Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Thou Shalt Cut the Apron Strings

On to chapter 2 of the book, "The 10 Commandments of Marriage," by Ed Young.  This week's chapter was...

I don't really know how to put it otherwise.  Mostly, because being a "newlywed" I can relate to a lot of what he had to say.  We are still learning to be our own "family unit" and what that means.  Our parents are still trying to get used to it as well.

This week's chapter was 

Thou Shalt Cut the Apron Strings.

A lot of the chapter was geared toward parents and what it meant to cut the apron strings.  Part of it was geared to us.  But I think there are some important things here that anyone can learn from.

Genesis 2:24 (KJV)
"Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife:  and they shall become one flesh."

Did you know that God said this command 5 different times in the Bible?  It must be pretty important for Him to have said it that many times!  According to Dictionary.com, the word "cleave" means to adhere closely; stick; cling; to remain faithful.  So the man is supposed to cling to his wife when they are married.  Fair enough.

Ed says,
"He [God] simply wants us to know that our parents are no longer preeminent figures in our lives; our mates now hold that position."

Growing up, my dad was the only man that I had to please.  I had to obey him, and ultimately I wanted to make him proud of me.  Well, now that I'm married, he no longer holds that place in my life. {Enter sentimental emotions here.}  Tyler is now the most important man in my life.  He's the one I have to please and the one that I want to make proud.  Yes, I still have to "Honor my mother and father," but I also have to honor my husband now.  Vice versa.  I'm the most important woman in his life now.

There are a couple of "apron strings," if you will, that have to be cut.  First, the counseling string must be cut.  I know that growing up my parents were the first people I went to for advice.  I had a fight with a friend? I went to my parents to ask for advice.  My best friend's parents were going through a divorce?  I went to my parents to ask what I should do and say.  I was trying to figure out where to go to college?  I went to my parents.  In college, I was trying to make the decision whether or not to go to grad school.  I went to my parents to ask their opinions.

My parents are full of Godly advice.  I've always asked their advice, because I know what they say will be full of the Lord.  But now it's different.  No, my parents' advice hasn't changed, rather I have to go to Tyler for advice.  I need to ask him first before my parents.

I am blessed to have parents who've stayed out of our "business," or rather let us learn on our own.  They don't give advice unless we ask for it.  When I asked my dad what I should do about quitting grad school, he told me that I had to be the one to make the decision. Uh, what?  I was thinking, "I don't want to grow up, I just want you to tell me what to do!"  That was my first taste of reality. Tyler and I decided jointly that I would take a sabbatical {yes, I'm still on sabbatical}, and it ended up that God was preparing us for other things.

I am thankful that my parents haven't given us unwanted advice.  Being that I am red, I don't like to be told what to do...especially when I don't want advice and didn't ask for it.  That would be a limitation of my color.  Growing up, if you gave me advice when I didn't want it, it went in through one ear and out the other.  But I'm also thankful that my parents have given us {Tyler and I} the freedom to be our own family and freedom to be able to make decisions that are best for us.

Another apron string that has to be cut is the economic string.  When Tyler and I got married, we got all the bills. Dang, I hate that.  Time to really grow up and be an adult.  And honestly, it was harder for me than him.  He had been paying a lot more than I had been.  It's been good for us, though.  We're trying to be responsible adults.  It's time to pay bills on time {it's not hard when I have an accounting degree and a weird sense of organization and wanting to be on time}.  It's time to pay school debt off {almost there!}, and it's time to stick to a budget.  No more income from Mom and Dad.  Oh, and it's time to save for more "grown-up" things...like cars and houses. :]

I do have to say that my parents blessed me by paying whatever my scholarship didn't cover while I was in college.  That allowed me to save my money for when I did get married, which has definitely helped us out this first year of marriage.   Now, I'm paying them for my health insurance.  So to learn what it means to be financially stable is both good for the kid and the parents.

From a newlywed's perspective, it's a little difficult to get used to a "new set of rules."  I was so used to talking to my parents first about things.  My parents usually told us when they were coming to visit {they had obligations in Springfield}.  They also tried to steer me in the right direction.

Now, I talk to my husband first about things.  My parents ask when a good time would be to visit, and my parents have backed off helping me make decisions because now I have a husband who's to help me.  Wow.

Ed also talks about leaving past people, past problems,  and past places in the past.  No talk about old girlfriends (or boyfriends...but I didn't have any).  No talk about problems from the past...God forgives.  No need for you to bring it up.  Or even problems that have been solved.  Not talk about past places that your husband/wife didn't experience with you.

Now I'm not saying you can't ever say anything about these things.  Just don't dwell on them and talk about them all the time.  

For example, there was an incident or "opportunity" that Tyler and I came across right before we got married.  It had the potential of postponing our wedding (no we didn't hate each other or have problems and it wasn't life threatening, nothing like that.  We still would have gotten married).  But a decision had to be made.  Both of us had our feelings on the line; both of us were hurt.  We wanted opposite things. After much prayer and counsel, the decision was made and our wedding carried on.  We had to come to a consensus.  It was a consensus because we made a decision based on what was the best for both of us, whether we agreed with it or not.  Some may say sacrifice was made, but we don't.  

We also agreed to never talk about it again.  Sometimes that's hard.  I thought it might be hard for me.  The only time it was hard was when others brought it up.  *So note to self...when agreeing not to talk about it any more...tell the others that were involved.*  To this day, we don't talk about it much.  When we do, we still agree that we made the best decision for ourselves.

If we were to dwell on this and talk about it a lot, I don't think either one of us would have been healed from it.  There was a lot of guilt on my part and by not talking about it, it has allowed my heart to heal from it.  We both learned from it...mostly that it's important to talk to the number one person in your life. :]

Same goes with old girlfriends/boyfriends and past places.  When you talk about them so much, it leaves your significant other out of the loop and sometimes feeling insignificant.  I think it's okay to talk about them occasionally, but not all the time.  I really had to think about this one because I talk about my high school friends all the time.  I loved high school...especially my senior year.  But if I were to talk about that all the time, Tyler would feel alienated.  

It may take some time...as you adjust, as families adjust...but we are to be one with each other.  That's what God's picture of marriage is.

Here are this week's questions:

If you are married:

  1. On whom did you depend most before you married?
  2. How has marriage affected that prior relationship?
  3. Describe the greatest bond between you and your spouse.
  4. What specific things do you need to "leave" in order to intensify the bond between you and your spouse?

If you are contemplating or preparing for marriage:

  1. On whom do you most depend right now?
  2. How will that relationship change once you are married?
  3. Describe several areas of your lives where you and your beloved have grown together during courtship.
  4. What things do you need to leave behind as you prepare for marriage?
If you missed Part One, you can catch up here:


  1. is this book by Ed Young Jr or Dr Ed Young?

  2. My Dear Beth,

    Great post!

    I think one of the most important things you said here, as you were speaking of Tyler: “I need to ask him first before my parents.” I know Tyler has opinions about most everything (LOL, and sometimes he’s right ) but, I would hope and believe that Tyler would encourage you to ask for advice from your parents. They have so much life experience that so invaluable to both you and Tyler. I would encourage you to continue to seek out Godly wisdom and counsel on any major life decisions. That may not always be parents, but you have a great extended church family that you can use (and have used) for Godly counsel.

    Love Ya,
    Russel Branstetter

    1. Thank you for your comment! You're right...parents are a valuable asset to have in times of need. Thank you for your insight that you've given already, and I'm sure we'll need some again. :] I guess one point I didn't exactly say outright was that we aren't to ignore parents after we get married...rather use them {or another outside party} when we can't come to a conclusion on our own. :]


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