For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? (Matthew 19:5)
I hear wedding bells….and feel the tug of heartstrings. My son is getting married this Saturday.
I’ve known since January. Where have those six months flown? It is only now that I am pondering deeply the enormous change our family is about to undergo. Even happy, exciting changes can still tug at your heartstrings. Letting go of the familiar, the comfortable…what has always been, can be a bit daunting.
Change by its nature is uncertain, at least in the beginning. We have to learn what to expect, how things will be; we forge new ways and assume different roles.
I have spent the past week looking through photo albums and childhood memorabilia to find memories of my son which will be shared in a video and collage at the wedding. I watched him grow up again through his pictures. My dining room table is piled with his beloved Garfield paraphernalia, stacks of music awards, and framed photos of pint -sized athletes playing soccer, baseball and football.
I sat up late the other night watching a VHS tape of him playing My Funny Valentine on tenor saxophone in tenth grade…and then watching it again..and again. His dad and I were so proud of him that night. He was amazing! Saturday, he will be surprised to hear this musical piece accompanying the video of childhood pictures of him and his bride.
The other day, my sister and I spent the afternoon shopping for items to decorate the groom’s table. We had so much fun, and as I tried to choose things I thought he would like, and which would express something about him, I realized that decorating this table might be the last time I would do something so exclusively for him… all by myself. And so I chose my treasures carefully.
That same morning, I had listened to another mother describe her son’s recent wedding, and she had mentioned how the cleaving she had felt with him had to be loosened and let go, for now he must cleave to his wife, as God’s Word says.
Yes, it’s true. My son’s bride, among mortals, must be first in his heart and in his thoughts and care, from this Saturday onward. I must step back…no longer the first to respond when he is sick or has a problem. His personal life will become their life. I must respect a new privacy, one with no place for my sometimes unsolicited advice.
As the woman mentioned above said, “It is painful…this letting go.”
When a father brings his daughter to the altar to give her hand in marriage, we see a visual of this “giving away.”
But mothers are seated in the pew. We watch in silence, as our sons take their wives, and the bond is untied slowly in secret within our hearts, where only God can see.
It can never truly be undone, truly severed…that bond, which in a mother is wrapped so tightly, each little knot a reminder of a precious moment in our child’s life.
But yet, it must be loosened now, and yield to the wedding ring she wears.
I can hear the song being played on my heartstrings….love him always, love him deeply, take care of him as I have, never hurt him… and one day, give him back to God. Yes give him back to God shining with grace and beauty…much more so than when I gave him to you…
And, remember to cleave, only to him.