Leave & Cleave: Leaving Home and Making Another

by - September 25, 2018

The morning after J and I got married was the start of our lifetime together. I found myself medicated due to a full blown flu with my energy close to zero after the wedding ceremony adrenaline had receded. It was not the most glamorous way to start forever but it was also a great start for us to respect our health and take care of each other.

Saying goodbye

With a few days before leaving for our honeymoon, we still had to pack the rest of my things and be smart about what to take with me, what to leave behind, and what to discard and say goodbye to.

Packing my things was also a challenge as I planned to bring a few clothes, some toiletries, books, and gadgets that must fit a 30 kg box to be sent to our future home address. The younger me would've been heavy-hearted to leave most of my things behind. But my somewhat mature self did manage to shift through the whatnots and piled them for trash, recyclables, or to giveaway.

Having a now-married mindset helped and made it easier for me to let go and say goodbye to things that I can not see beneficial to my husband and I. I tried not to make space for things just for the heck of taking things with me. If it meant that some of my belongings will occupy space that was meant for both Josiah and me to enjoy, it was easily discarded.

Leaving and cleaving

Getting married and leaving home was simultaneous for both J and I. Having secured a rental a month prior to our wedding to wait for us was a comfort. There was an empty shell waiting for us to start and make it our home.

"Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.", Genesis 2:24

In my younger years, I have always thought that leaving home after getting married was the most natural thing to do and is what is required in society.

In Genesis chapter 2, however, God created Adam first, and then Eve and brought Eve to Adam. He ordained that they would be joined together in holy matrimony and the two of them would become one flesh. This is a picture of marital intimacy—the act of love that is never to involve anyone else. Hence, why we leave our family and behavior of singleness that will get in the way of the marriage. Leave and cleave simply means to physically leave the home you grew up in, and put your single life behind to move forward to a future with your spouse.  It is not cutting ties, not speaking to parents or siblings, or never seeing them again. It is separating yourself from the dynamics of your families and your season of singlehood to start a newly married family life.

It's not easy

J and I struggled in our first few months of marriage having prioritized other things over each other.  We were wired being single for such a long time that it took a while for us to shake that off. It would be like that almost for everyone - and that is just normal.

We were fortunate to start our season leaving our homes and our families. However, it  is not always the case for everyone. Leaving the physical home may be difficult to some with a sick or dependent family member, or with financial constraints. This set-up is very familiar to the Filipino families ties where extended families are a welcome set-up.

“For everything there is a season.” Ecclesiastes 3:1.
“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time.”,  Ecclesiastes 3:11

This short-term transition could last a few weeks, months to years into marriage. Though this does have benefits and can be ideal to some, its downside may pose threats to the marriage at some point and is encouraged make it a transitional season and eventually leave and cleave in time.

and it  takes work & time

We've only been married for a year, and we know that this transition may require a lot of trial and error for us to know what works.

There is no short-cut to leaving and cleaving. There will always be challenges and hiccups along the way. While we were fortunate enough to find a home in a rental, some may not have the liberty to leave home right after the wedding, a few may find it difficult to cut loose from social responsibilities, or others find it unnatural to prioritise the spouse and marriage over singleness in the early stages of the marriage.

The “leave and cleave” in the marriage bond is also a picture of the union God wants us to have with Him. “Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him” (Deuteronomy 13:4 KJV). However, it is not in us to do it alone.  His instruction to leave father and mother in order to live as one with our spouse and root our trust and security in Him, just as He intended, has always been God’s plan for us. When we follow God’s plan, we are never disappointed and His faithfulness is evident on the answered prayers through guidance and acceptance of our family, provisions and resources to move out of the parents home, and His generosity and love to make it a reality for us.

lisa marie.

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