On December 11, 2010, Tyler became my husband, my partner, my person.
However, that has turned out to be more of a process than an overnight switch. Many older and wiser married couples shared their advice with us on the topic of leaving and cleaving. I am extremely grateful for the Biblical counsel and model that many couples we know have been to us during our time of marriage. However, all the advice (and even little comments here and there) we received in regards to leaving and cleaving left me very confused. I was left thinking of leaving and cleaving, in very simple terms, more spouse, less family. Ok, wrong! Here's how God's been working on my heart....
Yesterday, God laid the topic of leaving and cleaving very heavily on my heart. I got thinking about the blessings and challenges Tyler and I have faced living 15 minutes away from our parents over the last year or so, and how different things will look once we move to New Jersey. We've been able to spend quality time with our parents, very regularly while we've lived in Largo. But moving away won't mean we have completed the "leave and cleave" process. I came across an article by Sandra Lundberg this morning, that touched on the topic of leaving and cleaving, on the Focus on the Family website...
"This is not to suggest that children and parents should cut off their relationship under the guise of leaving and cleaving. But your primary human relationship now is with your spouse, not your parents. Your commitment to God comes first; then your bond to your spouse, then to any children you might have, then to your family of origin, and then to extended family and friends."
Wow! That is so powerful and enlightening to me. My relationship with my parents, and Tyler's relationship with his parents, cannot be our most important relationships any longer. Our marriage relationship is priority, after our relationship with the Lord. Now, not that this is easy, but it all just makes so much more sense than it has in the past. I understand how my relationship with my parents must change, in order for me to best bring honor and glory to God as a wife. My mom can still be one of my best friends, but if I am seeking from her what I should be seeking from Tyler (getting my emotional needs met, heavily dependent on for decision-making, etc.) that's where I am in trouble. My husband comes first, before my parents, and he should always know that. But, at the same time, my relationship can flourish with my parents, so long as I remember God's desire of those relationships and healthy boundaries!
Without our families, we would not be who we are today. We have been molded, taught, and raised well by our parents. Tyler and I will miss our families as we embark on our new journey in New Jersey. We look forward to having them visit and taking full advantage of Skype technology! And I trust that by the strength of God, we will continue to cleave to one another as spouses and leave our parents in a healthy way, while continuing to cherish our relationships with them!
"Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." - Genesis 2:4