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What does it mean to leave and cleave? And why is this concept still important to marriages today?
When you get married, you have the best of intentions when it comes to setting up your new family. You try and please your in-laws, your friends, and of course, your spouse. But when you try and make everyone happy, chances are you’ll end up making no one happy. So how do you give your marriage the foundation it needs to thrive?
The Bible says “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24).
Leaving and cleaving doesn’t mean you cut off everyone in your life, but it does mean you set healthy boundaries for your marriage. If your family is loving and supportive, this won’t be a problem. If they aren’t, then you need to pray on this and talk with your spouse. Ultimately, when you marry you’re setting up a new family, and you need to honor that.
Make Your Own Traditions
Too often families can become territorial about celebrations, and this can put undue pressure on newlyweds. As a new couple, you’ll probably be pulled in several directions when it comes to holidays and birthday celebrations. While you want to balance out time spent with your families, you also need to make sure to nurture your new union. After all, the two of you are creating your own family now. Start a few traditions all on your own, and let your families know that they are welcome to join you. By shifting the focus from “this is what we’ve always done” to “here’s what happening now” it lets both sets of relatives know that while you want to remain part of the world they’ve helped build, you also want to start off on your own path.
Actively Change Your Thinking From “I” to “We”
Understand that getting married doesn’t mean you give up your individuality. It does; however, mean you are part of something bigger than just yourself, so keep that in mind when you make decisions. Before accepting social appointments, check with your mate to make sure he or she has not already scheduled something. When you find out you’ve got to fly out of town on business, pick up the phone and let your spouse know right away. Talk about limits in spending, time, and activities so you both are on the same page and won’t be needlessly taken by surprise.
Schedule Date Nights
Couples can sometimes get caught in the trap of pleasing their friends by trying to keep things the same way they were when they were single. Some friends aren’t going to be happy with the fact that you not only don’t have time to spend every weekend whooping it up or shopping, you probably don’t want to. New marriages can suffer when more time is spent nurturing friendships than in paying attention to your partner. Look at it this way, if your friend is true, he will understand the adjustment you need to make with this new change in your life. It’s not that you are giving up your friendships; you are just trying to get the right balance so your marriage has the best possible chance of thriving.
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