Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Love Corner: Love and Marriage

Published:Monday | December 21, 2015 | 12:00 AMCathy Risden

A man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

- Genesis 2:24

This verse is God's original blueprint of how marriages are supposed to work. It involves a tearing away and knitting together. It reconfigures existing relationships while establishing a brand-new one. Marriage changes everything.

Love Corner reminds you that once you are married, living together is important. There may be circumstances that may cause married couples to live apart, initially, but eventually they have to live together to have a stable family.

Are you and your spouse still living with unresolved issues because of a failure to cut the apron strings? Do either of your parents continue to create problems within your home - perhaps without their even knowing it? What needs to happen to put a stop to this before it creates too wide a division in your marriage? Decisions about the union need to be made in the union.

'Leaving' means that you are breaking a natural tie. Unity is a marriage quality to be guarded at great cost. The purpose of 'leaving', of course, is not to abandon all contact with the past, but rather to preserve the unique oneness that marriage is designed to capture. Only in oneness can you become all that God means for you to be in your union.

If you are 'too' close to your

parents, then the singular identity of your marriage will not be able to come to flower. You will always be held back, and a root of division will continue to sprout new shoots into your relationship. It won't go away unless you do something about it. For without 'leaving', you cannot do the 'cleaving' you need - the joining of your hearts that's required to experience oneness.

'Cleaving' carries the idea of clinging to someone as your new rock of refuge and safety. This man is now the spiritual leader of your new home, tasked with the responsibility of loving you 'just as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her' (Ephesians 5:25). This woman is now one with you, called to "see to it that she respect her husband" (Ephesians 5:33).

As a result of this essential process, you are now free to become everything God meant when He declared you 'one flesh'.

It's hard - extremely hard - when the pursuit of oneness is one-sided. Your spouse may not be interested at all in recapturing the unity you had at first. Even if there is some desire on his or her part, there may still be issues between you that are nowhere close to being resolved.

But if you continue to keep a passion for oneness at the forefront of your mind and heart, your relationship, over time, will begin to reflect the inescapable 'one flesh' design. You don't have to go looking for it. It's already there.

Is there a 'leaving' issue you haven't been brave enough to conquer yet? Confess it to your spouse today, and resolve to make it right. The oneness of your marriage depends upon it. Follow this with a commitment to your spouse and to God to make your marriage the top priority over every other human relationship.

Leave, and cleave, and dare to walk as one.

cathy.risden@gleanerjm.com