"...a man shall leave his father and his mother."
Sometimes things grow best, right after a fresh cut. Pruning is one of those universal metaphor’s of life. If you want more grapes, put a knife to the branches. If you need a stronger army, trim the ranks. If you desire to see more muscle, burn that fat. It’s no accident that God calls men to sever ties with family. Because the healthiest growth between a husband and wife requires getting some distance from the family tree.
Yes, it is possible to get distance from mom and dad without dishonoring them. In fact, we must cut ourselves loose without cutting ourselves off. And love for our parents has no strings attached. Men, when we calculatedly do this, it sends a clear signal to our bride, “I’m-your-man”. Real men take the first cut. They demonstrate that this is a new day. Men send a powerful message of love for their bride when they walk her away from his tribe to start a new tribe. Intimacy and adventure are two huge benefits when men are willing to make the "first cut”.
Some of us got this right away. But for some of us men, it takes decades to realize that we never made that first cut–we never really severed that relationship with our parents and it's hurt our marriage. Don’t condemn yourself another minute. God never wastes a thing and every courageous decision is followed by waves of God’s favor. But what does is look like to cut ourselves loose? Here’s a few categories to think through, you may have more.
Cut Allegiances - We’re called to honor our father and mother, not defend them. As tough as it is to let down the old family flag, real men raise a new one.
Cut Traditions - This is probably a huge list but you have to set them all down. Now that doesn’t mean that you won’t pick a few old traditions back up, it just means that you’re cutting them loose long enough to let you and your wife do some cherry picking of the ones you want in the new tribe.
Cut Cords - Dependence cords are like umbilical cords for adults. Here’s the good news, men. It’s tougher to admit you have dependence cords than it is to cut them. Once you come to grips with all the ways you depend on good ole’ mom and dad, the sooner you can cut them loose. You may need to bare down, dependence cords grow strong over time.
Go ahead, make that first cut, your marriage will thrive!