Leaving and Cleaving: failing to leave (part 1)

Leaving and cleaving is a fundamental part of a marriage foundation. Find out these four ways that couples often fail to leave and cleave.

Leaving and cleaving is a fundamental part of a marriage foundation. Find out these four ways that couples often fail to leave and cleave.
Leaving and cleaving is a fundamental part of a marriage foundation. Find out these four ways that couples often fail to leave and cleave.

This is part one in a two part series. Read part 2 here.


Our Need to Leave

Although in-law jokes are common, most couples fail to find this relationship amusing!

Few fully realize the potential stress, anxiety, and hurt that can come if they are unprepared for potential in-law problems.

God’s Principle about Leaving

God established His foundational thoughts concerning in-laws at the time He created marriage: “For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).

The word “leave” here means to abandon or break off completely. By this, God means that in issues of authority the parents no longer have responsibility.

While children should never stop honoring their parents, God’s intent is that men and women establish a new primary allegiance when they marry: that of their spouse.

Our Response to Leaving

Listed below are four common ways couples fail to leave their parents. Consider if any of these apply to your marriage.

  1. Parental wealth and social benefits – This problem reveals dependence on parents for financial or social benefits to the point that the couple fails to acknowledge their own independence.
  2. Parental model – Some couples, again consciously or subconsciously, compare some area of their mate’s performance to that of their parents. These comparisons can especially take place in early marriage and can be very damaging.
  3. Parental approval – Some mates remain dependent on their parents’ approval after marriage due to an extremely strong or domineering parent. The need for parental approval may block trust in their new mate.
  4. Parental relationship substitute – Some men and women continue to call or go see their parents about most key issues in their lives, sometimes before they consult their mate. This in turn creates a lack of dependence on the spouse.

Have you struggled with leaving and cleaving? What steps do you need to take to leave and cleave?

Leaving and cleaving is a fundamental part of a marriage foundation. Find out these four ways that couples often fail to leave and cleave.

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