Leaving and Cleaving
The objective God has in bringing a man and a woman together can be captured in two very important words: leave and cleave. These come from Genesis 2:24 (KJV), which says, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." The word "cleave" means to glue or to cling. So to leave and cleave is to sever and bond, to loosen and secure, or to depart from and attach to.
A successful marriage begins with leaving. In effect, you leave all other relationships. The closest relationship outside of marriage is specified in Genesis 2:24, implying that if it is necessary to leave your father and mother, then certainly all lesser ties must be broken, changed, or left behind.
This doesn’t mean that when you get married, you are no longer a son or a daughter or a sibling. But what it does mean is that you have a new, primary responsibility, and that is to your spouse. You must still honor your mother and father, but leaving has taken place.
Leaving implies giving other relationships a lesser degree of importance. You still can have friends, but your best friend should be your spouse. Having members of the opposite sex as friends can be problematic at best and potentially destructive at worst. Most adultery happens through close contact and relationship, not mere sexual attraction. So be very careful. Your best friend should be your husband or your wife.
In Malachi 2:14, God said of the relationship between a husband and his wife, "Yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant." The word "companion" used here means someone united with another in thoughts, goals, plans, and efforts.
Are you united with your spouse in this way?
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