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Leave = go away from.  Leaving your parents means recognizing that your marriage created a new family and that this new family must be a higher priority than your previous family. This is less about proximity and more about apron strings.

Cleave = to adhere firmly and closely or loyally and unwaveringly. Cleaving is key in building a marriage that will endure hard times and be the beautiful relationship that God intends it to be.

Two of our children are married and they are sons. This is our experience to date so I will write from that perspective. Marrying off daughters will have to wait for a future writing. My mom-role changed when our sons married. I believe my job now is to be a champion for their marriage.   My work is not done – my role as a mom hardly finished. I now have the added privilege of loving two wonderful, amazing women who have joined our family. This includes exploring and studying who they are and learning how I can love and bless them.

My married sons are now in a covenant relationship, which takes precedence over any other earthly relationship. This requires a purposed mind shift for moms. We change position in our sons’ lives when they marry. This is normal and right and healthy. I didn’t say easy. It is not a competition. We are no longer “on the field” of our sons’ lives, but we are on the sidelines cheering.

We taught our sons from a young age to love and cherish their (future) wives above all others. We emphasized marriage is not 50/50 but 100/100. If each person gives 100% to the relationship, then even on days when one is lacking there will still be enough. We told them we would be flexible when it came to holidays and other special events. We would work around their wives’ family schedule, as she would come first. Ouch! Not always easy to live out.

As with any skill, this mindset must be practiced. I suggest starting early in your son’s life preparing for that day he will become a husband. Begin now praying for his future wife and her family. It is never too late to grasp this concept as well. May we be women of grace who love our sons by loving their wives, even during seasons when it might not be reciprocated. “…and the greatest of these is love”.

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