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How to Do Marriage Right | What it Means to Leave and Cleave

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
March 27, 2023 3:00 am

How to Do Marriage Right | What it Means to Leave and Cleave

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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March 27, 2023 3:00 am

Every so often, we hear stories of married couples who’ve been together for 60 years! Sometimes 70 years! Remarkable! And then we hear about Hollywood couples. One couple lasts 56 hours. Yeah, basically a weekend. So what are the attributes of marriages that last, and what causes a marriage to fail? Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us find the answers from the manual written by the Creator of marriage. Good insight is ahead!

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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A New Beginning
Greg Laurie
A New Beginning
Greg Laurie
A New Beginning
Greg Laurie

You're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners. For more ways to deepen and challenge your spiritual walk, enroll in Pastor Greg's free online courses.

Sign up at To have a marriage at work requires you to do two essential things. What are they? You are to leave and you are to cleave. You sever and you bond. You loosen and secure.

You depart from and attach to. Coming up today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out the right way to build a marriage covenant that will flourish and stand the test of time. The husband's primary commitment must be to his wife and hers to him. Every so often we hear stories of married couples who've been together for 60 years. Sometimes 70 years.

Remarkable. And then we hear about Hollywood couples. One couple lasted 56 hours.

Yeah, basically a weekend. So what are the attributes of marriages that last and what causes a marriage to fail? Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us find the answers from the manual written by the creator of marriage.

Good insight is ahead. Quick poll. How many of you are married? Raise your hand. A lot of married people. How many of you are happily married? Raise your hand. About the same.

Close. How many of you are single? Raise your hand.

How many of you who are single want to get married? Raise your hand. Okay. Not as many. So that's okay. I'll talk about that in a few moments.

How many of you who are married wish you were single again? No, don't. No.

Okay. So I heard about a mom and her five-year-old daughter that curled up in the couch watching Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs together. The little girl had never seen this movie before. She could hardly wait to tell her dad all about it. So daddy gets home and the little girl tells her dad the whole story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

And then she talks about the part where the prince comes and kisses her and she comes back alive again. And then the little girl says, daddy, you know what happened then? No, in fairy tales he said, well, then they lived happily ever after.

The little girl said, no, daddy. Then they got married. So sometimes people think marriage can be like a fairy tale.

We have this vision of love that has been given to us by movies, rom-coms, television shows, and other things where we think our prince is going to come to us riding on a white horse or our beautiful wife is going to come to us on the beach at sunset running toward us in slow motion. And then the little girl comes to us in slow motion. That is how we will know it is her.

She is going in slow motion. Right? But I don't really believe in fairy tales. We won't live happily ever after. But the question is can we live happily even after? You know sometimes people say they have a marriage made in heaven, which is a nice sentiment. But does that mean other people have a marriage made in hell? I mean if you have a happy marriage, if you have a strong marriage, a marriage made in heaven so to speak, that is because you have applied yourself. If your marriage is hurting that is probably because you have neglected things to make it that way. It has been said marriage is like a three ring circus. Engagement ring, wedding ring, and suffering. Now I hope that is not the case for you. Because we want to do marriage right.

I have seen it done wrong far too many times. As you know my mother was married and divorced seven times. And she had a bunch of boyfriends in between her husbands. And as I watched that life of my mom I knew that was not the life I wanted to live.

But stats tell us if you come from a divorced home it is a far higher possibility that you yourself will end up divorced. But thank God Kathy and I are getting ready to celebrate 50 years of marriage. Heard about a couple that was celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

Friends and family were gathered. The husband stood up in front of everyone and said, my dear wife I want to say after 50 years you have been tried and true. Well the problem was his wife was a little hard of hearing. So she said what? He said, my dear wife after 50 years I found you tried and true.

She shot back, well after 50 years I am tired of you too. Look we need to do this God's way. He has shown us how to have a strong and lasting marriage. But there are people that think they can change the way marriage is structured or how it should work. A survey of millennials found that 43 percent of them would support what is called a beta marriage model. Which means you would test the relationship for two years before deciding to commit or dissolve. And then at the end you negotiate and see if you want to remain married. This is so stupid on a number of levels. Here is the bottom line. People think living together is a good way to determine as to whether or not a marriage will work. Let me say this. If you want to undermine a potentially strong marriage live together outside of marriage.

