Marriage series #12: Metamorphosis
Caterpillars and tadpoles
Metamorphosis is a biological term that describes the transformation in structure and form of some lower animals as they progress from birth to maturity. For example, a caterpillar changes into a butterfly and a tadpole changes into a frog by this process. In this article I want to describe for you the transformation of a little boy into a husband and father.
The apron strings are cut
A boy growing up in a Christian home has learned to live his life in submission and obedience to his parents. Now he is a grown young man standing at the altar beside his beautiful bride. There are lots of strong emotions at a wedding. There are no words to describe the joy and excitement and anticipation of a bride and groom as they stand there waiting to be pronounced husband and wife. There are no words to describe the love and pride and joy and the pain of parents as they sit there in the front row of honor watching their beloved children wrenched out of their arms to leave home and go and start their own home. It all happens in a moment of time as they make their vows to one another in the sight of God. Suddenly the apron strings are cut. The handsome young man standing there with his beloved bride is no longer to be the submissive little boy he once was. He is now the leader, lover, protector and provider for his wife. Later, as children come, he who was once commanded by his father and mother, now commands his own children. It is an amazing metamorphosis.
I pronounce you husband and wife.
I experienced it over fifty years ago as a young bridegroom. I experienced it a second time when I became a father. I experienced it again as I performed the weddings of each of our two sons and daughter. It was a deeply emotional experience as I cut the parent/child relationship. I sense the awesomeness of it every time I perform a wedding. Some of the most powerful words I ever say are these: “And now by the authority given me as a Minister of the Gospel, I pronounce you husband and wife.” These words always move me to the depths of my soul. I sense that I have just had a part in this great metamorphosis. In that instant, it’s as though I took divine scissors and cut the relationship of a young man and a young woman with their parents and took divine glue and united this young man with his bride.
Let them go!
Although the transformation is instantaneous; in another sense, it takes some time to adjust to this new relationship. The parents of the bride and groom can be a great help and blessing to their married children by letting them go and allowing them to stand on their own feet. They can still support them with their love and prayers, but leave them alone and let them go!
In many marriages the greatest source of discord is that of meddling parents who refuse to let go of their son or daughter. Mothers, especially mothers of sons, are notorious for interfering in the lives of their sons and daughters-in-law; causing much tension, friction and hard feelings. Happy is the young married couple who have parents who have learned to let go and not interfere in the marriage of their children.
Naomi must have been an amazing and wonderful mother-in-law. Her widowed daughter-in-law, Ruth, loved her so much that she was willing to give up her past and her people and go with her mother-in-law to a strange land. There God gave Ruth a wonderful second husband, Boaz. Read this beautiful love story here https://hiddentreasures.wordpress.com/category/love/
From a boy to a husband and father
Newly weds must cut the ties to mother’s apron strings. The bride and groom must learn to lean on one another for emotional support and not on their parents. A young husband must break away from the submissive relationship he had with his mother as a small child. This parental dependency can wreak havoc on a marriage. Little children who grow up in Christian homes have drilled into them the responsibility of obeying their parents. But when that obedient, submissive child grows up and stands as an adult with his bride at the marriage altar, a metamorphosis must start to take place immediately. That obedient little boy in a moment of time must stop taking order from his parents, and become the leader of his new home. If they are wise parents, they are going to stop giving orders and making strong suggestions as to how the new couple should live their lives. Even when asked by their son or daughter, they will offer advice and suggestions very cautiously and very sparingly.
Mother, don’t attack your child!
An unwise, meddling mother-in-law will tell her daughter-in-law how to redecorate her home, how to raise the children, what to eat, how to prepare it correctly, what to wear, where to attend church and on and on it goes. Her controlling attitude will drive her son and daughter-in-law farther and farther away. Such a mother fails to understand the awful strain she is placing on her children’s marriage as she gives her unsolicited advice. Remember this, parents, when you criticize or attack your son’s wife or your daughter’s husband, you not only attack the in-law, but you attack your own child. You are doing untold damage to your children and to the relationship you hope to have with them and with the future grandchildren.
Change your thinking, young husband!
Young husbands and wives MUST stop thinking of themselves as their parent’s submissive children. For twenty years or so they have had the parent/child mentality. Now they must start thinking of their new relationship as husband and wife. They must stop depending on their parents for emotional and financial support and develop a strong relationship with one another. Settle it now young husband. Determine to provide a loving, secure home for your wife and children and with your wife, provide a Christian heritage to pass on to the next generation.
We live in a world of troubled, unhappy marriages and divorces. One of the greatest ways we can be a witness to those around us is to have a happy, successful marriage. Such marriages open doors of opportunity to share Christ with others.
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