For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. (Gen. 2:24)

BERT AND LYDIA COULD FINISH each other’s sentences. They had been married for nearly sixty years, watching other marriages come and go. They certainly had not given up their identity or their individuality in marriage. Lydia had been a concert pianist who taught a good number of kids in their small town how to play. Bert was a grocer whose zest for life and good jokes drew people to his store. Yet over the years, they had clearly become one.

But now Bert faced “the long good-bye” as his Lydia moved deeper and deeper into Alzheimer’s disease. He told his friends and family that it felt like someone was removing part of him. It was completely the truth. Yes, they had been united physically since the night of their wedding all those years ago. But as Bert said, “She became my heart and my soul. . . . Lydia is my other half.”

It’s a big mystery how two can become one, but “leaving and cleaving” is a heart process. God not only understands that two people become one on some spiritual level, it is all part of His plan.

Becoming one flesh began way back in the garden. It is something that happens yet today, not just for Bert and Lydia, but for all those who commit to leave father and mother to unite with another.

No matter where your marriage relationship is now, choose today to cleave to each other.

Annie Wamberg lives in Colorado Springs. An empty-nester, Annie has plunged back into singing. When not sleeping, Annie runs a cleaning business.