You say well why do you say that? Well number one the Bible tells us clearly that we should make that commitment before we enter into a sexual union with someone. But studies show the same thing. Couples who live together are gambling and losing. In 85 percent of the cases many believe the myth that a trial marriage can work. But actually it is more like a trial divorce where eight out of ten couples will break up before the wedding or afterwards in divorce. So it is like how to sabotage a marriage. Live together. So I know I am talking to someone who is living together.

Stop. You need to make an immediate change in that area if you want to have a strong and lasting marriage. I wish we could take this word divorce and strike it from our vocabularies.

Wedlock should be a padlock. The Bible gives us all the information we need to know about how to have a strong marriage. And a lot of us aren't even aware of what it says. So there are so many passages I could turn to. But I am going to start with Ephesians chapter five. So turn there with me if you would.

Ephesians chapter five. And while you are turning there it is amazing to me that people will think so much about a wedding and think so little about a marriage. You can spend so much on weddings now.

It is unbelievable. My wedding cost like $15. It was like a hippie wedding you know.

So it was pretty inexpensive. But people will think so much about the wedding. What about the marriage. Or they will put so much thought into purchasing a house.

But they won't give any thought to building a home. And that should really matter. So here we have a foundational truth about marriage in Ephesians five verses 31 to 33. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery Paul writes but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his wife as himself and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Here is point number one if you are taking notes. God created marriage. God created marriage.

It wasn't Adam's idea. It was God's idea. Before God created the church. Before God created the state.

Before God created the school. Before God created any of these things he created marriage. That tells us something. That tells us that marriage is the very foundation of the family. And the family is the very foundation of the nation. As marriage goes so goes the family. As the family goes so goes the nation.

And that is why our nation is in so much trouble right now. Because of the breakdown of the family. And why is there a breakdown in the family? Because Satan hates what God loves. God loves us. He created marriage for us. Satan knowing the power that marriage has and the strong family has on a nation has done everything he can to undermine it. You know it is worth noting that the devil doesn't even enter the scene until Eve is created. I am not blaming it on Eve. But I am saying as soon as a man and a woman come together the devil steps right in and goes ok we have got to put a stop to this. We can't have this.

That is when the attacks begin. So we need to do it God's way. As my friend James Merritt says and I quote if you are in a bad marriage it is not because God had a bad idea. Marriage is his ideal idea.

The problem is we got married and we turn an ideal into an ordeal and then we want to look for a new deal end quote. See we have gotten away from God's original plan. The Bible begins with a wedding in the book of Genesis and it ends with a wedding when the bride and the bridegroom are joined together. So this first marriage of Adam and Eve is effectively a model for every marriage. Here is what Adam said in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 2 23 after God created Eve. This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.

She shall be called woman because she was taken out of man. You know when we think of the Garden of Eden we might almost think of it as a fictitious place. A fairy tale destination sort of like Camelot or Neverland or Atlantis. But Eden was a real place. And it had real people and real events took place there. Now think of all the gorgeous places you have ever seen.

Or maybe even a photograph of an exotic location you would like to visit one day. Eden surpassed all of those things. It was absolute perfection. Adam's job before Eve was created was to discover the secrets that God had placed in the garden. To just enjoy fellowship with the Lord. And as wonderful as that was something was missing in Adam's life. And to be more specific someone was missing. I mean the animals are great but Adam needed a companion like him. And over and over in the book of Genesis we see the Lord creating things and saying it was good. It was good.

It was good. And then God looks at the loneliness of Adam in Genesis 2 18 and he says it's not good. So I'm going to make a helper comparable to him.

Comparable to him. So someone who would assist him or help him reach fulfillment. So God created Eve. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. So many listeners have commented on the help they receive from these daily messages. God's word ministers to them.

And it often gets them through some of their darkest hours. Pastor Greg four years ago I was heartbroken when my husband went to be with the Lord. I prayed for God's comfort and for him to restore me and draw me closer to him. He led me to the sermons you gave a couple of years after your son Christopher went to heaven. I listened over and over and over to your messages as I mowed the lawn planted flowers and worked around the house.

You use your gifts so well and I am very grateful. Last fall my mom broke her leg and my dad went to heaven. But through it all your messages continue to be so helpful and comforting. Thank you Pastor Greg. If you have a story to share why not call us and let us know.

