We’re at camp this week with the boys so I’m sharing some posts on marriage.
Genesis 2:23-24 (King James Version)
23And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
24Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
I have talked about leaving and why it’s important as a wife, this week I want to talk about the cleave part.
I just kind of thought that cleave meant you just stuck with your man. You were part of him (because you’re one flesh now) so you’re stuck together.
Strong’s Concordance says this “abide fast, cleave fast together, follow close hard after, be joined together. A primitive root; properly, to impinge, i.e. Cling or adhere; figuratively, to catch by pursuit — abide fast, cleave (fast together), follow close (hard after), be joined (together), keep (fast), overtake, pursue hard, stick, take.”
Let’s pick out a few key words there…follow close hard after, cling, adhere, catch by pursuit, pursue hard. Ladies, this means that we don’t just stand by our man, but we continue to pursue him. We continue to cling to him, we work to develop that oneness and that relationship. We’re not just “stuck like glue” (love that song by Sugarland) to our husband. We’re hanging on, we’re continuing to hold fast to him. It is a conscious choice, it requires activity and effort on our part. We’re not just “there” we are an active participant.
Now I have to say this first…cleaving to our husband doesn’t mean that we can’t be apart from him for one second or that we have to do everything together. I think that’s unhealthy. We’re not smothering the guy, we’re not calling every 2 minutes when he’s at work. But it doesn’t mean we do everything separate either. I know couples who take separate vacations, have separate bank accounts, separate schedules and meet up only in passing. They lead separate lives. This is unhealthy too.
It means girls, that we’re not turning to our best friends, the neighbor or co-workers to form the relationships we should be with our husbands. They are a great support system, but they shouldn’t be where we go first. It should be to God and then our husband.
I can hear it already…There are times when a wife feels like she needs to “just vent” and “have a girls night”. Absolutely. I’ve benefitted from those things myself. But ladies I caution you to be careful what you say and think about your husband during those vent sessions. Remember that we are to respect our husbands and bad mouthing him to others isn’t how we show respect. It also opens us up to fostering negative feelings about him and opens the door for infidelity whether physical or emotional. Our marriages should be a work in progress even when we’ve been married 50 years.
When I think of the word cleave, I think of playdoh. Yep. Playdoh. Have you ever mixed two colors of playdoh together? They stick together, they hold fast, they are one. That’s what cleaving to your husband is like. You’re each unique, but you cleave to one another and become one. The other image I have when I think of cleaving is a kid, wrapped around the leg of someone. Holding on with arms and legs for dear life. For some that’s a negative image, so imagine the playdoh if you have to. The point is this…we are active participants when we cleave to our husbands. We are holding on for dear life.
Our cleaving to the man we marry should come second only to our cleaving to Christ and the cross. We should daily cling to, pursue and adhere to our Heavenly Father. He is where we get our strength and sustenance. God is our first priority and in pursuing Him it makes it easier to pursue our husbands.
My challenge for this week: How can you cleave to your husband this week? How can you pursue him, hold fast to him? Is there some way you can get alone time? Is there a project or something he’s been working on that you can compliment him on, what about working with him? Can you do something together? Even if it’s just the dishes or folding that basket of laundry. I encourage you this week to find a way to strengthen your bond with your husband.