Yesterday I wrote about a key to having and maintaining a successful marriage. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). I spoke about the importance of leaving the family you were born into, and cleaving to the one you chose when you became married. I want to take that second step just a bit further. I can tell you honestly, that the days I walked down the aisles with our three daughters to give them away to our son’s-in-laws, was one of the most difficult walks of my life! Not because I did not approve of the guys. But, because I realized the significance of the transaction that was taking place. You see, I loved it when they stayed in our home, and depended on us, and loved only us. Now, I knew, that if they were to have success in their marriages, I would need to practice what I preached yesterday! I would need to allow them to leave and cleave! That is a step of faith.
I have seen parents try to hold onto their married children after they have left their homes. I have struggled in this area myself at times. However, I am so thankful for the blessings we have seen of allowing our children to leave and cleave. We have watched our married children and their husbands and wife (we only have one son) walk with character through a brutally tough world. They have not always done it successfully, but neither have we! We grimaced when they have failed, but we wave the flag of victory when they stand to their feet and get back on track!
We have watched them raise their children to love and honor God. Yesterday I sat all day with my dad in an emergency room, and then in a hospital room. When I left him last night, my heart was aching. I called one of our daughters to see if she might be able to go in and visit with Dad in the morning. She relayed this story to me: she and her husband had just finished brewing their ‘after dinner coffee,’ and opened the door to their deck, to sit and enjoy some ‘quiet time’ together. They found their five children huddled in a circle. With curiosity peeked, they listened to hear one of our grandsons praying for my dad.
They stood weeping as their children praying for God to take care of their great-grandfather. I want to tell you … that does not happen without some serious time spent of training, and example! I am so thankful we allowed our children to leave, so they could cleave! God is working in the generations that are coming! We simply need to do our part and get out of God’s way, and their way! God is able to work still today!