Here's the number one eight six six eight seven one one one four four eight six six eight seven one eleven forty four. Well we're looking to God's word today in Pastor Greg's message how to do marriage right. Let's continue. Point number two to have a marriage that works requires you to do two essential things. Again to have a marriage that works requires you to do two essential things.

What are they? You are to leave and you are to cleave. That's from right there. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife or cleave to his wife. In verse five the Hebrew word for leave is often translated abandoned as an abandoned ship. So the idea is the man must abandon the ship of his parents and the daughter the same and the two of them must get into their own little ship called marriage. Now you're still a son to your parents or a daughter to your parents or a sister or brother but now a new family has formed and this new family this new union between a man and a woman must take precedence over all other family relationships. The closest relationship outside of marriage is specified here a son to his parents. So now this is the new family unit and the primary responsibility now is to be a good husband or a wife and in time to be a good father or a mother.

The husband's primary commitment must be to his wife and hers to him. So it's finding that right person. Heard about a guy that is having a hard time finding his wife because his mom didn't approve. Found a girl he brought her home mother didn't like her. Found another girl brought her home mother didn't like her either. So he goes out and finds a girl that looks like his mother, dresses like his mother, talks like his mother, brings her home. Now the father didn't like her so that's a problem. So leaving a man will leave his father or mother that means you give other relationships a lesser degree of importance.

That includes best friends and that certainly precludes close relationships with members of the opposite sex because now you're married and now that could be a potential conflict down the road. So you leave and then you cleave. That's King James. You're joined together in a union. This word here for cleave means to glue or to cling.

So the idea is like let's say you're climbing up the face of a mountain. You're holding on tightly so it's something you're holding on to each other. You're not stuck together. You are holding on to each other so you leave and you cleave. You sever and you bond.

You loosen and secure. You depart from and attach to and your spouse should be your best friend. That's so important because marriage really starts with a friendship and it should always be that friendship. You're not just business partners or lovers or parents or all the other things that you do. You are hopefully first and foremost friends.

How well do you know your spouse? There's an interesting verse to Malachi 2 13. It says the Lord has been witnessed between you and the wife of your youth to whom you have been faithless although she is your companion and wife.

Interesting. She's your companion and wife and the word companion can be translated one you are united with in thoughts goals plans and efforts. By the way that's why you only want to marry a Christian. Look marriage is hard enough being married to a Christian.

Okay let's be honest about this. It's challenging. It's hard. But to marry a non-believer how can you be united with a non-believer in thoughts goals plans and efforts?

The answer is you can't unless the believer is disobeying God and is aligning themselves with the values of the non-believer. But this is very important. You're united together and if you don't do this right it will hinder your prayer life. Listen to this husbands. First Peter 3 7 says husbands dwell with your wife with understanding giving honor to the wife as to the weaker vessel as being heirs together of the grace of life so your prayers will not be hindered. Wait what? What? In other words God is saying if you don't do this right husbands if you don't love your wife as you ought to if you're not united with her if you're not giving honor and respect to her your prayers will be hindered.

So if you feel like your prayers have been been going anywhere lately maybe there this is one of the reasons you see. And by the way to dwell with your wife doesn't mean to just live with her. It actually means to be aligned to and to give maintenance to. You got to give maintenance to a marriage. Just like you have to give maintenance to a car. And the problem is is you know you buy a new car and you know when you buy that new car you make all these vows. I will never eat food in this car. I will wash this car every week. I will maintain this car and then a month goes by and then a year goes by and then three years go by and you're shuttling the kids back and forth and and you've done all the things you said you would never do. And you've neglected the engine and you haven't changed the oil and you haven't done the things that you need to do to keep a car running and then the car starts sputtering and breaking down. Or even worse you say I'm tired of this old car. I want to get a new car. Right. Or you might say I'm tired of this old marriage and I want to get a new marriage.

I want a new person. No what you need to do is maintain the old car if you will and turn it into a classic. You know when you see that. When you see a perfectly restored car cruising down the road it's a thing of beauty. I used to have a 1957 Bel Air. Now some of you know what that is. Had the continental kit. That means that oh it just was decked out.

Gold trim. It's super cool. Problem was no one wanted to drive with me in this car. I would say to Kathy let's go out for a drive. Oh Greg I don't like it. I feel like we're in a parade.

