Auntie Em's Guide to Life

A guide to all the important things in life- marriage, family, cooking, gardening, reading, travel, Christian living… And whatever else grabs my attention!

Leave and Cleave

on October 29, 2012

For this reason shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife:

and they shall be one flesh. Genesis 2:24 (KJV)

Leave and cleaveHave you thought about the context of this passage? It comes right after God created Eve from Adam’s rib, and Adam pronounced, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”

Adam and Eve had no mother and father to leave. God clearly put it in there for people who came afterward, who would face the sometimes difficult transition of changing loyalty. When we marry, we are to shift our primary loyalty to our spouse. He or she becomes our first priority, and should stay that way, ahead of children or jobs, or anything else on earth.

Part of leaving includes becoming financially independent. Dave Ramsey strongly advises against lending or borrowing money within the family. That creates a dynamic that complicates the leaving and cleaving admonition, and as Dave says, “Thanksgiving dinner just doesn’t taste the same when you’re eating with the banker.”

“Cleave” is a very strong word meaning “to cling” or “to stick to;” literally becoming one organism. After a Covenant marriage, to separate is like amputating a limb; to commit adultery (“adulterate” means to put something that doesn’t belong into something) is like putting in a malignant tumor.

Marriage was God’s idea. During the week of creation, every day He said, “It is good.” But after He created Adam, and Adam had named all the animals, God said, “It’s NOT good for the man to be alone. I’ll give home someone suitable to help him.”

What’s marriage for, anyway? Obviously, procreation. Specifically, procreation of children that we bring up in the fear and admonition of God, to continue His work. Another purpose is to exemplify the relationship between Christ and the Church. Servant leadership, selfless love, trusting submission. We need to always remember that a world of unbelievers is watching our Christian marriages, waiting for them to fall apart, so that when they do, their excuses seem justified.

The pleasure, both relational and sexual, that we receive in marriage; well, is it a purpose or a result? I’m not sure, but I know that when we get it right– God’s way– we get a lot of both!

Having a successful, Godly marriage requires a lot of self-discipline and effort. You have to give, to be kind and forgiving, when you’d rather not. You have to admit your sins and ask forgiveness, when it’s more natural to blame someone else.

Tweet this! Marriage is the perfect lab where we practice godly living!

There are lots of failed “experiments” in righteousness, but that just gives us opportunity to practice the other side of godliness, which is forgiveness and grace.

Here’s a great preacher and teacher, who was featured in the Art of Marriage, teaching on marriage at his church. Have a date night at home with your spouse and watch it together!

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:21

14 responses to “Leave and Cleave

  1. Great post. I found the leaving and cleaving much harder than I expected, but so critically important. Good to focus on it in this post.

  2. Pamela says:

    When it was me leaving and cleaving I was fine…when it was my daughter leaving and cleaving I had a much harder time (although she didn’t know it!) God’s Word is true whichever way it goes.

  3. I sure appreciated this post!!

    Thanks for linking up with me over at WholeHearted Home this week. Your posts are always ones that are a blessing and that I look forward to reading.

  4. Kelly says:

    Oh, when I got married I had a hard time. I couldn’t wait of course but then on the other hand I was very sad that my house would not longer be with my parents. My room would never again be my room. What a blessing you are!!

  5. simplyhelpinghim says:

    It is so important to leave and cleave. Naturally I am close to my family, now that I am married I live 800 miles away from my parents and I know that my marriage would not be what it should if I lived closer. Thank you for sharing and linking up with Simply Helping Him last week! Blessings! 🙂

  6. […] Leave and Cleave ( […]

  7. […] leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh.  Leave and cleave! This was not written for the good of Adam and Eve, who had no father and mother to leave, but for […]

  8. Kelly says:

    Great post, Auntie Em. Marriage is truly a picture of Christ and the Church and therefore separation/divorce is not an option! Thanks for linking up with us at No Ordinary Blog Hop. Every blessing, Kelly

  9. […] loyalty is for your spouse, not your parent.  This is nothing new for regular Auntie Em readers. (Leave and Cleave was one of the most-read posts.) Mary’s love and loyalty to her father are undisputed and a […]

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