had heard first.  If not, she didn't allow the conversation to continue. 
  Elizabeth George says 'Bravo! to this mother who voluntarily stepped out of a Number One relationship with her daughter and showed her the way to make her husband  her new Number One human relationship!'

IT'S NOT ALWAYS THE PARENT'S FAULT!   I know....crazy, right?  This was the point at which I finally learned my lesson.  One spouse ignoring the other - even in the little things - will drive them to someone else who cares.  It almost always starts with a close family member, then a friend, then to more disastrous measures (such as a new sexual partner).  This can go both ways - husband or wife. Let me give some examples to help you understand:
 #1 Your husband seeks your opinion on some amazing (he thinks) ideas that he has for a book he wants to write.  You shoot him down - telling him all the reasons why it wont work and how stupid the ideas are (you may be using very very nice words and language to say all this - but he HEARS exactly what I just wrote).  He may abandon his ideas instantaneously, never speak of it again to anyone and feel like a total loser in your (his world's) eyes.  More than than likely, however, it will be much worse;  he will go to his mother, who always praised his writing capabilities.  She will cheer him on and he may pursue his ideas without even telling you- continuing to go to his mother for more guidance - and eventually NEVER coming back to you for any advice or with news.  
  #2  Your wife is on a seriously emotional roller coaster and is becoming more and more depressed.  She finally wants to talk to you about it and maybe goes on for what feels like an eternity about how she's feeling.  You have spaced out for about half of the conversation (maybe the part where she mentioned that she feels suicidal at times), then you fell asleep at the end.  She cried quietly to herself, but never woke you or spoke of her emotional turmoils again.  She didn't even want advice, she just wanted you to listen, to understand as best as possible, and to be there for her.  But you were snoring. Fate has it that a male coworker tends to be an excellent listener, providing an outlet for her feelings. An emotional bond is formed, which then opens up other areas for more intimacy.  

In both of these cases - the marriage is on it's way to being destroyed.

It's little things.  Things that tell your spouse how INCREDIBLY SPECIAL they are to you.  Things you can do that may be the hardest thing in the world for you to do - and seemingly impossible - but that will show your true dedication in PURSUING THEM HARD.  
Let go of your parental relationship and HOLD FAST to your spouse.  Make a promise to yourself and to each other to do this for the rest of your lives and hold fast to that covenant.  It's never too late to start. 
  If you want to contact me with your email address, I will send you a 'LEAVE AND CLEAVE' COVENANT that you can sign together as a couple  (There's even a space for your parents to sign - to encourage them to help you in your promise to each other.)

Verses about marriage
Facebook Group Companions in Covenant - lots of great discussions and notes on here.
Companions in Covenant - detailed article about the 'Leave and Cleave' process - also notes on counseling
Short article on Leave and Cleave - by COGH

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