Imagine for a moment what it would have been like to live in the Garden of Eden. I think sometimes we view the Garden of Eden as an imaginary place like Camelot or Neverland or Atlantis. But the Garden of Eden was a real place in which God placed real people. It surpassed all the beautiful places on the planet today.
Adam was alone in this garden. He gave names to all the animals, but there still was something missing. In fact, it was someone who was missing. God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him” (Genesis 2:18 NKJV).
The Lord caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and when he woke up, there was Eve. Adam said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man” (Genesis 2:23 NKJV). The passage continues, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (verse 24 KJV).
In verse 24 we find two operative words that constantly must be in play for a marriage to be vibrant and successful: leave and cleave. The word cleave means “to glue or to cling.” First, you leave your father and mother. There has to be a leaving, and that means a redefinition of old relationships.
A son is still a son to his mom and dad, and a daughter is still a daughter. But when a couple gets married, a new home has started. A new family has begun. His primary responsibility is to his wife, and her primary responsibility is to her husband. They have to make that break. It’s leaving and cleaving.
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