Thursday, February 20, 2014

Leave, Cleave, Become One

I'm still reading the New Testament. I am committed to  listening/reading over speaking/writing when time is short. Therefore, I'm in Luke but haven't written since Mark 9. 

"...For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." Mk 10:6-9

I read this in Matthew in October and God spoke to me. I read it again on Feb 13th - on the eve of our 30th anniversary and our daughter's wedding - and God spoke to me again. In a God thing I set down to do my homework on Feb 18th and this passage showed up again. 

God gave three commands about marriage to Adam and Eve in Gen 2:24.
  • Leave
  • Cleave - Join together
  • Become one flesh
In Mark the word for man has some ambiguity - it could mean MAN or it could mean HUMAN BEING. I began to consider how important it is for both men and women to obey these three short commands.  Bad things happen in a relationship, in a family, when one or both partners fail to take these commands seriously. It is impossible to be healthily "joined," if one or both spouses have refused to leave other relationships.  Genesis 2:24 is clear  these commands were given to the MAN. Why? Is it o.k. then for a wife to remain attached to the "apron strings?" I believe it is because as a man leads, in obedience to this pattern, his wife will follow. If he does not to leave and cleave, it is likely she will follow him in THAT pattern as well. 

Leave - to forsake, abandon and leave behind
Via Google Images

Joined - to cement together - like super glue; great damage occurs when you separate that which has been joined...In the movie Fireproof a salt and pepper shaker were super glued together to illustrate this concept.

One flesh - sex yes, but more; there should be an intimate connection with my spouse, we become one, God sees us not as Michael and De'Etta  but as ONE, a NEW person. 

Is God really calling us to abandon our parents? No. This would contradict clear teaching to honor and care for our parents. 

I believe God's call is to affirm the primacy of this NEW relationship.We leave the leadership, protection and provision of our parents in exchange for our spouses. 

Judy Rossi puts it well in, Enhancing Your Marriage, "Their primary relationship was to be with God first, who commanded them to make each other their primary earthly relationship. It is no different today. A husband is to leave behind all other relationships of his youth and create a new relationship with his bride, who is to respond in kind." (p 90). 

Leaving, cleaving and becoming one is the foundation of a healthy marriage and family - for generations to come. All other relationships and activities are to come second to the marriage relationship. Nothing can be allowed to distract us from cleaving to our mates. Nothing can be allowed to divide our oneness -  not parents, extended family, hobbies, friendships, outside activities, our schedules, our selves - nothing. 

And if you've already walked through a divorce? God is a God of restoration and forgiveness. The key is to obey these commands now - in your current marriage. 

In 2004 - our 20th year of marriage, Michael and I signed a Oneness Covenant. It was witnessed by our eight (at the time) children. It  commits  us to pursue unconditional love for each other and oneness in our marriage. We will not live as married singles. Leaving, cleaving and becoming one has been a process for us... we understand the "why" behind the command clearer as time progresses. 

This command seemed brutal when read as a child.  In the past six months I have begun to evaluate from the perspective of a parent. Have we modeled well what it means to leave, cleave and become one? We've asked forgiveness where we haven't obeyed well.

Are we doing anything which would hinder our married children as they begin to leave and cleave and pursue oneness in their marriages? What does it look like for parents to encourage this leaving? What does it look like to hinder this leaving? 

Am I currently allowing anything in my life to distract from the goal of oneness in my marriage?

We are committed to obey these commands in our marriage and to encourage them in our children's marriages. 

BTW it seems to me the media may have been onto something ::snort:: in the merging of Brangelina - two become one....we're currently coming up with one name for our new family marriages. Stay tuned. 

Choosing Joy!
©2014 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...