The Lord Jesus Himself said that according to Scripture, when a man marries a woman, he has to leave his father and mother so he can cleave to his wife (see Matthew 19:4-5). How do we know if we have fully left our parents to cleave to the spouse that God gave us?
Let's talk about that.
Just the two of us
God designed marriage to be a relationship between a man and his wife. The only third party allowed in any marriage relationship is God Himself, for He is the one who brings the man and the woman together. In Genesis 2:21-24 we read this to be true:
"And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said:
"This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."
"Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."
Some Christians, however, fail to understand that marriage requires both parties – the husband and the wife, but especially the husband – to leave the comforts of home in order to live the life God wants for them.
A new home
Friends, entering marriage means leaving your old home with your parents and starting a new home with your spouse. Formerly your so-called "nuclear family," your parents now become part of your "extended family" because your spouse is now your new "nuclear family" along with the kids you'll have in the future.
That said, how do we determine if we haven't really left our parents to marry?
It's when we still carry them into our marriage.
How do we do that? How do we carry our parents into our marriage? Here are a few ways how:
- We let them make our decisions for us, or we let them interfere with our choices as a married couple
- We go home to them whenever there's a problem, leaving our spouses to solve the problem alone
- We keep depending on them for financial help and provision, not learning to be financially independent
- You have longer conversations with your mom over the phone than you do with your wife who's right next to you every day.
But shouldn't I care?
Friends, it's one thing to care for our parents when we're married, but it's another thing to bring them into our marriage.
Yes, we should care for them, in fact we should provide for them when they're unable to provide for themselves (see 1 Timothy 5:8), but we shouldn't allow them to do to our marriages as they please.
We honor our parents as the Lord tells us to, but not at the expense of our marriage relationship with our spouses. We need to prioritize our own marriages before we take care of our parents.