“If a husband really loves his wife as Christ loved the church, what woman in her right mind would not want to give herself wholeheartedly to that man?” -Joyce Landorf.
C.L.E.A.V.E. How powerful it is! How I wish men knew the importance and significance of this word! The word cleave means cling. It means to hold onto somebody or something tightly with the hands or arms. You only hold tightly what is precious to you. In that manner, God, the Maker of marriage, wants every man to see his wife as a jewel of inestimable value—a treasured gift from the Lord God.
It also means to have a strong emotional attachment to somebody. The big question is “Are you emotionally attached to your wife?”
Cleaving is intentional. It is borne out of loyalty, devotion and affection to one’s spouse. God’s intention is to see that you leave who you are to become who you ought to be for the growth of your relationship.
In the book of Genesis Chapter 2 verse 23, the Bible records that when God presented Adam with his wife, he (Adam) was so delighted that he loudly declared: “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
It was after this excited expression of joy at the new development that the Bible declared in the next verse: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” In this, it was telling the man of the constraints that this development will impose on the nuclear family (Okey Onuzo).
God implied that the husband and wife must constitute the nuclear family to the total exclusion of other members of the extended family. This does not mean that they should not have a warm and loving relationship with other members of their extended family. But it does make it quite clear that a couple must define the boundaries of that extended relationship, and ensure that it is not a cause of disruption of the nuclear family.
Some men fail to sever their umbilical string with their extended families, and so often rush home to tell everybody about what is going on in their home. By doing this, they demonstrate leadership failure, and thereby cause members of their extended families to interfere in their marriage in a way that is unhealthy.
At this juncture, it is to be noted that there is nothing wrong in seeking advice and counsel on the principles of God’s Word relating to areas dealing with challenges in one’s marriage. What is abysmal is the demonstration of leadership failure or inability to take charge on Christ’s behalf.
To absolutely appreciate the word cleaving, a man needs to come into marriage with an overwhelming conviction that he is in the will of God in the choice of his marriage partner. He must believe that that conviction will be enough to ensure peace and happiness for his family no matter what life may bring their way. Such a person will be prepared to do all that the Bible expects of him and more to ensure the success of the union. This is as it should be.
God designed marriage to be enjoyed, rather than be endured. The reason why most men are enduring their marriages is because their marital foundation is faulty. They never consulted God before proposing to the woman they are married to. They were moved by external factors such as beauty and intelligence, not knowing that what makes a great marriage is much more than that. Since marriage outside God’s will is like going to a shoe maker and picking an undersized pair of shoes, they begin to experience extreme pains and pressure instead of intense pleasure.
Are you in that shoe right now and you are about throwing in the towel?
Gentleman, divorce isn’t the right option. Hear what the Bible says in Malachi Chapter 2 verse 16: “For the LORD God of Israel says that He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence, Says the LORD of hosts. Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously.” (NKJV) It’s not over yet for you. Your marriage can still be restored.
Since “success in marriage” according to Leland Foster Wood “is much more than a matter of finding the right person; it is also a matter of being the right person,” then the onus is on you to make yourself the ideal man any woman would desire to spend the rest of her life with. Below are the following steps to take:
Love your wife as a person. No human being likes to be considered an object, for in the quest for identity, everyone wants to be accepted as a person. To love your wife passionately and respect her willingly must be something you cherish. A young man wins the affection of a young woman because he loves her as a person, showering his attention and affections upon her. After the wedding, he shouldn’t be too much involved in business and work, neglecting his wife.
After wedding, let your wife be your closest friend—not your parents, siblings or your friends. Be her companion. Endeavour to continue to be your wife’s friend even years after you have been married.
Choose to maintain an uninterrupted line of communication regardless of the stress you are going through. Try as much as possible to be open to her. She is your soul mate. Do see her as one.
Learn to appreciate her for the seemingly little things she does. Be generous with compliments here.
Never forget to be faithful to your marital vow whenever you are away from each other.
Finally, pray to God to be at work in her so that she can be the woman you’ve always trusted God to have as wife. At this point, the virtue of patience is very important. Wait patiently for the manifestation of these good things.
When you do the aforesaid things, you’ll be amazed how God will honour you by granting you your heart’s desire. And it will surprise you the more to see her follow after your footsteps as she does the exact things you do to her.
Welcome to a haven of peace.