It has been nearly 10 years since my parents divorced. A lot of time has passed since then as I am now married and have a family of my own. As a young girl, I didn’t realize that my parents’ divorce would affect me as an adult. Sure the heartbreak faded away, but the emotional scars lingered into my adult life occasionally creeping up in my heart, even today.
I clearly remember wanting to have the “perfect white picket fence family” that all my friends had. I blamed myself for the split. I tried to be the perfect child to make up for some of the hurt and confusion, and it was exhausting. I craved stability; I craved normalcy; I craved having both of my parents with me to support me under the same roof. But as I grew up and matured, I realized no family is perfect. There will never be a perfect family.
Little did I know in that painful season of life that God was preparing me to have a family of my own.
It wasn’t in my master plan to get married at 19 years old. Quite frankly, I didn’t want to get married before age 25. I was very set on following my own dreams and plans for my life; I wasn’t really interested in anything but making myself happy. Motherhood and wifehood came looking for me at what I thought was the most inopportune time. Isn’t it wonderful how God gives us what we don’t even know we need, exactly when we need it the most? I realized what I went through as a child had ignited a longing in my heart over the years for a family of my own.
Growing up in a broken home taught me three important lessons:
1. Family Is To Be Treasured
I am convinced that a God-centered family unit is the most unstoppable force in the world. Two parents who are dedicated to raising children to bring glory to God’s name are a force to be reckoned with. A family is a treasure. We typically lock our front door when leaving the house to run errands. Why do we do this? We do it to protect our valuables, or treasures, inside our home while we are away. Those treasures will pass away one day but family, the people you share your home with will slip into eternity, hopefully in Heaven with you. A family is a treasure to be protected, nurtured, and used to bring glory to God.
2. How We Live Doesn’t Just Affect Us
The way we live our lives doesn’t just affect us. Romans 14:7 says, “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.” The way we live our lives in front of our family matters. From the way I treat my husband to the kinds of things I allow into my life—it all matters. If I am not where I should be with Christ then it will affect my children and spouse. We are a team being coached by our Heavenly Father. If I decided I didn’t want to be a part of my family or our team, it would deeply affect not only my spouse, but my children. It would affect them for years to come even after they got married and had kids of their own. We truly reap what we sow. We won’t ever reach perfection, but we can sow good into our families each day little by little.
3. Family Is Worth Fighting For
I am learning rather quickly that you have to be intentional about raising a family. It takes a lot of prayers, hard work, and dedication to really love your people. I am a young mama but God is teaching me a lot about my role in my home. I am convinced that no matter our age, we can always grow. A family is worth fighting. Getting up every day to love and care for them is the greatest job you could have. They are more important than titles, careers, money, and possessions. The family unit is where we learn about Christ, share our biggest dreams, and make the most magical memories. I won’t do everything perfectly as a parent, nor will you, but we can raise kids who look back on their childhood and see that we fought hard to nurture their hearts and point them to Christ. Fight on, parents! I pray you will see the untapped potential in raising your family in our dark world.
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