They Become One Flesh
Why are there so many divorces in the church? Why are children experiencing the turmoil of being pulled between mommy and daddy? Why are there fighting, arguments, and even abuse? I believe that husbands and wives must return to the foundational principles found in the Word of God. Marriage is not always “they lived happily ever after.” Marriage takes work by both the husband and the wife.
God said in Genesis 2:24, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Does this mean that we abandon our parents? Absolutely not, but we are to have behavioral independence; our mate is to be our emotional priority; and we are not to be dependent on parental support. How can two cleave in marriage if one is cleaving to their parent(s)? They cannot.
So how does two cleave? It was easy seeing the male and female cleave when they were dating. They were thinking of each other every waking moment; they were trying to plan when they could be together; and not much was more important than spending time with the one who they loved. A big reason we see marriages fall apart is because they stop cleaving. Most important is a husband and wife need to cleave to Jesus by cleaving to Him in worship, prayer, the Word, and obedience. As one does this, he will be empowered to cleave to his/her mate. (1) A husband and a wife are to cleave to one another by being allegiant and loyal to one another. Your spouse should be the most important person in your world. (2) Decision-making is no longer made by me but us. (3) There must be recognition of need. What does my spouse need? (4) The need for connection requires a death-blow to self. If the husband and the wife will truly cleave to Jesus and to one another, the beauty of a “one flesh” will be experienced.
Someone may be quick to say, “Now, wait a minute, marriage is a husband and wife becoming one flesh when they say, ‘I do’ in holy matrimony.” Yes, this is true, but“they shall be one flesh” has the sense of becoming more and more a “one flesh.” For example, we look at a baby and say, “Oh, she/he is just perfect.” Well, they have everything to become a mature adult, but they have not yet arrived. A husband and wife do become “one flesh”, but they have not arrived. Remember the disappointments you had at times in your expectations of what marriage would be? Remember working through that? “They shall be one flesh” is the husband and wife choosing to grow in this oneness.
God has called us to cleave to our mates. When we have disagreements, don’t run away, but cleave. We are not to war against flesh and blood (your mate) but against demonic spirits (Eph.6:12). Come to your mate and pray about those differences and talk it out. I have been married 40 years this October. We have had plenty of opportunities to not cleave, but I am so glad that we chose to cleave even in the hard times. Attributes of God in Robert cleaving to the attributes of God in me is becoming a more wonderful “one flesh” in Him. “Thank you, Jesus.” (cont.)