This past weekend, my folks came into town on their way home from their summer retreat in Minnesota. They go every year from late May to September to get away from the oppressive Texas heat and to connect with their friends that they have made in the community they have a house in. I’m extremely jealous because I really hate the heat in here in Texas in summer and Minnesota in the summer is like a piece of Heaven…or so I hear!
My parents are in their early 70’s and yet they still look and get around like they are much younger. They raised three kids and now they have multiple grandkids and a few great-grandchildren. They are the rock of the family and have built a legacy for all of us to cherish for the rest of our lives. I think that is the key to the success of our family – the fact that my parents were determined to create a legacy of love for their kids.
How did they do it you ask? Well, I would have to ask them but I suspect that their answer would be that they put each other first before us kids. For some, that sounds selfish and unloving but in God’s economy that’s the way he prefers it. Of course, he wants us individually and collectively to put Him first (Deuteronomy 6:5) but as a family He wants us as husbands and wives to submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21). That’s what my parents have done all these years…they built a strong team.
I truly believe that my parent’s love for each other is what has been the success of our entire family. That may sound rather bold but considering that they have been the example to follow in marriage, I believe that the rest of us in the family have benefited from their stability in life and love. Without that stability I believe our family as a whole would be in awful shape. Not that we don’t have our fair share of dysfunction but at least we all love each other and have a good foundation in our lives.
My wife and I have modeled this as well. We have built our marriage around God but we also put each other above our children. This allows our children to see how a marriage should be and our children love this! They love the fact that we love each other as much as we do. They also know that God is at the center of the family and they love that too. My wife and I have always said that we may not be the best parents in the world but we know our kids will grow up with a healthy example of loving God and having a loving marriage. That’s all we can hope for!
My parents are a gift from God and I really appreciate their example and impact in my life. If you did not grow up with parents who modeled a healthy marriage then my encouragement to you is to think of their dysfunction as a gift as well…a gift of opportunity. Think of it as an opportunity to learn from your parent’s example and create your own model for your kids to follow; one that honors God by following the God, Spouse, Children paradigm. In turn you will be a gift to your kids!
I love my parents and I thank God for giving me such a wonderful gift!