What Does it Mean to Cleave to Your Spouse?

Scripture suggests that marriage is to be a place of vulnerability and
transparency. In Genesis God says, “Therefore a man shall leave his
father and mother and cleave to his wife and they shall become one
flesh” (Genesis 2:24). The act of cleaving involves fully respecting
your mate, honoring him/her, knowing them and enjoying that intimacy.

Let’s look a little more closely at this issue and its application to us.

cleaving to your mate means being dedicated to them. Having said “I do”
means you are now dedicated to your mate. You have chosen to “forsake
others” and are investing your life in this relationship. You are
dedicated to keeping the relationship vibrant and healthy through being
intentionally caring, giving and sacrificially loving.

cleaving means ongoing exploration of who they are and how they are
unique. We never stop learning about our mate. We are on a never-ending
quest to fully understand and appreciate our mate. We experience joy and
excitement in this journey. To not do this leaves our mate feeling
profoundly neglected.

Third, cleaving means sharing with
your mate on a deep level.Dedication to our mate means we will know them
more fully and deeply than any other person. We study them because we
want to know them fully and deeply. Intimacy requires deep sharing,
transparency and vulnerability. To not do this leaves our mate feeling
deeply abandoned.

Fourth, cleaving involves mutual
submission. We gladly give of ourselves, our time, talent and treasures
to our mate. We listen to them and take a keen interest in what they
value. We are responsive to their needs and desires and understand this
to be a responsibility of marriage. To not engage in this mutual
submission leaves our mate very alone.

Finally, cleaving
means enjoying each other fully and exclusively. Relating to this ‘real
person’ is enjoyable. We delight in this relationship and are pleased to
offer our full selves to them. In return, they give themselves to us
and we enjoy a full and robust relationship. To not engage fully robs
our mate of a God-given joy.

[written by Dr. David B. Hawkins]


Tony Orji

Dr. Tony Orji is the founder and owner of Success Tonics Blog. He is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Economics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

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