Shellie here: This video features the testimony of two friends of mine. This is their first time sharing it in a public forum and so I hope they will get your support. I personally found it to be a *really relevant way* to kick off both a new (calendar) year and the month honoring X3Church’s 10-year anniversary because it embodies so much of what our ministry is about: addiction, healing, forgiveness, love and commitment. It’s so nice to see a couple transition out of a lust for porn and into a deep passion for one another—a *cleaving* if you will. The very thing that married couples are instructed to do. It reminds me of a *great* article that I recently read on the topic: “Cleave: The Hebrew Word for Passion”. An excerpt of it says this:
“In English, as in Hebrew, this word carries a paradox, a contradiction, a mystery, a secret. For, it means both to join with, and to separate. In fact, more concretely, it means a warm embrace, but yet when we wield a sword, we can cut an opponent’s head in two: we cleave them in half. To cleave is at one and the same time to hold on to and unite with, yet also to rend, to tear into pieces, to divide. Poetically this captures the peculiarity of passion as I have written of it in so many different ways. To cleave is to love, yet this very love contains a sacred violence, a fight, a separating. Cleave is not cognate with the Greek agape; I believe agape is the crown of Eros, its compassion, its philanthropy, its benevolent charity. Cleave, by contrast, is the dragon of the Daemonic: it is the koan of fire, divine and human.
Without cleaving, we cannot face and come through the wound of existence…In Greek, passion is what you suffer, inescapably. It is not so obvious in Greek that this suffering can generate the ultimate ardour of advocacy for the human, the most zealous and unrelenting fighting spirit, or thymos. But the Hebrew cleave is more strong in both its passive acceptance of what cannot be changed, and in its weirdly and inexplicably active way of meeting that, of staying with that, of wrestling that, and coming through that. This is where the sense of violence comes in to cleaving– as in the Biblical statement (Matthew 11,12) that ‘the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force’. It punches through.”
Cleaving is to join and to separate. To hold and to rend. To love with a sacred kind of violence. Because, through it all, cleaving punches through.
That is what’s so beautiful about J and Tiff and their testimony. That is also why this blog is entitled in the way that it is. It’s something that J said in the video that really struck me: That, indeed, in a marriage, it should be seen as “Us Against the World. Not Her Against Me.”
I hope this will spark something within you as well. Enjoy.