Real Struggles After The Wedding Day: The Untold Leaving and Cleaving Process 

Before you get married, a recurring theme when you go on premarital counseling sessions is the concept of “leaving and cleaving” which essentially means that when you get married, you leave your family (parents and siblings) and cleave to your spouse to start having your own  life, family, and home together.meaning you and your spouse, with a covenant to God, applying His design for marriage. 

Now this is all well and good since marriage (at least in the Philippines) is where you also start having a “life” of your own. Why do I believe so? I grew up in a Filipino-Chinese Christian home with very strict parents.. which also meant the children had to follow strict rules that were put in place to instill discipline.

I never rebelled though since I took to heart God’s first commandment with a promise.

Exodus 20:12

12 Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

Before marriage, showing honor to your father and mother meant showing respect and acknowledging their authority over you.

Romans 13:1

Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. 

The BIG QUESTION IS… why did I follow my parents most (if not all of) the time when I was growing up? The answer is God’s design for a household. I followed and obeyed my parents because I trusted that God was using them to mould me and shape me.

Colossians 3:18-25

Rules for Christian Households

18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. 22 Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters,[f] not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality

Now, before you judge my parents as controlling or too overbearing, I guarantee to you.. that I do not have any regrets or resentments with the way I was raised. I believe my strict upbringing made me the person I am today. Albeit a little too paranoid and unflexible at times, I believe I was raised well, with a good head on my shoulders. It is true since at an early age I knew how to say “no” to things unbecoming of a lady, and veer away from peer pressures – this saved me from a lot of troubles and heartache too!

Anyway, let’s move on.. being married created a huge shift in my life because of  all the change it brought, and even continue to change! One of the greatest adjustments would have to be the new found independence I knew I had but did not really experience right away… And to be honest? this is the reason for this post… my struggles brought me to the real questions which are actually not commonly discussed in premarital counseling… but become a real struggle at some point in time after that wedding day… (at least in my case.. haha.. I hope none of you have to struggle with these questions)

  1. Do my parents still have authority over me?
  2. Do I still have to follow my parents now that I am married? (especially if what you want is NOT what they want and it ends up in either one or both your parents badgering you about it)
  3. Am I sinning and going against God’s commandment if I do not follow my parents’ advice/desires?
  4. Shouldn’t I be able to make my own life decisions now?
  5. Should I feel guilty for making my own decisions? especially if they aren’t what my parents direct me to do?

I STRUGGLED WITH THESE QUESTIONS FOR A VERY LONG TIME… and it is only now that I am coming to terms with the answers to the questions above. 

Throughout the confusion, I really sought counsel from my marriage mentors about the questions above… it is amazing how God uses people to impart His wisdom.. below I quote my mentors on answers to the questions I struggled with… and how I understood the amazing design God made for marriage.

  • Do my parents still have authority over me?

“When a lady gets married, the parents relinquish their authority over their child and wilfully transfer it to the husband of their daughter. The wife now comes under the authority of the husband.”

The answer is now a fundamental step for any new marriage to work because it also means  that parents must allow their children to leave and cleave. — and i don’t mean you have to be “disowned” or “disinherited”.. but parents need to give you space and give you the respect to be your own person. (Surprisingly, my dad was better at this than my mom…)

To further clarify things, do you remember when the ceremony officiant (in our case, a pastor) asks the question “who gives this bride?” during the wedding ceremony and the parents answer “we do.”? That’s where they give you over to your husband and it is actually a symbolism of them relinquishing their authority over you. It is also an acknowledgement that the authority over you is now your husband’s.

  • Do I still have to follow my parents now that I am married? 

In the simplest of answers… NO. Actually, the only person you would have to consult and submit to for any life decision you make will be your husband. God designed marriage to be Husband + Wife with Him as the anchor. MARRIAGE TIP: Always consider your spouse in decisions you make. A simple question about how they feel regarding your plans shows them respect and that can go a long way. 

Being married also means that your role has changed from being a child in a household… to now having a household of your own.. Read the verse below again and you’ll realize that when you get married, your role as a spouse comes first.

Colossians 3:18-25

Rules for Christian Households

18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord…

  • Am I sinning and going against God’s commandment if I do not follow my parents’ advice/desires? 

Straight up answer is NO, as long as you still honor them – meaning be respectful towards your parents, listen to what they have to say… but remember that you DO NOT NEED TO FOLLOW IF YOU DON’T WANT TO.

  • Shouldn’t I be able to make my own life decisions now?

Simply put, YES. You are now more grown-up than ever. Live your life the way you want, raise your kids the way you want, be your own person. You should be respected for making your own decisions too.

  • Should I feel guilty for making my own decisions? especially if they aren’t what my parents direct me to do?

Honestly, you shouldn’t but it will be a struggle at some point. I had been on an emotional rollercoaster for about a year because of how bad I felt every time I did something which differed from what my parents wanted… but ever since I’ve accepted it isn’t wrong to live my own life? It’s been less stressful.


 

So that’s that… I tried my best to summarize what I had to endure and ponder upon.

I really do hope none of you have to go through thoughts like these. I hope none of you have to struggle with either of your parents when you try to live your own life…

On an ending note… I just want to say… please do not believe you are a bad son or daughter to your parents if you want to live your own life. In my opinion, if one or both your parents make you feel so, then they’re the ones who need counseling and wisdom. Living your own life the way you want to doesn’t make you conceited either. Just remember to still show respect to them and live life according to God’s design.

Vote For Me @ The Top Mommy Blogs Directory Vote For Me @ The Top Mommy Blogs Directory

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s