Monday, October 29, 2012

Before You Say "I Do" - Norma Daulton

"Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother,  and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall become one flesh."  Genesis 2:24

Leave And Cleave
In order for a couple to have a strong marriage the husband and wife must be committed to walking in obedience to God's Word, maturing in the faith and being led by the Holy Spirit. When your life and your marriage is anchored in the Rock, Jesus Christ, the storms of life may shake you, but you will not sink in the sand or be washed away by a tidal wave.

The Agape Love of God is the glue that holds a marriage together. Human love alone will not ensure a strong marriage. God's Love must be implanted in us---'shed abroad in our heart by the Holy Spirit'-- before we can truly love our neighbor, our spouse and ourselves. As God's Agape Love is shed abroad in our heart, experienced, and His character and nature formed in our hearts, we take on the likeness of Jesus Christ. As this transformation takes place in our hearts, others experience His love as it flow out from us

Before two people can cleave to each other they must leave (give up) their independence. Marriage requires working together, and for independent people this can be difficult, because they tend to have "me first" attitudes. I once heard someone say, "Before you can have a good marriage, there has to be two funerals and a wedding."

Many young couples leave their parents' home physically, when they marry; but they still depend upon their parents to rescue them when they get into situations that are over their heads. Both, but especially the man, must leave behind dependence upon his parents. The umbilical cord must be cut in order for him to bond and cleave to his bride.

When God commanded the man to 'leave and cleave' He meant him to break the parent-child bond, to sever the tight emotionally dependent strings that have provided security, protection, financial assistance and physical needs. All or any of these ties with father and mother, if brought over into a marriage, will hinder the couple from maturing and having a strong marriage. The Creator of Adam (man) understood the importance of the man bonding to the woman, and how difficult it would be for him to step out from under the protective covering of his parents, especially the father, and assume the role of the leader.

The Scriptural command for man to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife was the first prophecy given in the Bible and is very significant. If "leaving and cleaving" is not a priority for the man and the woman it will be difficult for a couple to fulfill their roles to 'tend, guard and care for their garden' (home and each other). The kingdom mandate that God gave Adam and Eve was to rule and take dominion over all that he had created for them. Each son and daughter who has accepted Jesus as Savior and who has been filled with the Holy Spirit has been given all that they need to live productive lives in this earth age.

Leaving the Nest

I've done a good bit of study on Eagles and their relationship to babies and have found it a good lesson... for parents. The wise eagle begins to encourage and even push the little eagles out of the nest not long after birth. They teach them how to fly, find their own food and fight the enemy. Baby eagles will stay in the nest as long as the parents provide their food.

So many problems that occur during the adjustment period of marriage might be avoided, if sons and daughter were taught and prepared to assume their roles for which they were created. >From the time a son is weaned the parents should begin preparing him to live in accordance with God's Word, to become independent of them, and to begin exercising the dominion mandate given to each son. Daughters need to be taught how to be keepers of the home, to obey, respect, trust and love their husbands.

Young couples are not the only ones who have trouble with the 'leaving and cleaving'. Perhaps as one pastor said, the best wedding gift parents could give the happy couple is the solemn promise to release them to 'cleave and bond' to each other. This pastor went on to say " Maybe we should have the parents stand along side the couple during part of the wedding ceremony and pledge publicly to release their children unto God's loving care and to entrust their child into the care of the one they are marry." unquote

All of us need to be free in Christ Jesus to learn, grow and make mistakes! Experience makes faith in Jesus stronger. The apostle Paul gives every Christian a strong Word about remaining babies in Christ Jesus.

"...everyone that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them who are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." Hebrews 5:12-14

As the husband and wife are Spirit taught about Jesus and God's Word they draw closer to God, and have their 'sense' exercised to know good and evil. What a powerful lesson for every Christian, for parents and especially for young married couples.

Becoming One

When a man and woman make the commitment to leave their parents and cling to each other, they are on their way to fulfilling the third part of God's prophesy in Genesis..."they shall become one flesh."

Becoming one flesh suggest a process, not an instantaneous act. It means that for the rest of your married life you are to walk out your wedding vows. Two people with different background, temperaments, habits, feelings, parents, education, pursuits, interest, gifts, and talents, don't leave a wedding ceremony in perfect unity. Building a Christian relationship with your spouse, building a home, and raising children to the glory of God is a life-long commitment It requires wisdom, understanding and knowledge which comes from the Creator of man/woman and of a biblical marriage. The process of becoming one requires that both parties are Spirit taught---the principles of Truth that Jesus taught--- guided and led in by the Holy Spirit in all their affairs.

Unity does not mean uniformity

God brought Eve to Adam... not to become another Adam, but to be distinct, unique, obviously different, but to complement him. Uniformity occurs in donut shops, or in Detroit on long assembly lines. Becoming one flesh does not mean laying down your individuality. The whole idea of mutual acceptance, giving, listening, forgiving, belonging and direction is what unity is all about. God made male and female with different attributes and capabilities. One is incomplete without the other. But, together they are whole (complete, one).

