How to Leave & Cleave: What is Differentiation?

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How to leave & cleave 5: Differentiation

QR Code Workbook – Process – Pray 

Genesis 2:24-25 (KJV cf. Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:5-9; Ephesians 5:31) – Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Leave & Cleave Options chart (pg 7) 

(workbook) “Differentiation is the process where a person goes from being a child who is a member of a family to an adult who is ready to have their own family.” 

  1. Counselors – “Cornerstone Concept” 
  2. Bible – “Leave & Cleave” 

= Differentiation allows 

  • Prevents – a). Enmeshment b). Cutoff 
  • PROCESSS – for parent(s) & child 

=Costa Rica. College. Wa. summer 

Differentiation = Different 

e.g. car, residence, $, bank acct, holidays, vacay, ideas, marriage, raise kids – SOME WRONG 

-You can live land, work biz, worship church, holiday/vaca TOGETHER IF System Healthy 

-Grandparents w/our kids (date night, baseball games/tourneys, internat’l travel)

Jesus Began Differentiating at Age 12

Luke 2:41–51 his [Jesus] parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went…when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the group they went a day’s journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances, and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. And when his parents saw him…his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”…And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.

clinical textbook on family systems “When one member of a family can calmly state his own convictions and beliefs and take action on his own convictions without criticism of the beliefs of others and without becoming involved in emotional debate, then other family members will start the same process of becoming more sure of self and more accepting of others.”

  • Jesus began differentiating @ 12 W/O SINNING 
  • There’s a big difference between A). Rebelling B). Differentiating (e.g. style) 

2 things hinder differentiation 

Overparenting/Enmeshment – (usually mom caregiver) =ch16/17 Satanic 6/Making Men 

Underparenting/Cutoff – absent early, ends @ 18 (adult??? Age vs Maturity) 

= move from caregiver to coach 


Jesus Had to Differentiate to Lead  

Mark 3:21, 31-35 his [Jesus] family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.” And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”

Jesus As Leader

  1. Jesus family – enmeshed, we lead, you follow
  2. Jesus – differentiated, I lead, come follow me 


You cannot be a leader if you are not differentiated. Leadership is lonely. 

  1. Enmeshed? No leader
  2. Cutoff? No followers 

Church Family

  1. Church Family must allow Differentiation, but not Rebellion (open vs closed handed)
  2. Church Family must allow Next Gen to be in Differentiation process 

Jesus Taught Differentiation 

Matthew 10:34–37 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

Priorities – God – Spouse – Kids – Grandkids – Ext Family/Church Family 

Parenting Children To Grow Up & Differentiate  

Secrecy vs Privacy – little vs older = online attacks

Control vs Influence – manipulate = emotion, triangles, cutoff, hyper spiritual, $,

Joy vs Fear/Anxiety – brain science, neural pathways = playfulness 

Boundaries (home & family)– = you can come to our house, & have code/key, $ no strings, group text, older generations pursue, inheritance early 

Not my news to tell – vs triangles (Bible “gossip” & “busybodying”) 

A).Weekly alendar meetings                B). annual vision retreat      C).“family meetings” 

-Children – start w/thankfulness & forgiveness, put some grace on your parents 

-Parents – repent, some dreams die, have heart funeral, everyone hear HS esp kids

  1. What is HS saying to you? 
  2. Are you part of God’s family?
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Mark Driscoll

It's all about Jesus! Read More