December 1, 2012

Some questions to ponder

A while back, a friend and I were discussing how we felt concerning the biblical idea of a man "leaving and cleaving" and what exactly did that mean, or how should it be applied in relationships today.

So, I have a question for the guys in our midst:

What is your understanding of the concept "leaving and cleaving?" How far would you move in order to marry someone? Is it always necessary for the guy to move out of state, in order to fulfill the dictum, or just to move out of his parents house? Should the girl ever "leave and cleave" i.e. move out of state, etc., in order to marry? What about sons and daughters who desire to live near their parents in order to carry out a multi-generational homestead, etc.?

And, gals, you are more than welcome to weigh in as well.


  1. Consider Isaac (Gen. 24). His father Abraham directed that he would bring his wife from afar to live in Canaan. Isaac seemed to continue to live with his family, bringing Rebekah into "the tent of Sarah his mother" (who had recently died). So, (1) I won't think that the guy should have to move a certain distance away from his parents, and (2) there are times when a girl can/should move some distance.

    I think to "leave" refers more to the idea of a creation of a new entity: the new family is just as much a family as the parent's family. My thought is that it specifies the man as leaving because it is he that is primarily starting a new jurisdiction.

    How much separation there should be between the new family and the parent's family probably depends on the situation (sometimes like Jacob's twelve sons, others like David). I do think that closer to home for both parties would generally be preferable, although it is very hard in today's transient society. There would be more opportunity for strong community, generational continuity, grandparent involvement, rootedness and long-term accountability, etc...

    Just some thoughts that came to mind.

    -Peter B.

  2. Thank you for weighing in Peter! Good thoughts, I appreciate your input. :)


Thank you for sharing!