Becoming presents the picture of sharing all one is with their mate, so that both are expanded and made more complete, not changed. It is the picture of total unselfishness...two people giving what they possess to "fulfill" the needs of the other. A couple surrounded by the security of commitment to each other, the acceptance brought by mutual love, respect and unity of purpose and goals, and the joys of personal intimacy will surely have a heavenly union.

Security Is Implied in the Word 'Cleave'

The Hebrew term 'cleave' means to 'glue' or to 'cling.' The man is the one God commands to 'cleave' to his wife. In other words, the man is to 'glue' himself to his wife. God knew that the wife would need, more than the young man, to feel safe and secure. A young girl, leaving the safe confines of her parent's home and protection, must transfer her dependence from her parents, especially her father, to the man she is marrying. For her to do this, the girl needs to feel safe and secure in the knowledge that her husband will always have her best interest at heart. >From a woman's point of view, being 'glued' to her husband means her husband will guard her, keep her safe from harm, and will protect her from situations that could be harmful for her. The husband is the Protector of the Home, his wife and children.

Being secure is important to a woman, but the deepest desire of every woman is to know, without doubt, that she holds first place in the heart of her husband, a place no other woman will hold. The apostle Paul teaches us in Ephesians 6 that the man is to love his wife as (or like) Christ loved the church... He died for Her. That is security of the highest level. And deep with in each woman there is the desire to be secure in the knowledge that her husband will without a doubt give her first place in his heart, and that he will love her until death do they part.

Trust Your Husband To God

Just as it is important for the woman to have security and be deeply loved, the man on the other hand needs to feel that his wife trusts him to make decisions that are in the best interest of the family. There is deep satisfaction in providing for one's family. Providing, food, clothing, and shelter are easier, when a man is appreciated, and encouraged in his role as Provider. The husband must learn how to walk in the Dominion Mandate that God gave to Adam (and Christian men today) and as he learns to fulfill God's dominion mandate, he needs the trust, confidence and support of a loving wife.

So, while it is important for a woman to feel secure, protected and loved as Jesus loves His Church, the man on the other hand needs to have the trust of his wife and be encouraged to follow Jesus as he fulfills his role as head of the home. The young bride (and us older brides) must submit to her husband's leadership... to make decisions for her spiritual and physical well-being. For a man to exercise the dominion and authority given to him by God, he must be free to be led by the Holy Spirit.

Bail Out Marriages

` Commitment is a rare and precious thing these days. `

After marriage is not the time to discover your role and commit to it... do it before you say " I Do". If you do not make this commitment in your heart, to God, and to your mate, you may do as so many others have done... bail out when things get rough.

Today's divorce rate is may be due to the fact that young men and women are not being taught in the home and in church that God intends marriage to be a state of permanence. Many young couples enter marriage with the idea in the back of their minds that if things go wrong, of if they are not satisfied with their mate, they could bail out. First of all, they have not cut the umbilical cord to their parents, or possibly friends, and they do not think in terms of "permanent relationships". They make provision for their flesh.

Vows, commitments and promises are not important to a vast majority of Christians today... in particular to married couples. If Christian couples would believe God's Word and understand that when the Eternal Father says, "Til death do ye part", He means you are to stay together until one of you die. Unfortunately 'till death do ye part' is a mere formality to many who utter these vows before God, Pastor and attending guests during the wedding ceremony.

It is becoming 'ole fashioned' to establish permanent bonds. Men and women often crave and seek after "independence" ---being free in other words to live their lives free of rules and constraints. More and more 'til disagreement do we part', or 'till other interests do we part' are the temporary bonds many seek in a marriage relations... An escape hatch. Permanent relationships, with Jesus, our spouse, with friends, others in the body of Christ are not sought because some prefer short-term relationship with an escape route provided when the going gets rough.

Wars Are Not Won By Evacuation

Sir Winston Churchill stated his philosophy in six words---"Wars are not won by evacuations." And that was how Sir Winston lived. While other voices shouted, "Surrender", he refused to be moved, but stood firm. While cities were devastated, bridges fell, buildings crumbled, and his people were dying, yet, Winston Churchill refused to be budged.

I'd like to say that marriages are not won by evacuation or surrender to the world's philosophy of love and marriage. They are won by following the letter (Bible) that God has given to us. Learning the kind of courage that Sir Winston Churchill demonstrated began as a young man, no doubt in the home. And the same is true of your young children--- as mom and dad teach their children the precepts of God's Word and show them how to walk in these precepts. Courage begins in the home and spreads out into the church, community, and government. Surrender to the enemy of our souls is never an option, if we are to become Overcomers in the Kingdom of God.

I would like to leave you with the words of a Pastor spoken during a particular wedding ceremony. "The Bible teaches that marriage between a husband and wife is a powerful force. Outside the power of the redeeming grace of Jesus Christ that brings a person from death to life, from darkness to light, from self to selflessness, from doubt to faith, from uncertainty to assurance, there is nothing more visibly powerful than the genuine love of a man and woman in Christ Jesus. That power gives order to a church, household, a community, and a nation. Without it, the whole fabric of society would be chaos. With it, churches, homes, communities, institutions and nations have a comprehensive unifying factor that is their greatest strength."

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