When a person marries another, he/she does so to that one person, the spouse. He/she does not marry the spouse’s family or clan or tribe or culture or spouse’s ancestry.
It is high time marriage is understood as an ordained thing by God that must be conducted according to Him irrespective of our cultures, preferences, status or ancestry. Marriage is also an honourable institution recognised and protected by the laws of the country, highly respected and cherished by all faiths on earth.
This is because it is the only proper means of producing other human beings on earth, the only means of creating families, the only means of expanding clans and the only means of increasing or controlling population.
When a person marries, he or she, wittingly and unwittingly, enters a permanent and new special relationship with another person of opposite sex, usually of his or her choice, until death parts them or otherwise.
Doing so compels him or her to take a radical and or drastic step of detaching himself or herself from the former special relationship he/ she had with his/her parents and the family members.
All the time, he/she must do positive things towards the same, including behaving in such a way to facilitate it to prevail with his/her spouse. He/she must avoid doing anything that frustrates or thwarts it. Doing so includes attaching his or her personal life to his/her spouse and entrusting it with him/her as a newly provided God’s trustee instead of his/her parents and other relatives. In fact a spouse is similar to a Godly provided insurance cover, deserving all respect, care and consciousness.
In Christianity, for instance, God in great His wisdom, declared and commanded that in order for marriage to be what it ought to be, a man shall leave his parents and the parents’ family as a whole and cling to his wife to become one flesh (Genesis 2:24). Although the Bible does not state so, it is implied that the wife must do the same.
For it is not possible for a man to cling to her, to become one flesh when or if part of his wife’s flesh remains with her parents’ family. Flesh in this case does not mean that the two will go to a tailor or surgeon to be stitched together into one body. It simply means that the two will cease pegging or tying their decisions and outlook to whims and influences of their parents’ family.
God wants marriage to be independent of influences, rules and regulations from the couple’s parents’ home. This is because He wants them to start a new family on a new footing and knows that the best way to do so is to give them an opportunity to start their own domain or ‘government’ without interference.
It is therefore incumbent upon people in marriage, their parents and other relatives, to understand, realise and appreciate that a marriage is God’s way and factory for producing different kinds of people whom He wants to have on earth, to play certain roles. It is like Eden where He created Adam and Eve from. However, since He no longer creates people from there, He uses husband and wife as the alternative Eden or conduit.
The fact that Eden was a holy place where its inhabitants were supposed to be holy too, not sinning, God also requires all marriages to be like it, kept holy. In which case, holiness means making every effort to avoid sin, be faithful to one another, avoid telling lies, repent whenever one falls into sin, forgive those who do wrong to us even before they ask for forgiveness, avoid pride and do everything possible to please God at all times. It means fearing God, which simply requires avoidance of sin (Proverbs 8:13).
Except in the case of old parents who might be ill, weak and lonely or very old to the extent of losing memory, such should, on moral grounds, be brought to one’s marriage home to live with him/her so as to closely care for them.
In the normalcy, they should be cared for at their homes through a reliable and or responsible brother or sister or other close relative who is near them or staying with them, willing and able to properly carry the role of caring for them. Doing so is one way of according them respect in accordance with the scripture (Deuteronomy 5:16). So should orphans.
In case one’s very young brothers and sisters are staying with parents who are morbid or very old and helpless, they too, for this reason only, may be brought to stay with you for proper care but not for any other reason. Otherwise avoid bringing relatives for other reasons, besides your nuclear family, to live with you in your marriage home.
Doing so will protect your marriage from unnecessary conflicts, breaking and divorce often caused by unnecessarily living with relatives in your marriage home to help them.
Parents, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles and the like, who are in the habit of thinking or expecting that things or earned moneys of their married relatives are automatically theirs or also theirs, should politely be rebuffed to stop dreaming so. Likewise, married couples who nurture funny ideas of regarding their sisters in law or brothers in law as alternative sexual partners to their spouses should come to their senses to remember that they never married relatives but their spouses and vice versa.