I have never been a parent before so I wouldn’t know what it feels like to watch your children leave the nest. After all the financial, emotional, physical, social and mental investment in them, watching them walk off with the man/woman who has stolen their heart must probably be heart wrenching. I believe mothers more than fathers find it harder to let go since they nurture the children more and spend more time with them. There’s a deep feeling of loss of control.
I think many parents don’t get what it means to allow your children to leave the nest cleave to their new family line. Perhaps they have dreaded it for some time as you completed University, got your first job and started dating but are still unprepared for the feeling of ‘she’s gone’ ‘he left me’.
I was listening to Joyfm’s Home Affairs sometime last year a little after I had gotten married. A woman was recounting how she doesn’t think her daughter-in-law knows how to take care of her son so she therefore needs to teach her. Daughter-in-law was taught how her husband likes certain meals and other household skills he was used to. Mother-in-law wasn’t in the bit perturbed that her actions had crossed a certain line. After all he was her son! Remember the Vodafone advert? Is this what has been accepted as a norm?
There’s a lot which is taught to a young couple during church counselling about leaving and cleaving but interestingly. It’s about time parents were included during the leaving and cleaving discussions. If perhaps not through counselling then via the pulpit. They shouldn’t be left out. This will not only present an opportunity for them to ask questions but also air their views on the matter for the counsellor or Pastor to address them.
During church counselling, a couple is taught that you shouldn’t expect certain things which your parents did for you to be repeated by your husband or wife. For example, your wife’s cooking will not taste like your mothers’. Delight in your wife’s cooking. But does your mother know that you love your wife’s cooking perhaps even more than hers? Or will she bring you your favourite Jollof ( prepared just the way you like it) every Saturday? If she understands that you have left and have cleft to a new life, she wouldn’t be coming by every weekend to make your wife insecure. If you were the one your Father trusted to run some tasks, should he call you at 6am just when you are warming up to your wife’s body? Can he get someone else to run the errand?
Someone would also argue that it also depends on the couple and what they allow into the marriage. If you give your parents the chance they will invite themselves into your marriage and run it without you even realising it. How about those who still fear speaking out against their parent’s actions for fear of some form of repercussion? If you do allow it and don’t take a stand against parental invasion in your marriage, the consequences wont be pretty. I know of one woman who went to the market and brought the ingredients to her son’s marital home, prepared a meal whilst his wife was in the house! Why did this happen? Because the husband didn’t stand up to his mother to stop her actions. So naturally she continued until the wife couldn’t take it any longer.
Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Another woman told her daughter to always come home when her husband was giving her troubles. So what do you think happened when issues cropped up? Did her mother understand what it meant to let your children go?
Parents need to understand that leaving and cleaving doesn’t mean total abandonment and this goes also for the couple as well. Dear Parents, your child leaving doesn’t mean they will never visit or end up ignoring you totally. Parents need to give their wards some breathing space to start their life together as one. The church needs to start creating the conversation around this topic and keep parents of the couple in mind as a target audience.
Parents must instead pray for their adult children who are leaving to make a new home that the love of Christ will keep them together. It’s God’s purpose for adult children to leave their parents because He’s already made provision for them for a new life. Parents should trust God to do His job.
Do you agree that there has to be some discussions from the pulpit for parents around letting their adult children go in peace into their new marital life? Got any similar story of parents who couldn’t let their children go? Do share in the comments below.