Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Leaving and Cleaving

"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24).

When two people marry it is important for them to leave their parents. It is sometimes difficult for parents to let their children leave, and it is sometimes just as hard for the children, but it is necessary. Leaving does not mean cutting off one’s parents, but it does mean geographical separation. We remove ourselves from the boundaries of the home where another couple is in authority and establish a new home.

What happens if a newlywed couple lives with their parents? We see this when a couple wants to get married but they do not have very much money. The parents offer to have them live with them. It is very unwise to get into this situation. Think about it. I bring my wife to live in my home, and pretty soon she is thoroughly intimidated by the way my mother does things. Or we move in with her parents. Her father is the authority. I am subordinate to him, and my wife is subordinate to me, but she is also his daughter. She is caught in a terrible crunch. These kinds of problems happen even if you do leave, but they are multiplied if you don’t. Make no mistake about it: God commands us to leave and for very good reasons.

The beauty of God’s way is that when a young couple leaves and begins a new home, the dynamics of that are such that it now provides them the opportunity to reestablish an adult relationship with their parents, which can be one of the most fulfilling and rewarding personal relationships a human being can have. Parents cannot help but think of their children as young and immature. It is only when the new couple has been away for a while and has acquired the maturity that comes from living together and having children, that a new and mature relationship with their parents can blossom. Leaving permits cleaving and such unity results in a stronger marriage bond. Even if not married, at a certain age moving out of the home for work or school brings greater personal maturity.

Notice that this principle of leaving and cleaving is not a result of sin. It is a creation ordinance. Even apart from sin, God intended for new families to come out from the authority of old at the point of marriage.

If you have not already done so, seek to develop a more adult relationship with your parents or grown children. If you are younger, be sure your leaving was more than just physical. As the parents of grown children, show the strength to allow your children to leave when the time comes.