1999-11-19 - God Hath Made Them One

The Family Series, Part 2

Genesis 2:23 & 24 Adam said, "This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

I looked up the word cleave in my Webster's Dictionary. I found it interesting. There are two definitions. They are as opposite as day and night, and both of them reflect marriage! The first is "to adhere to, to cling to." The second meaning is "to divide by force, to separate."

God created marriage in order to give man someone to work with. A help meet (fit) for him. His wife was someone to talk with, work with, laugh with, love with.God created woman because He saw that it was not good that man should be alone. Adam fell in love with his new wife, and clung to her. His helper, his friend.

The separation began, from the moment that our adversary, the devil, convinced her that his way was best, that it was okay to do your own thing, in the instant that she slipped her teeth into the fruit. Strife entered into the world with a crunch.

Ever since that day, the word cleave has had two meanings. Two people, brought together by God, forget that they are working together for the same goal, and start pulling toward their own ideas, their own ways.

Paul writes in Ephesians 5:21 … "submitting one to another in the fear of God." We forget that when we have our own ideas. In Philippians, he tells us to consider others better than ourselves. To defer to each other.

Marriage isn't 50/50. Marriage is 100/100, each with the other person's best interest in sight and on their minds. When we start looking at ourselves and "watching out for numero uno" we will find hurts and shortcomings, and the fruit is always painful. When we look to our mate's best interests and work to meet his needs (even if he or she doesn't acknowledge it), the fruit is sweet.

When a couple gets married, it's interesting -- they each start out with their own thoughts and ideas, but they are willing to cling to the other person and their ideas because, "We're in love". As time goes on, their eyes start looking on the ideas and things that they desire and slowly, if they aren't careful, they are clinging more and more to their own things and ideas. And soon, instead of cleaving to each other, the way that God designed it, the cleaving is a separation of ideas and values, and they are clinging to what they wish. The crunch of strife is complete.

My question is, which meaning does cleave have in your marriage?

Father, it is difficult to write a message like this and not get zapped between the eyes with the uh-oh stick. Lord, we are such selfish people. We cling to what is ours instead of letting go. We hold on to our wants instead of seeking the other person's wishes. We are selfish through and through. Paul said that we are to be like Christ and humble ourselves, and yet we don't. We work and plot and think about how to hurt someone else in the same way he or she has hurt us. Oh God, it hurts You to see Your children at war with each other. You said that we are to forgive people in the same manner as we want You to forgive us. Forgive me for my sin. I am clay and sometimes not even a usable piece of clay. Help me, O God, to be moldable and usable. Thank You for Your love. Amen