The walk down the aisle on our wedding day was more than just a ceremonial tradition. It was more than just a photo opportunity. It was more than just “what you do” at a wedding. That walk was symbolic of my life as their child and leaving that place to become TJs wife. I walked one last time as Gary and Shea’s baby, with him on my right side and her on my left, down that aisle. And I walked out as TJ’s wife…with no parents beside, in front of, or behind us. Just us. Man and wife.
Why is this important to understand? To me, the independence of TJ and me, is part of the start of us becoming one flesh. Leaving the comfort and dependency of a parents home–emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially– is truly a must when making the decision to become husband and wife. For if I still depend upon my parents for anything that my husband is responsible for…am I taking away from him? Am I truly able to submit to him and his authority if I am still clinging on to my parents and their ways? Is he truly going to lead me and be my head if he is still relying on his parents? Is it possible for the hanging on to create serious issues for a husband and wife? I’m not meaning that a sever of the parental relationship is required…on the contrary, that relationship is only changed. Parents become a source of wisdom and advice instead of a source of responsibility. This transition period should begin way before the marriage. TJ and I are already in preparation for the leaving of Autumn and Scout for the joining of her/his life to her husband/his wife. We desire that we, as well as they, know and are ready for what it means for them to leave us and begin their own lives. It’s natural. It’s commanded.
This “separation” will be different for everyone. And for those who know me, you know that I’ve put a “one hour away living zone” on my children when they grow up and marry. Meaning, neither are allowed to live more than one hour away from me…it’s my reward. I think it only appropriate. No laughing or judging. So the distance between houses is not the greatest focus of the leaving of parents when married. It’s leaving the dependency. Leaving the checkbook. Cutting the cord as they say. A man and woman need to understand, and accept, that marriage means more than just sleeping in the same bed and cute photos and a “Mr. and Mrs.” on the mailbox. Marriage requires a massive amount of grown-upness (tressaism). It requires a couple accepting responsibility for themselves and their decisions. It is necessary for the couple to mess up…then learn better…and make wiser decisions the next go around. It is good for a couple to royally mess up financially and then work to fix it and do without and struggle and cry and be stressed out…ALL THE WHILE learning together as a couple. If parents come in and “fix” everything for the wife (their daughter) or the husband (their son) then it belittles the marriage. It says to the husband “you can’t do it” and to the wife it screams “you still need us because he’s an idiot!” Now, I am NOT saying that in the event of NEED that parents shouldn’t be asked or willing to help…THAT is a role they play for their children for AS LONG as they live/are capable. But come on, we claim “NEED” all the time right?! We all know the difference between need and want. It cripples a marriage when it knows that it requires no real responsibility or accountability because parents are always available to “fix it.” A man should be in a position to provide the needs of his wife and the wife should be in a position to respect the direction her husband is leading her. If this is not possible financially, emotionally, and physically…maybe the marriage should wait a bit.
If you are blessed with parents who know and love and obey the Lord, then use them as the vessels of wisdom they should be to you. Rely on them for advice in areas of your marriage as you grow and change and learn and mess up and recover. They’ve been there. And when they are willing, utilize their experiences and wisdom. And count your blessings 😉
A husband and wife should grow together spiritually. Each should be focused on maturing in the role he/she accepted when he/she became a husband/wife. This is a lifetime process. This should never stop. Prayer should be offered continually for the strength and courage it takes to stand alone as a couple in this world of spiritual living…all the while being held tightly by their Maker – the center of them!
TJ and I made the conscious decision to be completely independent of either set of parents once we married. We were dirt poor. And were completely rich. There was a time right after I found out I was pregnant that I needed 4 new tires…and we had a one income situation that was unable to sway off the budget path. I mean, wieners and kraut was a common meal…bless his heart that man just ate and never complained! Anywho…the tires. A need. A must for my safety. And my sweet mother offered to buy them for us. That was never forgotten. And so appreciated. But that next year when we wanted to take that baby I was preggers with the year of the tires to the beach…we didn’t dare ask or let anyone know that we “needed” money to make that happen. No, we cut grocery corners just a bit–Autumn and I didn’t go anywhere for a month–and we saved up enough dough to spend 2 nights in a motel about 8 miles from the beach that should’ve offered a tetanus shot with the room key at registration. And our wittle baby girl had the time of her life. She knew no better. Water is water and the sun was the sun. We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and water from facets and survived. It was simple. Gross a little (lol) but ours. All ours. And it is moments like that which create a sense of accomplishment and pride in a couple for doing things independently and just as they can.
God is very cool and wise in the ways and commands He established…He’s always had a purpose and it’s beautiful to come to the understanding of things. So, my best advice coming in at #5 is to be a couple who accepts –the successes and failures– of being independent from their parents. That’s part of the reward process too for parents…leave my home—leave my money!! Lol