Leaving and cleaving can often be hard for couples. Follow these 3 suggestions to help cling to your spouse.
Part 2 of a 2 part series. Click here to read part 1.
It is common in many Christian circles to talk about the fact that we are to ‘leave’ our parents when we get married. But this is only half of the story!
God’s Principle to Cleaving
God says not only to ‘leave’ but also to ‘cleave’. “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 ‘cleave’ here means to ‘stick to’ or ‘cling to’. It is the same word used to describe Israel’s relationship to the Lord: they are to ‘cling’ to Him (Deut 10:20).
In the same way, we are to ‘cling’ or ‘stick to’ our spouse; they are our primary human relationship.
Our Response to Cleaving
Here are several suggestions for truly leaving your parents’ authority and cleaving to your spouse for help, comfort, and advice in decision making:
- Evaluate everyone’s needs – When problems arise, evaluate everyone’s real need, what went wrong, and most importantly, look for a creative solution. If a decision is needed to protect the integrity of the marriage, make it together with your spouse.
- Handle critical statements with care – Never be critical about your mate to your parents: parents never forget the problems shared, and rarely allow your mate to change (in their minds). Also, never allow your parents to make critical statements about your mate. This may mean responding with a strong but loving rebuff.
- Develop a plan for visiting in-laws – Before visiting your parents, especially early in marriage, agree on the length of time that you plan to stay. Most importantly, when visiting as a couple, let your mate have the freedom to love his or her own parents.