Okay. I pick up my son Jonathan after he surfed. Dad do you have to bring that car. Everybody is looking at us. The only person I could get to drive in that car was my dog. So me and the dog had a night out.

You know kind of sad. But that thing was in perfect running order. Original parts.

Matching numbers. Everything. Then I sold it.

I regretted it afterwards. But it's a beautiful thing to see a perfectly restored car. And it's even a more beautiful thing to see a perfectly restored functioning marriage that has gotten stronger not weaker with the passing of time. So maintain. Maintenance. You know we have something in our car called an idiot light. Maybe we need idiot lights in our marriage. Little warning. Husbands love your wife. When's the last time you told your wife you loved her. Or wives respect your husband. Stop nagging him. You know little warnings.

That'd probably be a pretty good thing. C.S. Lewis put it this way. And I quote. He said people get from books.

And I would add from movies and TV as well. People get from books the idea that if you married the right person you may expect to go on being in love forever. And as a result they find they are not.

Now they think this proves that they made a mistake and they're entitled to a change. Not realizing that when they have changed the glamour will presently go out of the new love just as it went out with the old one. Lewis concludes in this department of life as in every other thrills come at the beginning and do not last.

But if you go through with it the dying away of the first thrill will be compensated for by a quieter more lasting kind of interest. End quote. Very well said. So you hang in there.

Good quote from C.S. Lewis as Pastor Greg Laurie brings us today's message how to do marriage right. Currently here on A New Beginning we're presenting Pastor Greg's family series called Am I Doing This Right? You know Pastor Greg when my grandson was small and was watching a movie on TV where the little boy in the film rode his bike up to the front porch of a house you could sort of see my grandson perk up and go running to the front door of our house to see the little boy on the bike.

You know fantasy and reality had sort of emerged in his mind. But kids are surrounded by fantasy fiction type things about heaven. How do we train young minds to see heaven as a real place? Yes that's a great question and and there are so many distorted views of heaven in movies and television and even cartoons and things that kids watch and maybe they're scared of heaven or they don't understand heaven and that's why we're offering a very special book this month to our listeners for their gift of any size called Heaven for Kids written by my friend Randy Alcorn who happens to be with us right now. So Randy why is it important to teach our kids about heaven and will this book help a parent or a grandparent to do so or even if a kid got his hands on this book will it be understandable to them now?

Yes yes and I think it will be very helpful. We have had the benefit over the years of receiving many many letters from kids. We just recently posted a letter from it seems like it was an eight-year-old. The book is written for you know the target audience is eight to twelve-year-olds but there have been six-year-olds that have read it, five-year-olds that have really enjoyed it, there have been teenagers that have read it and enjoyed it and there's been adults. There's actually a group of men in a men's group that read Heaven for Kids together and the idea was they thought well you know the big book I don't know there's a little too much for us but man we love the kids book you know and so what I'd say about it too is there's a lot in the book that simplifies that takes maybe deeper concepts and and makes them more simple for the benefit of kids and that group of men who studied it through as well but you know it's also I think just a thing that's so important that kids in their own way of thinking are able to hear stories and that's why I quote from the Chronicles of Narnia extensively throughout the book and tell little stories from Narnia and quotes from C.S.

Lewis and what he had to say in the Narnia books because they can relate to the main characters of those stories who are children so yeah I think it's it's been very helpful we've we've gotten lots of letters from kids who have read the book in other languages and it's it's just been so fun to see kids reactions. That's fantastic so Dave tell our listeners how they can get a copy of Heaven for Kids. Yeah we'd be glad to send this book your way. It's such a great resource for parents and grandparents, babysitters, even gift a copy to your church's lending library. We're making Heaven for Kids available to thank you for your investment in the work we do each day here on A New Beginning. We're 100% listener supported.

It's the only way we can cover the costs of bringing these studies your way. So thanks so much for your generosity and be sure to ask for Heaven for Kids. We'll only be mentioning this resource a short time longer so get in touch right away.

You can call us at 1-800-821-3300. Call anytime around the clock at 1-800-821-3300 or go online to Well next time more biblical insights from Pastor Greg as he continues his message called How to Do Marriage Right. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and bible teacher Greg Lord. Hey everybody thanks for listening to this podcast. To learn more about Harvest Ministries follow this show and consider supporting it. Just go to And to find out how to know God personally go to and click on know God.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-27 05:16:12 / 2023-03-27 05:26:00 / 10

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