Men: Make your marriage healthier by applying the Cleaving Principle
Today I’d like to look at a passage from Genesis chapter 2 – verse 24. After telling the account of how God made Eve from Adam’s side, Moses says…
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
The King James version words this a bit differently. Instead of saying that a man is to “hold fast” to his wife, the KJV says a man is to “cleave to his wife.”
This post is an excerpt from my book, “The Marriage Improvement Project“ – it’s a couple’s devotional with daily discussion questions to help you improve your marriage together!
Here is the dictionary definition:
CLEAVE – to catch by pursuit: – follow close (hard after), be joined (together), keep (fast), overtake, pursue hard.
The word clearly implies a chase or a pursuit – a seeking after. It reminds us of those long gone days of courtship.
Typically, it is the man who begins pursuing a young woman, showing off, trying to woo her, seeking to impress her. He does extra, special things for her (flowers, gifts, special notes or poems), and he might even give up some of his most treasured hobbies and things just to spend time with her or be near her. That is exactly the idea of the word “cleave.”
Ladies, can you recall those days?
It’s not uncommon for men stop chasing their wives shortly after they are married. It is as if once they “have” them, the excitement of the pursuit is gone. They lose sight of the beauty, caring heart, and loveliness of their bride that attracted them in the first place.
But there is no hint in this passage that the man is to ever stop pursuing his wife.
He doesn’t finish, get it done, or ever fully accomplish the task. This ongoing pursuit is what I’m referring to as the Cleaving Principle.
Today I want to highlight one main point the Cleaving Principle teaches:
1. The marriage relationship requires ongoing, intentional pursuit of the woman, by the man.
God’s instruction to the man to pursue the woman means that there is something in the pursuit, something that it communicates, that the woman needs to know.
When a man pursues his wife consistently, day after day, year after year, she knows in a very special way that he still loves her, still delights in her, and still wants to be with her above all others.
When he fails to do so, she may start to believe that he doesn’t care about her, isn’t interested in her life, and might even prefer someone else.[dropshadowbox align=”right” effect=”lifted-both” width=”250px” height=”” background_color=”#faf533″ border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]It’s not uncommon for men to stop chasing their wives shortly after they marry – prevent it in your marriage TWEET THIS[/dropshadowbox]Those kinds of doubts become a slow-poison to the relationship… and husbands are responsible to see to it that they are never injected into the marriage relationship in the first place!
Husbands, you need to develop (or re-kindle) a heart that consistently pursues your wife.
Here are some ways of looking at this aspect of the Cleaving Principle that may be helpful…
- Men tend to work at the relationship until it seems to be “in the bag” – then they get comfortable and take it for granted. But men, the relationship you have with your wife needs constant and continual attention and pursuit.
- Husbands, your wife not only desires for you to want her or to value her…she needs it. It is vital that she knows without a doubt that you want her, need her, respect her, and care about her. Doing this nourishes the deepest part of who she is as a woman. God made her to need those things and He made you to provide them!
- Remember that these types of needs are ones you agreed to meet when you married (remember those wedding vows?). With that in mind, it becomes an issue of being a man of your word. The same “desire” you had then, is to be stoked and kept alive throughout your married life. Getting married was the first of many steps of consistent pursuit…
It is your job, as the husband to “win her” again, and again, and again…