Devotion

Marriage in Two Words

by Greg Laurie on May 11, 2021
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.
—Ephesians 5:31
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There are two operative words in a marriage: leave and cleave.

We find this principle in Genesis 2:24, which says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (NKJV).

Jesus also quoted this passage in Matthew, where He said, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?” (19:4–5 NKJV). The apostle Paul quoted this text as well (see Ephesians 5:31).

First there’s leaving. When you get married, your number one relationship (other than your relationship with Christ), becomes the relationship with your spouse. You’re still a child to your parents, of course.

But your number one relationship is with your husband or wife. He or she should be your best friend and the person that you’re closest to.

Next, there’s cleaving. This word means “being held together.” It doesn’t mean that you’re stuck together; rather, you’re held together. In verb form, it speaks of something that’s active. For instance, if you’re climbing the face of a mountain, you’re hanging on for dear life.

That’s the idea of cleaving. You’re holding on to each other, and you’re not allowing other relationships to weaken your marriage relationship. Early in a marriage, you feel a lot of love, but then it ebbs and flows. You change, your spouse changes, and life changes.

Your emotions will catch up with your commitment in time. The point is that you keep your commitment throughout your life.

So leave and cleave. God called you together, and He will give you the strength to be the husband or wife that He has called you to be.

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