God’s purpose in getting two people, male and female who after formalising the union becomes husband and wife is to become one flesh. God observed a man without a woman does not suit his purpose and program; a comparable helpmate must be made. The process to become one flesh commenced with an introduction of this two people to each other, followed by recognition of what and who each other meant in the purpose of God for their lives. There was the need for acceptance of each other.
Shortly after the introduction, recognition and acceptance a very important instruction was given by God to this couple. It is the principle of “leaving and cleaving”. This has seriously been neglected and has caused much havoc to many homes and marriages. This principle was well emphasized throughout the scripture starting from Genesis 2:22-24, Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:7 and Ephesians 5:31.
Cleaving is not possible without first learning how to leave. Leaving and cleaving was commended for married people and not for the unmarried. Also cleaving begins the process of oneness and even a man is said to cleave to his wife and not any woman. Unmarried man does not have a wife to cleave to, however, the principle of cleaving for both singles and married is expected to first begin with God (Deut. 4:4, 10:20, 11:22, 13:4).
Cleaving to one’s spouse is possible when we have learnt to cleave to God. The instruction is also similar to the condition given by the Lord Jesus for a disciple about forsaking father and mother as a prerequisite to follow Him. Leaving father and mother is also necessary to cleave and become one flesh, this conditions to oneness and following Christ could not have been a mere coincidence.
The matter of leaving ones father and mother can be scaring to both parent and their loving children but we must understand that the leaving principle (let go, move away from, stand apart) does not mean “Abandoning our Parents”. In fact, Christ was subject to His parent. He cared and respected them while He was in the process of His ministry. While leaving, He made provision for His mother. Eph. 6:1-3 instructed children to honor their parent. Gen.2:23 was not an instruction to abandon our parents but a rearrangement of priority where a new home, formed was to be independent of parents and responsible to each other and God who have common interest and willingness to make invaluable investment to the home. Although, leaving is necessary, however, it must be complemented with cleaving. Leaving and cleaving are action packaged word involving a deliberate, determined and defined steps and actions.
Leaving and cleaving means there must be unreserved commitment, Intimacy, Unity (inseparable entity),Purposefulness and Complementary
Unreserved commitment is a consistent grace of taking effective responsibility at any situation, decision and occurrence. A man who actually leave and cleave will show necessary concern and effective actions to proffer necessary and adequate solution. Cleaving cannot but be exempted for bearing weight or burden of the person that is cleaved to. He offers a support in which the other can comfortably lean on. Being responsible to each other action; spiritual, physical, emotional, financial and health needs at all times. If a woman had to leave her family, change name, relocate or leave her job while raising children, should she be abandoned, denied of the basic need at home? A lot of sacrifices had to go into leaving and cleaving.
Intimacy is a passionate embrace that affect each other’s feelings and it requires qualitative and quantitative spent time with one’s spouse. It will necessitate given attention, regular commitment, openness to each other to the inner thoughts, feelings and sharing. There can never be a correct leaving and cleaving if there is no openness!
Cleaving create a necessary bonding to form an inseparable entity. Where there is a perfect network of purpose, desire, anticipation, dream, and vision. It’s in unity that oneness or one flesh is vividly paraded. All individual plans, purpose, program, vision, goal and desire harmoniously converge into one and flows in the same direction. This gives the strength to the home, any attempt to go separate ways create crisis and they can handle any meager resources judiciously.
Making choice, leaving or cleaving all had to follow an intention. To maintain all of this which will lead to oneness must be deliberately intended. The choice of a man or woman must be made based on clear, sincere and necessary reasons. In purposefulness, emotion and feeling though may be important but also will not take the lead over necessary reason for forming a home. Consciousness is involved. Even though Adam was sleeping during the process of making him a wife, the lady, Eve was not brought to him in the dream. He was awake, saw, recognized and took a decision. She was named and called “wonder out of man” (woman). This purposefulness is God’s intention and Adam assessment and acceptance were very necessary to take care of subsequent decisions and actions. He knew what she meant to him and Adam already had assignment. You are not stagnant or engaged in directionless trip. And when this spiritual cohesion takes place through marriage, you can move in the same direction. Differences exit, but do not dictates the paces and direction. Challenges may come, everything will soon resolve to common purpose. Priorities are easily arranged in their respective order and forms bases for handling issues. Marriages on common purpose and directions have propensities to survive through thin and thick, compared with home where intentions and activities of spouses are fragmentise with separate focuses. Where accredited purpose for the home and individual involved in the marriage union is not attached to leaving and cleaving there will be crisis!
In Gen. 2:18-24, a very crucial need was first recognised in man. This need requires the creating another personality whose basic characteristic may be similar or different but was to complement the personality of that man- Adam. As long as this man stays alone, irrespective of the authority, privileges and strength in his life, there are holes needed to be filled and links needed to be connected in his life. And this is only possible when the woman that is comparable to that man is made and brought to him. Oneness in a home cannot be achieved if the man and woman living together are not complementary. Being complementary is providing strength to your spouse’s weaknesses. Protecting his or her point of inevitable exposures. Being healthy in his or her sicknesses, lifting up where one is down. No oneness can be achieved where each other need is not met and weaknesses not strengthened. This is what defines the compatibility of man and woman.
Successful home is not for those who merely wish but those who are willing to work it out.