How to Leave & Cleave

Is time with your family less like a Hallmark movie and more like a horror movie? We want to help! Join us today for a brand new series on how to build a healthy family system!




Happily (N)ever After? How to leave & cleave 1

RM Podcast & # QR Code for Leave & Cleave Workbook. DAD HAT

-Wedding Photo Mark & Grace split screen w/ Photo of Grace & Mark from Workbook (pg 120) 

-Family Photo from the back of the Workbook 

  • A. started wrong         B. learning as we go
  • Both sets parents XN married 50+ yrs

??? Your family? ENVISION? 

Genesis 2:24 (KJV) – Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

XN Woodworker story (controlling & anxious) 

-Married: in-laws critical (job, church, holidays/vacations, religious) = anxious presence 

-Little girl : asked in-laws to speak w/him not about him to daughter = BLEW UP 

-In Laws: “When you married our daughter, you married into our family”.

=Came home work – wife/daughter gone, moved in w/parents, atty

On doorstep she between parents/husband w/daughter = “I cannot abandon my family”

-He: healed up, met single mom church, married, adopted her kids, loved in-laws 

=same church, some holidays/vacations together, worked w/father-in-law getting biz

“The greatest burden in my first marriage was my wife’s parents. They broke our family. The greatest blessing in my second marriage is my wife’s parents. Her family makes our family better.” 

DIFFERENCE: Healthy vs Unhealthy people & system 

  • I officiated 3 kids weddings, said “Not joining family. Starting new family”

Family vs Extended Family graphic pg 4

  • 60+ million views (France, Italy, South Af) = 1000s comments 

Leading cause of Divorce graphic pg 5 (Forbes Advisor; make/break) 

8 Foundational Family Facts 

1.    People are not just individuals, but also in emotional and relational systems. (vs indiv)

2.    There is tension between being part of a group (enmeshment), and an individual (cutoff).

= 1st & last name Leave & Cleave Options chart (pg 7) 

3.    The closer the relationship, the deeper the emotion 

4.    The addition or loss of a family member is a major event for good or bad. (2 v 132)

5.    Major life events (clinically called “nodal events”) are like an earthquake that can create aftershocks for generations.

-Great Dep, immigration, move state, murder, assault kids, bitter divorce = (+ – ANNIV)

-Can a). pull family together or b). push family apart (grandma alive vs dead XMAS) 

6.    There is a difference between your immediate and extended family. 

Newly Married Mental Strain chart (pg 18) – us 4 families 

7.    The three levels of health are personal, relational, and the family system. 

e.g. grandpa grenade pin pulled        e.g. grandma unhealed trauma fearful/control

8. It is impossible to be a healthy person, or have healthy relationships, without the HolySpirit.

Gal 5:16-26 NLT let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves….which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these….But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. 

???Joy or Anxiety??? = PLAYFULNESS 

Defining Family 

  • God is a family (Trinity – Father/Son) 
  • “family” 700X Bible – THE guidebook on marriage/family 
  • “house/household” 2000X – living under same roof, not necessarily biological 

A family is an emotional unit of multiple generations. 

  1. Family bonds/fuses emotionally by spending time together. (more time = more bonding) 
  2. Family members live “under the same skin”, sharing emotions = esp. anxiety (CHILD) 
  • (gangs, mafia, cartels)                                    + (military, friend group, church)

=God loves family. Satan hates family. 

4 Significant Family Scriptures 

1.    Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

young children religious parenting triangle pg 16 in workbook

-1 SAMUEL 2-3                -1 TIMOTHY 3:15                   -LUKE 2 

2.    Genesis 2:24…a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

=Differentiation process (own feelings, thoughts, decisions, home, $)  

3.    Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother…”

-Commandment #5. Since 1960’s

4.    Luke 14:26 – “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple…”

-“hate” – not emotional = practical

Matt. 10:37 “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 – Kid/Grandkids – Church Family/Ext Family) 
  • 2/4 all of life “honor” & “hate” 

Love Laws 

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.

PERFECT: World run by laws (Jimmy Evans 4 Laws of Love) 

1. Law of Priority: A man shall leave his father and mother

-Man takes wife. Woman given in marriage. “who gives” 

Priorities shift: (God, spouse, kids, ext. family) Oldest daughter = I Man #1 to Man 

2. Law of Pursuit: Hold fast (or cleave) to his wife

Soldier home from war 

3. Law of Partnership: Be One

  • Not which one, new one – last name, house, bed, church, bank acct, schedule 
  • Strength NOT problem. Independence = Problem 

4. Law of Purity: Naked without shame

  • Marriage spiritual (covenant) & physical (consummation) = family system for kids 

1.    Unless you leave, you cannot cleave. Unless you leave & cleave, you cannot be one

2.    How you live is how you disciple future generations. (Prov. 13:22) 

3.    For good to start, bad must end. 

4.    Be the floor not the ceiling for your kids & grandkids. 

What is the Holy Spirit saying about your relationship with God?
What is the Holy Spirit saying about your relationship w/family (immediate & extended)? RELEASE LIVESTREAM

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Mark Driscoll

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