Read Genesis 2:24
24 Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife,and they become one flesh. (NRSV)
We may have heard the phrase,’helicopter parenting’. It describes the sort of parent who is always buzzing and hovering around their child,micromanaging their life in order to protect or control. It doesn’t really help produce mature and responsible adults. Rather it produces whining,dependent individuals who have trouble facing life for themselves.
Of course such parents mean well. Of course parents do not neglect their children or fail to protect them from obvious dangers. Of course they want to help shape their lives and pass on faith to them in some way.
But it can go too far. And so when the time comes to ‘leave and cleave’ as our text describes,the child is unable to separate from his or her parents and form a new relationship. And so we have married children who ‘report in’ to their parents daily on what they are doing to ensure it is approved. We have parents who have no boundaries with their children and vice versa. Their lives are so enmeshed that there is little or no privacy. Tell the parent something and the child soon knows it. Tell the child something and the parent is soon informed.
All this is an excess of control and even fear. Parental love is a challenging love because it is a love that lets go,a love which both nurtures and releases,a love that provides security yet without suffocation. In fact,much the sort of love God provides for us.