For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Genesis 2:24
as a father of two boys, as well as the only son of my own father, these words are gold to me. marriage is all about leaving. marriage is all about starting something brand new. marriage is all about saying goodbye and embracing the adventure of the unknown.
as parents, we must let go. as kids, we must leave. after having experienced both, i’m not sure which is harder…but i know that each part of the equation is essential for good marriages.
we don’t own our kids. they are not ours. a tough lesson for most parents. many don’t learn it until it is forced on them. i wish i could say i was an expert and had this one down from the beginning, but it was a struggle for me. i literally had a moment in my life that i had to relinquish my ownership of my first-born. i had to admit i was powerless to have ultimate control of his life. it was simply out of my hands. and i’ve had to re-learn that lesson nearly every day of my parent life.
but our letting go is the only way they can have the freedom to truly leave…and become truly married. if we don’t move away, there will never be room for someone else to move in. and without the moving away and moving in, there is no potential for real marriage.
if our children don’t leave (metaphorically…or even literally, in some cases), they will never be able to stand on their own and give themselves wholeheartedly to each other.
there will always be a place for parents. we can be cheerleaders and supporters and resources and friends…if our kids want that. but it’s their call. once they leave, they have started a new cycle. we have no claim on their time or their futures. the privilege and responsibility of marriage has been passed on. it’s the way it should be. it’s the way god designed it. he said it.
it’s not always easy.