Reminders From My Oldest

“I know who I want to marry”, he said.

He wasn’t joking.  He has told us who.  Even told us why he wants to marry her.  It’s simple really.

“I just do.  She’s my friend.  I like playing with her.  I have fun with her.”

Let me be clear.  My son came up with this all by himself.  We are very intentional about not talking about having a girlfriend, not even in a joking manner.  He’s five!  Discussions about dating and related topics will be discussed age appropriately as they are brought up or it’s deemed necessary.  The only reference we have ever made to such relationship has been in the context of family members {my sister, cousins, etc.} who are in dating relationships.  So you can imagine we were quite surprised when he announced that he’s picked a wife.

I admit.  This whole thing is rather cute.  But apart from the cuteness of it all I was reminded of a few things.

  1. It is important to have fun with your spouse.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from his answer as to why he wanted to marry her but it wasn’t her outward beauty {although she is adorable}, it wasn’t what she has or doesn’t have.  It was simply that he enjoys her, he has fun with her.  She’s his friend.  Friendship with your spouse is so important.  Friendship is what keeps you connected.  Your spouse should be your best friend.  In a post on the Resurgence website Pastor Mark Driscoll says, “when both spouses make a deep, heartfelt covenant with God to continually seek to become a better friend, the marriage is marked by ever-increasing longing and love.”  Driscoll and his wife, Grace, speak a great deal about friendship with your spouse in their book Real Marriage.  If you don’t already own a copy, you should.  It has been a valuable resource for Derek and I.  Ladies, for some practical tips on friendship with your husbands check out this Mars Hill Church blog post:  7 Ways to Enjoy Friendship with Your Husband.
  2. Cultivate open communication in the home.  I want to be having these same conversations in ten, fifteen, twenty years from now.  When my boys are dating.  When they are seriously considering marriage.  I want them to feel the freedom to talk to us about dating and girls.  I want them to feel comfortable asking us questions about marriage.  I don’t want them to have any fear about talking openly and candidly with Derek and I.  I pray that the Lord would help us cultivate that sort of atmosphere in our family.  We are not here to be their best friends but we are here to teach, train, and nurture them.  I want my boys to know that they can tell me or ask me anything.  I don’t have a step by step on how this happens. {Wish I did.}  I do believe it involves being there.  Really being there.  Spending intentional time together.  Listening.  One way our family is intentional with our time together is Family Fun Night.  One night a week is set aside for just our family.  We watch a movie and eat popcorn, go out to eat, or play games.  The boys count down the days until Family Fun Night!
  3. Our children are watching and listening.  This whole conversation was started because of what he saw and heard about mine and Derek’s marriage.  He hears many of our conversations, he sees the way we interact with one another, he is aware of our habit of date night.  It’s easy to think that because he’s young he doesn’t quite understand it all.  I would argue that he understands and is aware of much more than we give him credit for.  I need to be mindful of this.  One day they will, Lord willing, be husbands and fathers.  We can have many “talks” but at the end of the day much of what will stick will be what they saw.  They are learning from me even when I don’t think I’m teaching them.  Like when I hear one say “what the heck?!” and I jerk my head back in shock and say “where the heck did they hear that?”  Oh yeah.  Me.  Or when the older one shows the younger one how to hold  his spoon “like Daddy does”.   As a child of God I should be imaging God to others so that they see Him and glorify Him.  This imaging God to others includes imaging God to my children.
  4. I should pray for my future daughter-in-laws {and those DIL’s husbands!}. I told the boys they had plenty of time to find a wife.  Which is true.  After all, they are only five and three.  It will be at least twenty years before either one of them tie the knot.  But chances are she has already been born.  She’s on this planet somewhere.  I must pray for her.  Pray for her heart.  Pray for their relationship.  The idea of my boys being married is crazy talk right now but I know it’ll seem like only the blink of an eye and they’ll be men.  Men.  Part of my job as a parent is to raise these boys into men.  While I pray for my daughter-in-laws I should also pray for my sons as they become men.  Men who one day may be husbands and fathers.  I pray often that my boys will “be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong, and that all that they do will be done in love.” {1 Corinthians 16:13-14}  I do pray for Connor’s wife and Graham’s wife.  And in my prayers for my boys I pray for their homes and marriages.  Because one day, Lord willing, they will need to realize the importance of being best friends with their wife.  One day they’ll be navigating through parenting just as their Dad and I are doing now.

These were reminders to me, not things I’ve mastered so I’m passing them along to you.  No, I am not an expert on any of these points.  I wouldn’t need reminded if I was.  I’m learning as I go.  Learning as I fail because I do.  Daily.  Learning through, and because of, God’s grace to me. His grace upon grace.  {John 1:16}

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One thought on “Reminders From My Oldest

  1. Great thoughts,lessons and truths. Is Conner taking appointments for counselling sessions yet? Uncle Dave could learn some lessons from him too.

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