Several years ago, I met a life-long friend walking down the road. We stopped for a couple moments and exchanged greetings. I asked her how she and her husband were doing (they had married three months earlier). Her response startled me. She said, “Steve, we’re not together any more. I wasn’t happy, so I called my dad and asked him if I could come home, so that’s where I’m living now.”
Compare this account with the following account of a young woman who had only been married for a few short months. Sobbing, this newlywed phoned her father and said, “Daddy, I’m not happy. Can I come home?” to which her wise father responded, “Honey, you know I love you, but you are home.”
The father in the second scenario wisely understood what many people don’t understand today: In marriage, there is a “leaving” of father and mother and a “cleaving” to one’s own spouse (Matthew 19:5).
True love doesn’t aid and abet a person in escaping responsibility, but rather stands beside them and supports them in facing and overcoming difficulties.
Lord, give us more fathers with such wisdom and may the rest of us heed their wise counsel!