Hey y’all. It’s already May and I have been busy. I know it’s been awhile since I have written here, but I have been thinking about things and something I have been thinking about today is the sacredness of marriage. On Mother’s Day, most of us evaluate our mothering; we hope we have been good role models by serving our kids and taking care of them; we hope that they will grow up to be respectable adults and appreciate us even more some day. But after 25 years of marriage, and raising three of our four kids to adulthood, I have determined that rumination on such matters is not the most important factor in being a good mom. The most important factor, for those of us blessed with a husband, is what kind of marriage we have modeled.
Few talk about marriage on Mother’s Day but I think it’s important because it’s key. Here’s why:
- · When Brent and I persevere in our marriage, we are showing our kids how to endure. In his book, Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas explains it this way, “Building a sacred history together teaches us to be persistent in doing good, even when we want to do something else. This commitment to perseverance teaches us the basic Christian discipline of self-denial.” We live in a nation of quitters. We, as couples, need to model stick-to-itiveness to our kids. Reconciliation, forgiveness, and humility all show our kids that Haverkamps finish what they start—that includes marriage.
- · When Brent and I have an eternal outlook, rather than a temporary one, our kids understand what we value highly. If we deal with difficult situations and bruised egos with grace, we demonstrate that we believe God’s design is best—even better than our own comfort. If we have this view—the eternal one rather than the short, “now” view, our kids learn that sticking with marriage makes much more sense than destroying the family to gain quick and easy relief.
- · Choosing to value the marriage relationship, we’ve found, even when you don’t feel “in love” is so crucial to your kids’ futures. Here’s an analogy that we can relate to since we are a hiking family. Maybe you will understand. Marriage is kind of like a really long walk—together. Sometimes that walk is exciting and fun—carefree, effortless--and sometimes it gets tedious, tiring, boring—and you want to give up. But just as in hiking, you can’t give up because you have chosen a campsite and you have to keep going to get there. No other viable options exist because, even though it would feel good to stop right on the trail and take the load off of your back, stopping would mean only temporary relief. By nightfall, you will be wishing for a place to retire and a river to replenish your water supply. So, you just keep hiking until you hear the sound of a rushing river and see a flat spot to lay your tent. In hiking, it’s all about the shared sufferings and surprises of the trip. It’s usually way more fun to talk about afterward because you survived together. Kind of like marriage, don’t ya think?
So, I guess what I am saying to all you moms out there is, be a disciple of Jesus first and love Him enough to do what He says. Then be a great wife to your husband, even if it takes lots of energy and the walk seems long and you feel like your pack is heavier than his; work at being a servant to him—this is how Jesus lived—and be interested in his journey too--not just your own. Then, finally, work at being the best mom you can be to your kiddos by serving them also, and find joy in being needed. And tell those same kiddos your story; the story about the sacred history that you are creating with their daddy. And choose to keep creating that very sacred story day after day after day.
I think this is the way to become a great mom.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18