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Marriage God's Way - Leave & Cleave

By Michael Pearl


[music intro]

Michael Pearl:  Now, Genesis Chapter 2, Verse 24, "Therefore, shall a man leave his father and mother, shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh." This is an interesting Hebrew word. Again, this word, "cleave," it's Dabaq in Hebrew, and this "cleave" is used again, 54 times. 32 times, it's translated "cleave" in the English. It's translated five times, "follow hard." In other words, someone is running, and the other person is pursuing them, and is very close to catching them, very intent on catching them, and is right behind them, and will not slacken his pace, and is near to grabbing them, and stays with them, and won't let them out of sight. He's following hard after them.

Then it's translated "overtake" three times. In other words, they followed after the person until they grabbed them, and then "stick" three times, like two things sticking together, and then "keep fast." "Keep fast" is, if I said, "Hold this, and don't dare turn it loose," you'd be keeping it fast. Then it's translated "together," like this, two times, and "abide" one time, like, stay there, "don't leave him close" one time, and "joined" one time, and "pursued" one time, and "take" one time.

So all these together, what could we sum them up as? This word, "cleave," onto your wife, means, "Stay close together." It means, "Be inseparable." That means, "Mingle. Follow hard. Stay right close by. Cling fast. Hold onto. Don't turn loose. Be near to your woman."

God commanded that the man was to leave his father and mother, and cleave unto his wife only. Most men don't cleave to their wives, they just use them. Most men don't cleave to their wives, they just visit them. When we talk with women and gotten letters, do you know what perturbs a woman more than anything, and aggravates her, and destroys the marital relationship? It's her feelings of being used.

Women have a sense, many of them, that, "I am just being used." That's why many women turn away from physical intimacy with their husbands, because that becomes the expression of the ultimate act of being used. They no longer are courted or wooed. They're taken for granted, and being taken for granted, the man comes in ready, the woman is cold turkey, and I mean cold, and turkey, and she just can't catch up to his pace.

He might have been looking at something he shouldn't have been looking at, or thinking thoughts he shouldn't have been thinking, and he comes in primed, and she's not primed at all. In fact, she's a little bit ticked.

And now, he's making these aggressive demands. She looks at him and says, you're an alley cat, you're an animal! Now, my wife has looked at me and says, you're an animal...


...but there are times when they say, you're an animal and they don't any part of the man. Why? Because they feel used.

Now, we tend to think, well, they're not as interested in that aspect of it as we are. Yes, a woman can be, and should be when she's normal is just as interested as the man is. Can be just as aggressive, just as excited, and initiate it just as quickly and readily as the man and be able to be that way. And she ought not to be playing second fiddle. It's all right for her to tune the thing and strike out with the leading chord.

But we see the women in most cases backing off, cooling down, freezing up, and the men become more aggressive, more distant, and their visits become more hasty and unprepared, and they're more unwelcomed. And they say, well, she was OK before we got married. Maybe that was your problem now. Or, she was OK not long after we got married, wonder what's wrong now?

See, I cleave to mine all day long. In fact, I practice foreplay every waking hour. I can do it with my eyes. I can eat her with my eyes. I can love her from afar. I can touch her simply in public and know that she's not going to cool down, know that she's not going to freeze up. It's kind of like going about and turning the microwave on one minute about every ten minutes. So, when you really get ready to cook something, you know it's ready.

Are you understanding what I'm saying? I'm talking in parables because you're hard of hearing.


And so, those little ears which hear and should not understand will not understand. And if they're big enough to understand, it's OK.

[music outro]

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6 comments on “Marriage God's Way - Leave & Cleave”

  1. bravo...sadly it is too late in my entered on my wedding night & never left for 34 will destroy a woman to the core~you described me in this entire speech~trying to pick up the pieces & find normal~for the last two children to know joy in a new way~ pray for me as I continue to raise them for Christ & to guide them to find a suitable mate fit for them~

  2. I WILL have my husband listen to THIS alone instead of going to a marriage counselor. I don't think there are anymore complexities a man could add to it. The only thing I can think of is when Christ said a man should not "lust after a woman." We are STILL living in his grandparents home. I was lured in by my now current spouse and haven't left since. God designed me in a "stipper" look underneath it all but I have a mindset to be a community driven farm wife. Like the poster above, porn has destroyed his 1/2 brother's life and he is now in prison for showing children porn. My husband also had a problem with it before the marriage really got started.

