When my kids were little I created several games that we could play together that required no dice, boards, moving pieces or money. When I think about it now these games seem very dangerous, so don’t try them at home, or do, but don’t blame me for injury. All we needed was me (dad), one or more kids and a wide open living room or family room floor.
The first game was “Bronco Billy” which is exactly what it sounds like. I am the horse and the kids took turns on my back, while I bucked them violently and wildly and they went flying into walls and couches. They never cried, but each of the three kids fought the other(s) for the chance to ride bronco Billy agin and again, until we were all sweaty and exhausted.
The second game the kids loved was “earthquake”. This is when dad lies still on the carpet face down and one of the kids stands on my back as I yell earthquake and gyrate so that they fall at strange angles, laughing the whole time. They could play this for hours.
Another game was “chicken pock treatment”, where they were pinned underneath my body weight, my knees on their arms while I used my index finger to poke them on their chest continuously all the while making chicken noises. Though looking back this was more like torture than a game.
We played the hand slap game and of course we wrestled. I also tickled them until they pee’ed their pants. It was as much entertainment for me as it was for them. The game or contest example I want to use for this writing though is a test of will and endurance I used to give them.
Most dads have done this and so you will relate immediately. I would take something valuable like a toy or money or candy and put it in my hand and squeeze my fist tight then tell the kids that if they could open my clenched fist then they could have the prize inside. Depending on the prize they would work at it for a long time and the older ones would try to work individual fingers loose as part of their strategy. They would bite, beg, and whatever else they could imagine to get the prize. That intensity, that determination to hold tight is the picture God gave me when I was considering how to explain what he showed me about cleaving.
Like a person caught in a hurricane holding onto a tree for their life, their legs extended horizontally from the hurricane force wind or a raccoon with his paw caught in the trap, trying to get the glittery prize, and once he gets it, will not let go for any reason, even capture.
Genesis says that a man will leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife. That is the picture, feeling or emotion that a man should have in regard to his wife. Holding on with everything he’s got. If he doesn’t, it means that the enemy has been peeling his fingers away or the man doesn’t really understand the value of the prize. Too many men have been quick to open up their hands and give the prize up to an enemy who realizes the real value of not only the woman, but the oneness of the couple. I know because I did it. I opened up my hand and let her go, I stopped cleaving and the enemy took her away. Then the Lord showed me that mighty men cleave.
I got her back and
NOW I won’t EVER let go.
Mighty men cleave -“but Eleazar stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze (cleaved) to the sword.” ( 2 sam. 23:10a)- Eleazer was defending the ground, the territory, the inheritance for his king David with such commitment and determination that his hand froze to the sword. He would not let go, he couldn’t let go. He and the sword had become one in purpose and function. Gen. 2:24 says that a man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife and they become one flesh, one in purpose, one in function. The man and woman are united, they embrace, their souls are tied together, they are bonded in such a way they cannot be separated according to God. That is unless we open our hand because we don’t realize the value of the prize.
Mighty men cleave.