September 4

Today I took my father to the hospital for some health challenges he is facing.  Just two days ago, we remembered together the ten year anniversary of my mother stepping into Heaven.  These past two days have been a continuing roller-coaster of emotions, with most of them being the ones that you feel as you plummet from the peak down into the lower track.  However, there have been peaks.  I was just lying in bed, praying for my dad when a thought came to my mind that has driven me here for today’s (late) devotional. 

The book of Genesis gives the framework for a successful marriage.  “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).  This principle of leaving mother and father and cleaving to your partner is the ultimate key to a successful marriage.  As I have thought an incredible amount about what my father and mother have meant to the formation of my character, work ethic, and general common sense, I am so thankful for the family God placed me in.  However, there is a very simple, yet deep truth that many young couples need to learn.

I did not choose my parents … God chose them for me.  There are many children today who are in a constant attitude, if not action, of rebellion toward their parents.  It is vital that we realize that God placed us in the womb of our mother.  He chose the home we would be raised in.  Good or bad; attentive or negligent; Christian or non-Christian.  God placed you in the home He knew He could reach you best from!  We need to thank God for our parents, but there comes a day when we need to leave the safety of their home, and establish our own.  This is key to a successful marriage.

The second part of Genesis 2:24 is the cleaving.  That word means to be glued to something, or in this case, to someone.  Through good and bad; better or worse; riches or poverty; sick times and healthy times; when we “feel” like it and when we don’t.  Leaving this partner is not an option!  My father would give everything he has in this world to have my mother there to hold his hand tonight.  That is impossible presently.  One day, they will be reunited in Heaven (not as husband and wife – but as brother and sister in Christ).  The commitment of their lives to cleave to each other has left a mark on our family.  Our children have learned how to be good husbands and wives because of the commitment of their Pop Pop and Nana, and their Pop Pop and Grammy.  I am thankful that they decided to cleave when they could have decided to leave!

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