Who Truly Comes First, The Wife Or The Mother?
One of the best things about attending a wedding is seeing the amount of love the bride and groom have for each other, as well as the incredible support system that the couple has in family and close friends who come to witness the special occasion.
Some of this support is provided through traditional speeches and is often given by the best man and maid/matron of honor at the reception. However, I recently attended a wedding where the mother of the groom gave words of encouragement and told a few personal stories. During her lengthy yet poignant speech, she made the following statement about her son: “He loves his momma, takes care of his momma and will always take care of his momma.”
My jaw dropped, along with the jaw of just about every other guest at my table.
Although the rest of her speech continued, I couldn’t really focus as I was fixated on that one statement. Why would she need to tell my friend, the bride whom her son loves, let alone the rest of the room, that her son will always take care of her? What does “take care of” really mean? Was this a warning to her new daughter-in-law?
The assumptions could continue on, as I don’t know how her relationship has been with the bride thus far, but her words were direct and intentional, which leads me to believe one thing: She expects nothing to change. After the mother of the groom made her statement, a friend leaned over to me and asked me, “Has she read the Bible?”
I remember reading the scriptures that pretty much give an overview of how to prioritize the people in your life when it comes to your marriage: God is first, then your spouse. One verse explicitly lays out what a husband should do upon saying “I do.” According to Ephesians 5:29, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
I’m pretty sure that God doesn’t want a married person to stop loving their parents, but the above verbiage does say leave. As in, cut the cord.
Now, would I expect the groom, or any other married man, to completely cut off his parents? Absolutely not. But it’s expected that he will focus on building his own family and will have the support of his parents in doing so. Therefore, I have to wonder about the thought process of the groom’s mother in making her statement. In fact, it made me wonder about all women and their expectations when their sons gets married.
If the relationship is a great one, I’m sure a man’s first love is his mom, and there’s no doubt in my mind that it’s hard for a woman to see her baby boy acquire a new leading lady. Still, there need to be boundaries.
Unfortunately, I’ve heard from some of my friends and peers that some men they’ve been with have a hard time standing up to their mother. It’s like they have a fear of disrespecting her when attempting to communicate; therefore, they choose not to communicate any issue and fail their partner.
I would sincerely hope that my friend, now a newlywed, can effectively communicate to her husband if and when she feels her mother-in-law is overstepping her boundaries. But as someone who watched that speech firsthand, I can say that there’s no doubt that she already has.
What is the best way to ensure that you mother-in-law is respectful of your marriage?