My husband and I are a part of a small group at our church. We love our time with these couples and the fact that our children get to have so many experiences with others who are being raised based upon the same values as them. We are so appreciative of their support, advice and simply their company. (And the free coffee they provide) 😉
This past week, we began a study on marriage following “A Biblical Portrait of Marriage” by Bruce Wilkinson. Clint and I had been anticipating this since our group dispersed for winter break and have really been looking forward to it, anything we can use that will make our marriage stronger, we’ll gladly partake in!
The first video Wilkinson spoke on “leaving and cleaving”. We returned home with a bit of homework to do (meaning discussion questions given to us by our group leaders), and our littles were preparing for bed so Clint and I chatted about the next topic, cleaving. We both knew this meant joining together but decided to look it up and see what exactly this meant biblically. We laughed because as Clint typed cleav into his phone, the first things that came up were “cleavage” and “cleavers”. I can just imagine a young couple trying to get a better understanding of what God meant by cleaving and being faced with the option of low cut shirts or a large kitchen knife used to completely sever items in half.
After we sorted through our results, my favorite definition was “to hold fast or draw together”. Hold fast to your spouse. I just like how that sounds. I have been thinking since we completed that online search how important this is to a marriage. And please don’t depart from this blog with the impression that I believe my marriage is perfect, I would much rather you go away with the notion that I’m very passionate about having a strong marriage and setting an example for others to see, especially my children. My husband and I love hearing stories from couples about how they worked through hard times and stuck together. It’s encouraging to hear from people who continuously chose each other when life got difficult. And those times happen, whether you and your spouse go through a situation that impacts you for the rest of your life or just your day, problems will arise. Our natural instinct when any problem arises is to leave. I know that when anyone hurts me; friend, family member, husband…my innate response is to protect myself and go. Anyone who has half a brain would choose to protect themselves over getting hurt, but this absolutely can’t be the case within a marriage. You have to be cleaved together so strongly that coming apart isn’t an option. I like to remember my grandfather’s response when I asked for his secret to being married for 50 plus years, without hesitation he simply said “leaving was never an option.” If you’re truly cleaved together and are drawn together as one…it’s pretty much impossible to tear you apart.
When I first got married I faced the problematic decision of sautering my rings together. They were from 2 different stores and therefore obviously weren’t sold together as a set. What if I didn’t like how my new ring looked? What if I changed my mind and didn’t want those two pieces of metal glued together? Can you even “un-sauter” something? Is that even a word? I finally decided to have that done and let me tell you, there is no taking them apart. They were both gorgeous individually but together they are stunning, stronger even, and if you were to attempt to take them apart, both rings would suffer some serious damage and would never be the same. Too often in marriages a situation arises and then someone leaves. They don’t leave for a few days or leave for a night, they are done, and they’ve decided their emotions need the ultimate protection and that their spouse will never be allowed to hurt them again . They both leave divorced, damaged and not ever the same. What is distressing about that is that if this happens, if when you face a trial you leave, then you weren’t ever really cleaved together in the first place. And to me that’s the most heartbreaking part of it all; if you didn’t in fact “hold fast and draw together” then your marriage never really had a chance in the first place. So, if you’re married, let’s work together in holding fast to our spouses and not being afraid to admit when tough times come because they do. I would love to hear any advice you have or stories about how you make your marriage work or have encouraged others to do so!
Genesis 2:24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.