A man who has relinquished his former covering and become one with his bride has stepped into his God-ordained role. The woman who submits to her husband as the head of their home sets the stage for marital harmony in accordance with God’s plan. Together husband and wife create new descendants as they waive their dependence on their families of origin. They give birth to a new home that will establish its own customs and traditions and possess its own likes and dislikes.
The actual transition to this God-given design is not always easy. Some tension and misunderstanding are to be expected as all involved become accustomed to their new roles. Parents need to remember that their child’s home won’t be perfect when it becomes just like theirs. No, the young couple needs to be free to like and dislike in matters of taste without a critical spirit from either side of the family. Parents must learn how to let go of their married children, and the children must learn how to separate from their parents while still showing honor to them. When push comes to shove, however, the young couple’s commitment must be to each other above all else. That means, men, when your mother and wife clash, your loyalty lies with your wife. And ladies, when your husband and a family member are at odds, your first responsibility is to your husband. Remember, he left his family to cling to you, so you must do the same for him.
That is not always easy to do, especially for women. The separation from parents and the creation of a new home generally come more naturally to men because God has given them a natural capacity to relinquish and adhere. Women, however, do not inherently possess this quality, so it is natural for them to hold more tightly to their original families and to struggle to separate. Ladies, because of your nature, you may not find it easy to surrender the ties to your family, but Scripture calls you to submit to this. As Proverbs 14:1 points out, “A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.” You are going to have to exercise discipline in honoring the new home God called into existence when you said “I do.”
Once a new home has been established by marriage, the parents are not to be the sounding board for marital struggles. Young couples need a mature Christian friend or counselor to help them in those areas. Far too many disputes with in-laws are self- inflicted by a husband or wife who tells their family of their mate’s failures. The parents are naturally inclined to take their child’s side—sometimes even over truth—and their child’s spouse is faced with a situation that is difficult to overcome. That is not to say that a young couple must suffer silently or that parents are completely off limits for seeking wisdom and counsel, but only that the young couple must above all else honor their new home created by covenant.
Excerpt from “Happily… Even After” now available on Amazon.