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To leave and to cleave: a significant reference material on marriage

By her Excellency, Erelu Angela Adebayo

A book review is not supposed to be a book report, or a comprehension as our children write in school. A book review is more for me to tell you what jumps out at you from this book and then finish up by telling you if it’s a book you might want to read or not.

wedding ring

Unfortunately, due to some technological progress (if we want to call it that) we are not reading as much as we used to. These days, we can find answers to everything by googling it. We hardly ever sit down as in the olden days to read a book. But then, sometimes you require a reference book and a hand book. And in something as important as marriage, I don’t think you should be googling or watching a film. This is why I think this book is very important.

To Leave and to Cleave is a delightful book that I predict will be a reference material, a companion book, and a comfort book for couples as they plan to wed, as well as for those who are already married.

Apart from being experience-based, this book is also faith-based with no apologies. It refers to the Bible, and therein you find its major strength, because man is fallible, but God is infallible. So if we take the Bible as our reference book, To Leave and to Cleave is the natural progression from that.

Written by two authors, the book begins with a legal framework of marriage which, in Nigeria of today, is extremely important. Because you will be surprised to know that some people still don’t even know exactly what it means to be married or what their rights and privileges are, especially the women. So, the authors give us quite a good insight into the legal aspect of marriage. I find that the book is made very easy for me to review because it ends with conclusions. I find the conclusions to be very important.

For instance, at the end of chapter 3, it tells us about courtship. After going through what constitute courtship, it concludes that a failed courtship is better than a failed marriage.  After reading the chapter, you would see exactly how they came to this conclusion. This helps if you have someone going through this – you can quote meaningful parts of the Bible that will comfort the broken hearted, so that when the right person comes later they will realize that indeed a failed courtship is better than a failed marriage.

Something I found very important in this book is communication. It tells us how important communication is in marriage. For me, this is a key message from the book. Communicating effectively with your spouse is key to a successful marriage.

The book dwells on the roles of the man and the woman in marriage relationship and then talks about sex and fornication. It also discusses pregnancy and children, teaching us to also regard our house help as our children. There is also a chapter on finance.

For me, the strength of this book is in this line: “God is the author of marriage; remember to always go to Him because he has all the answers.” Indeed He has all the answers. But He may not always come down to us. So He sends people like Angela and Nnezi to come and minister to us. I commend the authors and recommend this book to all: read it, save it in your library, and use it in your day-to-day life.


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