I welcome you to this great time of refreshing. This month, I shall be exploring a vital subject which most couples find difficult to exhibit in their marriage. There is nothing devastating in marriage than for either of the partners to be tied to the apron strings of their parents. For every small decision to be taken in the home, he or she says, “I am going home”, because he or she never left home in the first place.
A boy can’t leave home, only men can. That is why many couples are in a house, but not at home. This is plaguing many marriages today. The question is: How Do I cleave? The Word of God says: Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother , and shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh (Genesis 2:24).
There are three principles clearly stated in the above scripture which are: Leave, Cleave, and One Flesh. A discovery, understanding and application of these principles will make family success a reality. We shall be examining the first principle.
Leave: The first principle in God’s master plan for a successful marriage involves leaving home. It is a fundamental principle and a command.
. When a man and woman get married, they form a new family unit, separate and different from the one each of them is coming from. Though the husband is specifically instructed about leaving in the above scripture, the instruction includes the wife as well. This is because until both of them succeed in leaving their respective homes, they cannot establish their new home. Also, the above instruction is very specific. It clearly states that a man should leave his father and mother, not sisters, brothers, uncles or aunts. Why? This is because father and mother are one’s closest blood relations. If it is possible to leave them, it should be much more possible to easily leave brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts or any other relation. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother…”
The relationship between a husband and wife is permanent and should not be broken. However, the one between parent and child is temporary, and therefore, may be broken. What, then, does it mean to leave? ‘Leaving’ in this context means to gain parental independence. The day-to-day running of the new home should not be the concern of father, mother and relations. Rather, it should be left absolutely in the hands of the husband and his wife. It does not mean to operate as a separate or distinct family. It means disallowing the new family from being remotely controlled by the old ones the couple is coming from.
Physically, the man and his wife should leave. After marriage, the ideal thing is for a man and his wife to move into their own house, whether it is rented, leased or built by them. No matter how small the house, the size is not as important as the obedience to God’s Word. Even if it is only one room to start with, it is usually better. This makes the adjustment period easier for the man and his wife. They are able to live much more easily as mature, independent adults. This is because both of them require time to be alone together, in order to know each other better.
A situation where a man and his wife after marriage, still live in the same house physically with either parent, should be avoided as much as possible. In most cases, it strains relationships. A couple living in a one-room apartment today has the potential of living in a mansion tomorrow. Never despise the days of small beginnings!
Emotionally, the man and his wife are meant to leave. God created us with emotions. It is important, however, to be able to give our emotions correct direction. By birth, children are emotionally attached to their parents. This emotional attachment to parents must be adequately handled after marriage, to avoid emotional breakdowns. Thus, maturity is required here. This, again, suggests why marriage, in God’s master plan, is for matured men and women only, not boys and girls.
Mentally, the husband and his wife should leave their parents. The man and his wife should be ready to take decisions on their own and accept responsibility for them. Life is all about responsibility! Both of them must be ready to rub minds together in decision making. They must be ready to face the challenges of life together. Decisions that directly affect their new family should not be left for their parents to make for them. The blame for any decision that does not work should not be passed to their parents either. Some couples cannot take any step in life without the approval of their parents. This ought not to be. Therefore, the man and woman must leave mentally.
Financially also, a husband and his wife are expected to leave their parents. They ought to be financially independent. They must both be able to work, earn money and be financially responsible. They should not be a financial burden to their parents; neither should their parents be a financial burden on them. To leave financially, husband and wife must learn to be contented with each phase of their lives. “Life is in phases and men are in sizes”, my husband often says.
A word of caution here though! Without prejudice to all the above, a husband and his wife must ensure they fulfil their covenant obligations to their parents. Remember what the Word of God says: Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that is may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth (Ephesians 6:2-3).
Honour must be given to whom it is due. Learn to honour your parents. Honour is a seed and what you sow, you reap. When you become a parent, you reap what have sown to your parents. Life is give and take. To reap honour in your future, you must sow honour seeds today!
You need God’s grace to cleave to your spouse. His grace and help are the privileges of those who are born again. If you want to be born again, please say this prayer: “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.