By yourself you’re unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.Ecclesiastes 4:12
With life comes seasons. The changing of seasons as one matures and develops is different for everyone. Life experience will often shift our perspective, change our attitude(s) and/or strengthen our resolve regarding those things that are important to us.
For me, my faith is the most important thing to me. The relationship that exists between myself and God trumps all other relationships in my life. Next in life is my relationship with my family: my husband and then my relationships with all my children. And then comes everyone and everything else (extended family, relatives, friends, co-workers, church, job, entertainment, hobbies and so on). Do you see how everyone and everything else fit into the parenthesis? There is no certain order. It just all falls in that space together.
It has taken a long time to create this balance in my life but life functions best when we set our world in motion the way that God intended it to spin. Above all else, He must come first in our lives. There is no getting around that fact. Scripture says it and because I believe the truth of scripture, I know that for there to be peace and harmony in my life, I need to follow that principle. To a “T”. The next two relationships can get tricky and can create a whole lot of havoc if not done in the correct order. I say tricky because we women are wired to nurture. We want to be “the best moms” we can be and strive for that. Often at the expense of our spouse/marriage. However, when that role, as a mom, supersedes that role of being a wife first, we will fail. When our priorities are out of order, the world will collapse. I can pretty much guarantee that.
Matthew and I are finishing a book by Greg Laurie titled, Married. Happily. It has been a fantastic book and helped us tremendously in priority placement amongst other things. But of all the helpful information, can I share with you what piece of information blew my mind the most? I am a tad bit embarrassed to admit it because I do not know how I have missed the significance of this passage for so long.
…This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. Genesis 2:24
Now it isn’t the verse itself that I have missed all these years as I have read that verse a thousand times. It is the point Greg Laurie makes in this next paragraph that got me.
Greg Laurie writes: Long before there was a nation, government, a school or even a church, there was a man and woman brought together to be husband and wife. The institution of marriage predates every other human institution or relationship in Scripture and remains one of the key foundation stones of any society.
He goes on to say: Marriage begins with a leaving-a distinct departure and distancing from all other relationships. The closest relationship outside of marriage is specified here, which is the relationship of a child to his parents. This implies that if it’s necessary to leave your father and mother, then all lesser ties must be broken, changed or left behind. You leave all other relationship.
I have read the story of creation hundreds of times. I know a rib was taken from Adam and then Eve was created, and they were told to leave and cleave (from who they were to leave I am not certain since they had no earthly parents, but I do see the importance that is being placed on leaving and cleaving since it was commanded without earthly parents being present) and were now said to be one flesh. I know this story. But somehow, I had missed the significance of what was taking place. The first human relationship ever created by God was that of husband and wife.
As I read through it again, I see that Eve was not a daughter or mother first. Adam was not a son or dad first. They were husband and wife first. The first relationship (outside of the relationship with God) created on earth was that of husband and wife.
As a mom, it is so very easy to want to place priority on to our children. Especially when they are younger. They need so much from us, and we give so much of ourselves to them but is that the way God designed it?
So many things can be jumbled and twisted to fit whatever agenda is trying to be sold. On just about any given day one can scroll through social media and watch as someone else has twisted Scripture to fit into their way of thinking or to excuse their sinful choices. But this is one right out of the gate that we cannot argue with. Creation happened. The Bible spells it out for us. Genesis speaks to what family is and the order to which each relationship outside of that should fall. So that leaves very little wiggle room to argue any other way.
Last year my oldest married. Our “family” grew in a way. But here’s the thing I realized as I watched them take their vows; my son has now started his own family. He and his wife are now one. I want them to cleave to one another. To be padlocked together in a way that makes them inseparable. Though he will always be my son, he belongs to his wife, and I have become part of his extended family. He has left this family (his parents and siblings) to begin his own family and that family should be what takes priority over all other relationships and things no matter how much his siblings may protest 😉.
As a mom, I once thought that watching my child leave and marry would be the hardest thing in the world. But instead, it has been one of the greatest blessings I ever thought possible. I think part of that blessing is the realization that God created order and His order is perfect. When we keep His priorities in place and we acknowledge that God knows what He is doing and live out our lives the way He has designed life to be, then everything else falls into place. I chose to place my marriage before my children. We have spent ten years working to make our marriage the priority and focusing on doing marriage the way God designed. My hope and prayer are that by living that out, though my children may not have always understood it, that as they go to marry and are married, they will grasp it and cleave to their spouse the way God intended and will continue to do so throughout their marriage no matter what relationships they encounter. Priorities are everything. Priorities change everything.