    Living with the grandparents is driving me up the wall. I can't get a drink of water with out some nasty bitter nonsense and abusive vice under the grandmother's mouth. "Mr. Rod Ofcorrection" was stolen by the legally dependent grandparents. As we have three children who need very little correction from time to time. Who knows where that will lead. Thankfully husband is now making "enough" to get on his own two feet. Its a matter of time to see when he will actually use them.

    I feel like I am weeding through a garden of weeds up to my head. My heart is about to burst and in some cases I wish the God who created me would just take me home so I don't have to deal with this mess anymore.

    1. You need to be helping your husband not thinking of him as a loser who needs to man up. He cannot get there without you. Do not have the mindset to be... anything that your husband is not interested in. Grab your husband's dream of life, yes he probably does have one, and run with him. Sometimes guys have impractical wild ideas/dreams but with compassionate support, not always shooting him down, they start being able to balance out the impractical with the realistic.

      Don't get wrapped up in silly romantic notions about farm life, homesteading, or what have you, on your own. You will forever be butting heads with hubby or trying to win him to your point of view. A farm lifestyle will not fix your problems or make your family more Christian, less worldly or whatever you think it will fix. It is just a way of life that has tons of its own problems that idealistic writers never seems to write about.

      Have the fire and passion you want to see in your husband and he will eventually pick up on it. Be a drag who thinks he can and will never do anything or amount to anything and you will be miserable like my in-laws or divorced like my parents. You loved him enough to marry him. A man does not change to suit his wife when he thinks she is disgusted with him. Now love him enough to want the best for him and be willing to go through just about anything to help him get there.

      1. Thank you, Colleen G for the wonderful advice. I can attest to the effectiveness of finally respecting one's own husband as unto the Lord. Giving RESPECT goes a long way, especially when the flesh doesn't feel like it. God WILL honor obedience to His word.

        Also, I too, idealized living on a homestead and can testify to experiencing "tons of its own problems." We're now ready to give it all up-praying that God makes a way for us to leave soon without debt.

  3. My marriage is close to an end as a result of my husbands inability to leave and cleave. After we married his job took him an hour away from his mom, dad, brother, niece, and friends. It took him away from his church with all six people that go.....half of which are his family. He makes the hour journey on his days off to stay with friends and go to church with his family. Meanwhile, I keep the home, and grow this beautiful little boy inside of me.....our first child together. He chose a church for me to go to here as his family will not accept me at their church. You see, I am guilty of helping my husband get a well paying job in a larger town, and then finding a home closer to his work so he wasn't on the road 2 extra hours a day. I moved him away from his family and for that they will never forgive me, nor will they accept the baby I am carrying. Yesterday my husband called me from work and stated that his niece and brother had found him a job closer to home. He needed me to fill out the application online ASAP. I did as he requested. The job is a 60,000 pay cut, and we will really have to pinch pennies to make things work....or I will have to get a job to help make ends meet. That means daycare for the baby. We are not a young couple. My husband is 56 and I am 44. We prayed hard for the job he has now, and jobs at his age are few and far between. His best friends have told me that we would never make it unless he was willing to cut the apron strings from his mom and family. He tells people at the church I attend that he has to attend his family church because his mom will get mad if he does not. His family has come between every other relationship he has ever had. I am almost ready to throw in the towel. My family live 3 hours away, I can go there and live and have help with the baby, or try to stick it out here and get a job. I have lost respect for my husband. I know that is a bad thing, but to see this big ol man bowing down to the desires of his niece are driving me crazy. They desperately want him away from me.....he tells me that often. Thanksgiving he will spend with them...I'm not invited. A couple from church asked me to share the holiday with them. This is so hard. Is all I know to do is pray....but I am so weak....I want to be his number one. I want him to choose me. I hate that I am not enough for him to want to leave his family. How sad that this child may be born into a broken home.

  4. Dear Mike,

    I think you are right about many women not being interested in intimacy, because they feel taken for granted or worse yet, they feel used. However the last paragraph about teasing and touching your wife all day long, to make sure she will be ready at night, is a little it off.
    I think you should explane to the guys, the reason that women don't care much about sex is usually, because the husband is angry and harsh with them, demanding obedience. They don't feel that he is leading them spiritually and they don't feel protected. They feel like they just need to do a lot to make their man happy and they know that if they can't because sometimes things get to be too much, he gets impatient and angry instead of having compassion and helping them. In short, they do not feel cherished. I would appreciate it very much if you would write an article about that.
    Thank you for all the things you have written so far, it is usually very good and you have great insight.
    May God bless you and your ministry,

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