There is an interesting article here about the implications for marriage of sons being controlled by their mothers.
It is pertinent to observe how the Bible describes the institution of marriage. That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. (Gen. 2:24). The key player, in many ways, in the establishing of a marriage is the man. He is the one who leaves in order to set up a new home. He leaves his father and mother and is now joined to his wife in a one flesh relationship.
It may be sometimes that the man does not physically leave his parents, although that must be advisable because to stay has many negative implicit complications. However, he must emotionally leave his parents and he must step away from the control of his parents. He is now starting up another household. So he leaves the household of his parents. If the son allows himself to remain under the control of his parents then the newly constituted marriage is in grave danger.
I have observed it, particularly in Indian marriages, in fact. The husband does not graduate from parental control to establishing his independence in a new family structure. He remains in thrall to the views, advice and control of the mother. And who suffers? It is the wife who suffers. Rather than living with a self-sacrificing husband who loves her with selfless devotion; she has a husband whose behaviour is determined by the vicissitudes of her mother-in-law.
Who do I blame for this scenario? Well the mother must take responsibility for her selfish trapping of her son. But it is the son I would see as most culpable. He needs to face up to his responsibilities and stand-up to his mother. He has to be big enough and brave enough to make the break.
So as regards to marriage here are three words of counsel:
- To Mothers. Beware of your attitude and actions towards your son. You must allow him to set up a new home. You can advise, but not control
- To Sons. Be aware that you are in a godly sense breaking away from your parents to establish a new home. Make sure you do that.
- To Prospective Wives. Ask yourself whether you believe the man you are thinking of marrying has the strength of character to make the break. If not; I would say be very wary of marrying him.
(Originally published at Venabling on 20th February 2014)