Marriage Tuesday

we learn much about marriage from a single line in first book of the bible…

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.


3 thoughts on “Marriage Tuesday

  1. MY family(wife and kids)made the decision that we would stay with my parents while our house was being built. We stayed 5 months more than anticipated. I can be very sarcastic and I was always biting my tounge. Being asked at 36 years old “when are coming home”or “your wife is out late” or my favorite ” if it was me…” was a true test of being married. My goto phrases were “I will discuss this with my wife” or ” this is Raeshels and my decision”. Don’t get me wrong my parents are not nuts I love them. I just had to cntantly remind them in my family, my wife and I are the bottom line.

    I think sometimes my parents get me mixed up with my brothers and sister who are always asking them for help or opinions. In my opinion I think they ask for too much advice or help. I sometimes roll my eyes at some of their actions. By what I am sayIng you would think i never want to see my parents. Oddly enough my family is always the first family to say yes to family gatherings. We are always the first ones they call when something needs to get done.
    I have had the wonderful gift of 4 parents. I believe that if any one of them raised me by themsleves I would have been one screwed up kid.
    I had to cut the apron strings and mean it.

  2. The last paragraph is SOOOOO true and on target. You do have to let go and let them live and succeed or even live and fail. We’ve had both scenarios to a major degree. But they always survive and things are better as a result. They do come back for advice, or even to admit we weren’t quite as dumb as they thought. But they learned it from their own living. Sometimes, they even come back to HELP with things!! Who saw that one coming…….The first one was the hardest, watching Bethany take that long walk up to her dorm at ACU, OUCH!! Paul may be just as hard, being the last. Geez….what’ll we do then? Experiencing my own kids out on their own and how it feels, makes me a little more aware of my mom, and how she feels. Life has to be lived, and sometimes we have to watch from the stands.

  3. As a parent and step-parent of 4 ranging from toddler to twenty-something, I have felt this cycle of letting go repeatively and deeply.

    In the teen years with child #1 the reality that nothing I could do or say could prevent a wrong choice was painful. I had to trust God. Letting go meant accepting any consequence.

    Now in tween years with child #2 when I see that same emerging independence I have to remind myself repeatively that “God is in control”, “God is in control” and before I caught a glimpse of any of my kids he designed who they were and he knew every path they would take and every decision they would make that would take them beyond the borders of my direct influence.

    I think parenting has been the greatest struggle in my marriage. Trying to find that balance between parent/child and parent/spouse roles and just prioritizing correctly and being balanced in my involvement and generating independence in my kids has been difficult.

    A thousand “What if’s” can creep up into a mom’s heart and mind. Fears of every possible wrong can flash before my eyes at any minute and I have that emotional connection to those fears. I *feel* the heartache that hasn’t happened and I want to protect my kids from that.

    It is difficult to realize that in the greatest sense of parenting we are useless and there is ultimately only one Father (God) who is capable of meeting every need and loving our children perfectly.

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