God, the very first “Marriage Maker,” provided an essential formula for making a marriage work. He provided it for all of us to follow when He brought the first couple together. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Gen 2:24). The formula for marital unity is therefore LEAVE + CLEAVE = UNITY. It’s such a seemingly simple formula, but yet one which provides such a challenge for so many!
Before a married couple can become one flesh, it is essential that both be willing to leave behind any relationships, thoughts, physical items and emotional ties that might possibly stand in the path towards oneness. Failure to do so can have a detrimental impact on the road towards unity.
Once all such hindrances have been left behind, you are prepared to devote your attention more fully towards the second part of the equation, cleaving. I’ve heard it said that you should not bother with leaving unless you’re prepared to spend a lifetime of cleaving. To cleave means “to cling or to adhere to, to abide fast.” The biblical word used for “cleave” refers to cementing, welding or gluing together. My wife Janice and I have often joked about being stuck together with super glue. Indeed with all the negative forces weighing on marriages today, a little super glue can certainly come in handy at times!
Questions to Ponder – How are you doing in the area of leaving? Are there any past relationships or emotional ties which are preventing you from marital unity? How’s your cleaving? What activities can you and your spouse do together to help super glue your relationship?