Today I was reading on this page about mainly efforts in some wards to more adequately approach sexuality amongst church members, and I came upon this section (Item #6 Intimacy by President Dean E. Criddle - Young Married Couples) where it talked about intimacy in a marriage. I wasn't looking for advice on my marriage while reading this stuff - I was interested in the messages on sexuality. But sometimes the Lord sneaks in those lessons that we need most at times we don't expect.
Anyway, this section talked about the scripture that says one should "cleave" unto our spouse. While most of the time, we approach this scripture focused on the negative (don't cheat on your spouse), in this reading Criddle (I'm assuming) points to the more positive approach of this subject (what we SHOULD do). I'll just quote here.
"The promise is not simply to avoid cleaving to someone else. It also includes the affirmative covenant to cleave to the chosen spouse. I believe this is a covenant to be pro active in both giving and receiving emotional and physical intimacy – including a covenant to do our best to receive emotional and physical intimacies offered by our chosen spouse.
This can be a challenge.....sometimes... it [is] difficult or even impossible for husbands to be proactive in sharing emotional and physical intimacy with their wives...Sometimes... it [is] challenging for wives to offer or to be willing to accept intimacies offered by their husbands. This can lead to emotional distance and difficulties in sharing other levels of intimacy between husband and wife as well.
Even when there are no specific or dramatic intervening biological or emotional circumstances, the challenges of daily life can and do create wedges between husbands and wives. Whether these wedges are large or small, they can and do make it difficult for spouses to be affirmative in “cleaving unto” each other. I believe this is an issue grappled with by every single couple who has been married for any period of time. It cuts a broad swath especially through the ranks of recently married couples in this Stake, leaving sadness, disappointment and sometimes bitterness and deep grief. This is an “elephant in the living rooms” of even the most committed, self-sacrificing and generous married couples."
I was struck by this because I had never applied this scripture to my marriage in quite this way. I have always known it would be better in my marriage if we were sharing both the emotional and physical side of intimacy to each other, but I never connected it to the commandment to "cleave" unto ones spouse. It made me think more about how my husband and I could work more on being "pro active" in our "cleaving". :) I then put it aside in my mind and mostly forgot it.
But just now I was looking at my Dictionary.com app on my phone at the word of the day. It happened to be "Cleave." I think God is trying to send me a message today. I better go downstairs now and share a conversation with my husband. :) Happy cleaving, you married people, you.