The night before the wedding, my mom was a bit sad. She felt like she was “losing her daughter.” To feel better she would say to herself, “No, I’m gaining a son.”
However painful it was, her first thought was very true. I was “leaving” the family, just as she once “left” hers to cleave (“stick”) to my dad many years ago. In that moment I knew that the husband and wife relationship was truly the MORE PERMANENT one.
One day, my own son or daughter will LEAVE our home and CLEAVE to their spouse. Come to think of it, I wouldn’t want my child to have a spouse who did not cleave to him/her.
Living WITHOUT the parents really made me FEEL MARRIED. I wasn’t just sharing a home with someone. CLEAVING (“STICKING”) to Richard during trials MADE HIM MY BEST FRIEND.
A month into the marriage, we had a BAD argument. I wanted to leave; drive back to my parent’s house. But because of all the advice we had received, this was no longer an option. We had to STICK TOGETHER and solve it, even if the problem was EACH OTHER. I was now ONE FLESH with this guy. No more parental safety net. And with each argument resolved, we strangely found ourselves even closer than we were before.
One of the best things we did as man and wife was to create house rules together. We made our own home culture. We POSTED the rules on our wall. Each rule had a personal story behind why it was needed.
For example, the “no shouting, even if you are right” rule. Our parent’s homes discouraged shouting, yet it still happened. No rule was WRITTEN about it. When you were angry, you shouted, especially when you knew you were RIGHT. Now, to change our bad habits, we formed this rule. It’s posted on the wall for all to see. And when voices are raised, you simply remind the other person of the rule, and they MUST soften their tone. No questions asked.
Leaving and cleaving gave us the opportunity to create an environment that was truly our own. It allowed us to make mistakes that were completely ours, too. Our engagement manual was right: “Therefore a man shall LEAVE his father and mother and shall be joined (CLEAVE) to his wife, and the TWO WILL BECOME ONE flesh.” I can’t think of a better way for two people to learn to BECOME ONE.
To read RICHARD’s story about “LEAVE & CLEAVE”, click HERE:
, December 4, 2014