The semester leading up to my wedding came with many challenges, but by far, the aspect I struggled with the most was preparing to, as the Scriptures say, “leave your father and mother.”
With my husband’s job as a missionary, I knew we would have very little say in where we would be sent after the wedding day, and no one could guarantee we would end up near our parents or other relatives.
Moving away from home to start your new life with your husband, especially if you move out of state or even out of the country, can cause feelings of anxiety and even guilt in the heart of a young bride.
Should I feel like I am abandoning my family to start my own?
In the Book of Genesis where this verse initially appears, it comes after Adam, upon first encountering Eve, says: “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh;This one shall be called ‘woman,’for out of man this one has been taken.”
It then continues: “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother...” Leaving isn’t just a pointless command, an unnecessarily painful sacrifice.
It means leaving something good for something even better.
By entrusting something so valuable to the Lord, you allow Him to do something even greater in your life, your marriage, and your heart.
And personally, even though this separation both physically and emotionally challenges me at times, I found that my relationship with my parents was actually strengthened by the grace I received in this sacrament of marriage.
The relationship I was worried about abandoning took on a new life.
I witnessed my parents step into new roles, that of in-laws and grandparents, and saw how these new relationships brought a certain joy to our family that wouldn’t have existed before.
When I see my mom and dad laughing with my husband or embracing my little girl, I can see all the ways how following God’s call has enriched our whole family.
Not only that, but in navigating the ups and downs of marriage and family life, I’ve learned to relate to my parents in an entirely new way--a way that has made me a more compassionate and loving daughter.
So, if you’re worried about this aspect of married life, if you are afraid of the change that will come after you say I do or move the last box of stuff from your childhood room, that’s okay.
But know that “leaving” your father and mother, “leaving” your sister and brother, will not only help you and your establish your married identity, but it can also allow your family to unlock a profound piece of their own identities.