Several years ago, I met a lifelong friend walking down the road. We stopped for a couple of 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 anymore. I wasn’t happy, so I called my dad and asked him if I could come home. 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 do not 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 does not aid and abet people 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! —Steve Higginbotham

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