I regularly ask myself if what I think about a particular topic really matters to my readers. Each day you are bombarded with messages and you have to separate the valuable from the irrelevant. I believe you will only continue to read the words I write if you regularly find something of substance and meaning woven into my stories and ideas. This is especially true when I write about family relationships. I don’t presume to tell you what to do; rather, I bring a topic to the table for your consideration. Today’s post is about a very small thing but this very small event reflects a significant way of thinking that can make a world of difference in a marriage and extended family.

IMG_4824Late yesterday afternoon I was on the phone chatting with my middle son. Luke and I weren’t discussing anything important — just staying in touch and keeping up with ordinary happenings in each other’s lives. A few minutes into our conversation I heard Camilla’s cheerful voice in the background. It was obvious to me she was arriving home from work. Luke skillfully brought our conversation to a close with a sweet endearment and the promise to call again soon.

My son’s reaction made this mama proud.

When Luke said good-bye to me to devote his attention to Camilla, he got the order right. And when we get the order right, the marriage grows God’s way and then other relationships fall into place.

The “leave and cleave” principle is easy to identify in big decisions, but if we aren’t careful we’ll find ourselves off base in the routines of everyday life. We’ll view our children’s healthy boundaries as slights or rejection. When mothers and mothers-in-law clamor for attention everyone involved ends up wasting emotional energy in the struggle to keep the peace.

When we get the order right, members of different generations can engage with other family members in a genuine way. No one feels manipulated or overlooked. Sons don’t humor their mothers at the expense of their wives. Mothers and daughters don’t make the plan and tell everyone else where and when to show up. Children are free to show love and respect to their parents and in-laws without the fear of being controlled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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