Each month I write an article for a local magazine, Up In Cumming, and I always like to share them with my SharpenHer friends, too. This month, the magazine theme was “Make Life Count.” Hope you enjoy it!
I’ll never forget a weekend trip I took while in college. My sorority sister and I went to Florida to visit her family. Ok, we really went to soak up some sun at the beach, but we certainly spent time with her parents….at night….when they took us to dinner. (We were college students, and we knew where our bread was buttered, so to speak.)
At breakfast one morning, my friend’s father shared a bit of his wisdom with us. My friend rolled her eyes, somewhat embarrassed that he was about to lecture us on the pitfalls of poor decisions or the importance of integrity. He didn’t seem to notice. Instead, he drank his coffee and did what he apparently did every morning with his family – he mentored them.
This particular morning he talked to us about marriage. It was a little odd since neither of us had major plans for white dresses and flower girls, but what he said stuck with me.
“When you get married, be a partner to your husband. Work hard to be involved in his life; to like the things he likes; to support and encourage him. Don’t settle for a man who won’t do the same for you.”
I’ll be honest. I listened to him, but I was ready to get back to the beach. Yet, now, years later, I hear his words with a profound understanding. My husband and I have been married for almost 19 years, and I get it. A marriage….a family….that is a true partnership is strong. Let me give you some examples.
When family members support each other with words and emotions, we’re more closely connected.
When we take an interest in one another’s activities, we feel valued.
When we work together to accomplish common goals – or even not-so-common ones – we feel loved.
Feeling loved and valued isn’t something the world offers. As a matter of fact, the world does a pretty good job of beating us down from time to time, doesn’t it? Turns out my friend’s father knew what he was talking about. Family life works best when it’s a partnership. When we take our eyes off of ourselves and seek to link arms with our spouse and children to become a team we create bonds that aren’t easily broken. Feeling loved and valued and admired glues the members of a family together like nothing else.
God has something to say about how we should treat our families. Check it out:
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10
Why not give it a try? Find some ways to honor your husband or wife by getting involved in the things they like. Or, change your schedule so you can play catch with your kids.
Does your spouse like to go for walks? Slip your hand in theirs and join them.
Have your kids worked hard at something? Take them out for ice cream to celebrate.
Does someone in your family have a deadline to meet? Pitch in and help out.
Does your spouse have a hobby? Get involved!
Our homes should be a place of refuge and friendship – and partnership. Take some time this month to strengthen your family by partnering in the things they do. I guarantee your efforts will be worth it.