LEAVE AND CLEAVE

T. PIERCE BROWN

Most of us are familiar with Genesis2:24, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Most of us probably realize that the principle applies to the woman as well as to the man. As we read that, our first thought was to emphasize the necessity of leaving and cleaving. Many persons, when they get married do not really leave mother and father, but still stay attached in a way that may be very detrimental to the marriage. Many others do not plan to cleave to their spouse. That idea of being glued or welded together (which is what this word means) so that no power on earth or in hell can separate them is absent from the plans of many who make marriage contracts.

My second thought is more important. It deals with the principle applied to Christ and His bride, the church. Since we are the bride of Christ, we should leave our attachments to former relationships and cleave to Christ. Remember that this cleaving is from the Greek, “kollao,” which means “to glue together, cement.”  This suggests a strong and abiding relationship that Christ suggested when he talked about the oneness we are supposed to have with him (John17:21-22). Many, when they come into fellowship with the church, bring along their former attachments to denominational doctrines and practices. We need to leave them and cleave to Christ.

It has been my sad observation that many that may be connected with Christ have that connection on the same basis that some husbands and wives do. That is, if they get to the place where they do not like it, and all things do not please them, they will break the connection, for they did not make any commitment to cleave in the first place. Jesus teaches that if you do not intend to stick like glue, you should not get connected in the first place. In Luke 9:62, he says, “No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for thekingdomofGod.”

So, as important is it is to leave and cleave in the marriage relationship, it is even more important in the spiritual relationship with Christ. I wonder how many of us have really taken seriously Jesus’ statement in Luke 14:33, “So therefore whosoever he be of you that renounceth not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” That “all that he hath” must be all allegiance to former false doctrines and practices as well as dependence on material things for happiness and welfare.

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