I remember an old sitcom, The Jeffersons, where the character George Jefferson was the perfect son to his mother. She would even say that from time to time. The problem was that she never had a problem with George, but she always had a problem with George's wife, Louise. A mother is like the lead off runner a the relay race. In time, she hands the baton of leadership off to her husband and they work together raising their son. When a new woman comes into the picture as wife to the son, the mother takes on a new role. They all have the potential for closeness, harmony, love, and respect or for conflict, power struggles, and confrontation. If a mother feels her son can do no wrong, and lets the daughter-in-law know this, trouble is on the horizon. The mother is living in denial. She probably believes that her son is perfect because any indication that he is imperfect is a direct reflection of flaws in her parenting.
Oftentimes, a mother may seek some sort of fulfillment through her son's marriage because of frustrations that occurred in her own marriage or because of a frustation that stems from her having never been married to the son's father. In the sitcom, Louise was always blamed by her mother-in-law for George's problems. So, oftentimes when a son doesn't do what mom expects him to do, it is the daughter-in-law who will become responsible for any shortcomings of her husband.
When I was in high school one of my least favorite sports to participate in was track and field. I had to participate in many different events and among the most dreaded was relay racing. The relay race caused you to be dependent upon the ability of the other person to either pass or receive the baton. A mother will sometimes not pass the baton off in the right way to a father. Instead she maintains the role of leadership. By refusing to pass off the baton of leadership, even when there is no father present in the son's life, a developing male fails to become the leader that he was purposed to be. The problem is not always in the mother, but the lack of participation of a father in a child's life is like the runner who doesn't know how to receive the baton in the right way. The children suffer from this malfunctioning team and are unable to complete the race with a win. When we learn how to work together to reach the finish line everyone benefits from knowing that they played their part to the best of their ability.
Pastor Earl Goings shares his thoughts on everyday concerns.
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