When we get married it is the normal thing to still be attached to our respective families. You know, the advice and the help that they give us, whether we ask or not!
As time goes by though, we can be in real trouble if we fail to set certain boundaries when it comes to our respective families.
How close is too close?
Some marriages start out with the guy who’s a momma’s boy and talks to his mom about everything. Some start out with the woman who thinks that everything her parents say is gold. Neither of these are an easy transition for each other. But one thing that is truth is the fact that God makes it clear that we are to leave and cleave. Being too close to our mommas and our daddy's, is most of the time a dangerous antidote when put in the middle of a marriage, new or seasoned.
Here is a verse which is mainly speaking to the husband. Genesis 2:24 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh”.
So, to you mommas’ boys, once you get married, that relationship is to immediately be put second to your wife. Your wife is now the priority. Our wives don’t take the place of our mom, yet our wives opinion takes priority to our moms. Our wife’s feelings take priority over our moms. Your wife’s heartaches, pains, understanding, and misunderstandings are now all priority over your moms.
Men are very misinformed when they are growing up, about the weight of leaving and cleaving. Yes, we are all told that we have to move out, get a job, and do something with our lives, but rarely are we told that when we find the loves of our lives that our mommas are no longer the head woman in our lives. This is a failure on us fathers when it comes to training up our children, in this aspect, our boys, in the way that they should go.
However, this is not only directed towards the men. The part in Genesis 2:24 that says “they shall become one flesh” is including the woman who thinks that everything that her parents say is gold. I get it, we were raised by these two humans, and if the home life was even a little decent, we want to be just like them. In every way. But they are no longer your standard. You have become one flesh with your husband and, no matter how immature or unwise, we may think that their decisions tend to be, now their word is to be gold, not our ‘perfect parents’ who imperfectly taught us women that this is how it is supposed to be. If we are still looking to our parents for advice on finances, or raising our children, or what job we should take over our husbands, then we are not being obedient to the scripture at hand.
Why is this how it must be?
The reason, we believe, this is how marriage must be, is simply because it tends to help keep the friction and tension down between husband and wife.
When the two who become one, do not “become” one, they are not in accordance with the word of God. And when we are not in accordance with the word of God, sometimes all hell seems to break loose. Hence the reason that we are not to put our parents in the place of our spouses.
Moms don’t necessarily like for their ‘little boys’ to be instructed by any other woman on how to do anything in life. They want to be that sounding board, really for all time. Which in turn then causes major issues between the wife and the mother. The mother thinks that the wife is not good for ‘her baby’ and accuses the wife of trying to come in between her and ‘her son’. Yet, it’s the same with parents of a daughter. They have been the sound advice that she’s gotten for 18 to 20 something years and to let go of that position in her life is difficult and not easily done. Therefore, causing friction between the husband and the their daughter. The wife seems to think that their husband is a bonehead because he chooses not to want to do what it is that her parents think that they should do. None of this is healthy for a marriage that is meant to strive.
Last but not least we will discuss boundaries. Boundaries are essential in a marriage. They not only protect the husband and the wife, but they also protect the sacred union bound before God.
Hebrews 13:4 “Let the marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”
Here in Hebrews, the Lord sets boundaries. The first boundary set is that the “marriage be held in honor among all” All in the Greek is ALL. Any and everyone needs to have honor for the marriage, YOUR marriage. Yet, this command also applies to those who are in the marriage. We need to hold our marriage in high esteem, we need to have honor for it. If we have honor for our marriage, we will set boundaries in which others will honor it also.
We as men, will not allow our moms to belittle our wives. We will, as believing men, not allow our moms opinion to trump our wives. We will, tell our moms when we feel as if their actions and words to us or to our wives are out of line and unacceptable. We will as grown believing men, stand up for our wives anytime she feels as if she is being treated wrong or unfairly by moms, or any family member for that matter.
If we have honor for our marriage, we will set boundaries in which others will honor it also.
Women when we are showing everyone that we honor our husbands and our marriage, we put our husbands’ word as higher esteem than our parents. We don’t allow the advice of our parents to disrupt in our minds, that of our husbands. We have been created to be the helper to our husbands and believe me, we are not helping them by reminding them that they are stupid in comparison to our parents. We are not helping them by making them feel like they are less than a man. This is what happens when we compare their ideas and accomplishments with that of our parents. We must stop allowing our parents to talk bad about our husbands, or to treat our husbands less than who it is that God calls them to be. NO one has the right to disrespect our husbands to his face or behind his back, and we as God fearing, striving to be like the Proverbs 31 wives, better well sure stand by that until death do, we part.
Bottom line is, nobody will have any more honor or respect for your marriage than you do, and if you don’t set boundaries in the beginning, you set your marriage up to be trampled on and disrespect by various people along the way.
I know we focused more on the family aspect of setting boundaries, however, when boundaries are set, they need to be set for family and friends alike. More on boundaries being set when it comes to friends and associates soon.
Until then, we pray that as you continue to strive to have a faithful and free marriage, that you seek to quickly set boundaries within your marriage. And if you already have boundaries set up, keep them in place and do not get laxed no matter the situation. This will only help your marriage and your growth together as One Flesh in the present and the future to come!
Be Faithful, Be Free
T & E Young