In This Corner

"My husband wants counseling so he can have someone in his corner."

"My wife wants to go to counseling just so she can have someone on her side."

Can you hear the cry of desperation in the hearts of these spouses?


Every day we hear from couples/spouses seeking counsel. Sometimes they are in agreement, they'd like to come to counseling together. Often times we'll hear from a spouse who desperately wants marriage counseling, but won't commit to it because they feel their spouse's motivation is misplaced, as in the quotes above. Both spouses are missing it...the cry of their hearts was placed there by God. It is the desire for oneness in marriage.

It goes back to Genesis, when God created the means to have someone in your corner and on your side in marriage.

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. ~Genesis 2:24

The desire God has placed in your heart lines up with the covenant you made on your wedding day, to become one in marriage through the process of leaving, cleaving and becoming one. What does that mean? Let's break it down:

LEAVE: The first responsibility is to establish independence from your parents. Naturally, having spent 18 +/- years of varying dependence upon our parents for the necessities of life (food, shelter, clothing, stability, values, etc.), leaving seems counter cultural- you've learned all your life that "blood is thicker than water". But God designed it so that as you make your marriage vow, you are saying that you are cutting the cord of dependency and allegiance to your parents, just as the doctor cut the umbilical cord when you were born. This means that you've joined a team of three- you, your spouse and God. Your spouse is your go-to person her on earth- the first person you go to with your needs (after God). You must always honor your parents, but must put your spouse first in your life (after God)- it is essential that your spouse is the PRIMARY relationship in your life. You cannot have oneness with your spouse and with your parents.

The degree to which you leave is the degree to which you can cleave. - FamilyLife Weekend to Remember

CLEAVE: The second responsibility is to establish a commitment to one another. It's funny, for the first twelve years of our marriage, I had NO idea what it meant to cleave. I thought "cleave? I get to use a knife?" Nothing could be further from the truth- to cleave means to stick like glue, a permanent bond that can't be broken. Cleaving involves walking out the three promises you made on your wedding day- to stay married forever, to love and care for each other and to be faithful to each other. Love is not based on feelings or emotions, "love is to will another person's good" as Elisabeth Elliot says. Did you know that God created you with a need that only your spouse can fill? Your spouse is able fulfill this need as you choose to receive your spouse as God's perfect provision for you, as you focus on God's character and His goodness in providing your spouse, and as you receive your spouse based on God's goodness, not on your spouse's performance. Oneness grows as we receive our spouse as our perfect provision from our perfect God.

BECOME ONE FLESH: The third responsibility is to establish intimacy with one another. All right, this means sex, right? Well, becoming one flesh is more than that, it's the process of becoming a more as a couple than you could ever be as individuals.  Oh yes, physical intimacy and sex is an expression of this ultimate oneness, but is is so much more. Oneness is the daily embracing of God's purposes and plans for your marriage. It is the changing of pronouns in your marriage from "he", "she", "his" and "hers"  to "us" and "ours."

Your spouse is not your enemy. -FamilyLife Weekend to Remember

That is the cry of your heart. Your spouse was created to be the person in your corner, the one who is on your side. You were created to "have your spouse's back". You and your spouse in your marriage is the world's smallest battle formation. It is the cry of God's heart that you stop fighting IN your marriage and start fighting FOR your marriage. If you need help to get back on the same side with your spouse so you can fight the culture and not each other, get the help. Check out resources like those in our Marriage Toolbox. Find a local biblical counselor. Get understanding.

Which of these responsibilities have been toughest for you?


Dove recording artist Sarah Groves, Beverly Weeks and I will share from own personal struggles and how you can be set free from your bondage in the name of JESUS! That's not all! We will have over 50 vendors on site with shopping, a concert and a TONS of PRIZES!!!! Tickets are on sale at Bring your church groups! Bus and van parking is available!

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