You are welcome to yet another exciting edition of this column. Last time, I started this teaching by showing you the first principle of how you can leave to cleave to your spouse in marriage. Today, I shall be exploring the second principle, ‘Cleave’.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word ‘cleave’ as “to adhere, cling, or stick fast to.” In the light of this definition and based on God’s master plan, husbands and wives are meant to adhere, cling, and stick fast to each other for life! For a marriage to be complete, a couple must not only leave father and mother but cleave to each other.
God’s Word says: Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife (Genesis 2:24). This means, each partner will have to leave his/her parents to cleave to the other. “To cleave” means to be ‘joined to.’ When you compare Genesis 2:24 to Ephesians 5:31, ‘Cleave’ is replaced with ‘joined’. The Scripture says: for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This does not mean to glue both of them together physically. It means a coming together, a blending of two distinct individuals into one.
A man and his wife, who had hitherto lived as two separate, distinct individuals, come into marriage; leaving father and mother, they cleave to each other for the rest of their lives. So, they are no more two separate and distinct individuals, but now joined to one another. This is the basis for a life-long fellowship, friendship and relationship.
The effect of this is togetherness, closeness, and intimacy, which brings about unity. It produces oneness in all things—spirit, soul and body. Oneness in spirit means both of them being spiritually alive and belonging to the same spiritual kingdom. Oneness in the realm of the soul means both of them being agreeable, in spite of their individual differences. Oneness in the realm of the body refers to their physical union as husband and wife, which is their creative power. And when united, nothing can be restrained from you (Genesis 11:6)! What a secret! Husbands and wives must, therefore, beware of whatever can bring division between them and give it no place.
Quarrels, rancor, bitterness, division, misunderstanding, malice, hatred, etc must not be allowed, because they can separate a husband and his wife, though they still live under the same roof. A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. Can you imagine a home where one spouse has deep-seated animosity towards the other spouse? Such home will be a conducive place for the devil to operate. Of course, if you give the devil a place, he will take you away from your place. God is not the author of confusion. Wherever there is confusion, there is every evil work. James 3:16 says: For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil works.
I must note at this point, however, that there can be no cleaving until there is first a leaving. One must precede the other, as leaving comes before cleaving. God is a God of order and priorities. Until a man and his wife both leave their respective families from where they came, it will be impossible for them to cleave to each other.
Worthy of note also, is the fact that leaving does not guarantee cleaving. Cleaving is not automatic. It is possible to leave without cleaving. This results in loneliness, which is one of the major challenges in homes today. Loneliness has led to division, separation, and eventual divorce in many marriages.
Cleaving does not just happen because two people get married. It must never be assumed. Rather, it has to be programmed for and deliberately worked at to make it happen. Effective communication is a vital, indispensable key in making this happen.
Benefits of Cleaving
Cleaving has a lot of benefits that will guarantee success in marriage. These benefits include: togetherness, closeness, and intimacy. It brings about unity. It produces oneness in all things – spirit, soul and body. I see all these benefits fulfilled in your marriage in Jesus’ name!
You cannot have all it takes to have a successful marriage, except the grace of God is made available to you. Do you want that grace to be given to you today? Why not say this prayer of faith and you shall be born again: “Dear Lord Jesus, I come to You today as a sinner. Forgive me of my sins. I believe You died and rose on the third day for my sins. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Make me a child of God today. Thank You for accepting me into Your Kingdom.”
Congratulations, you are now born again! I believe that you will begin to experience the reality of the price that Jesus paid for your sins at Calvary. All-round rest and peace are guaranteed you in Jesus’ Name! Call or write, and share your testimonies with me through firstname.lastname@example.org; OR 07026385437 and 08141320204.
For more insight, these books authored by me are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all Living Faith Churches and other leading Christian bookstores: Marriage Covenant, Single with a Difference, A Living Witness and Make Your Life Count.