03 September 2007

Blest be those ties...

My home was the venue for a congregational bridal shower yesterday. It was for the son of one of my dearest friends - her son grew up with my sons. And the other hostesses had been witnesses to this young man as he grew up and matured. They say "it takes a village" and I believe that but would change it to "it takes a congregation" to raise a child. These were women who had helped watch, nurture, encourage, even rebuke when necessary, my children as well as so many others throughout the years. And a new face, a lovely young lady, somewhat of a stranger to us now but lovingly accepted none-the-less because of the reputation of her groom, was introduced to our "larger family". Another family is about to be born and we are privileged to be a part of it.

I don't know about you, but early on in our children's years, we started praying for the future spouses of our children. And the result of all that prayer was graciously answered in the form of Jason, Megan and Jenjer. They are also our children now and it's always been a bit of a quandary how to answer people when they ask how many children we have. I used to say "six" which led to further questions of if they were all married (which of course technically is "yes" but they don't yet understand that), how many boys, how many girs and (my personal favorite) "You don't look old enough to have six children!" Now I answer, "Six - three by birth and three by marriage". I've never liked the term "in-law" (which always conjures up the polar opposite, "out-law", to me) but for some reason our society just does not want to recognize the people our children have chosen to love, honor and cherish as bonafide children to us! They are outsiders or an extension but not of full rank or some such nonsense.

Families are a community and a sense of community must always be present for all members to feel connected, involved, of equal worth as well as equal responsibility. We all want to be accepted and feel loved and it's hard to feel that way if held at arms-length. I hope all of you with children at home have been praying for the future spouses of your little ones and, if not, will start TODAY to do so! For they will also become your children, a part of your family community, a part of your heart.

For those of you with married children, I hope you will embrace them as your own (which they truly are) and make every effort to include them and treat them as sons and daughters of your own blood. Forge bonds with them as individuals. They will become the mothers and fathers of your grandchildren and also hold the hearts of your "birth-children". If you can't love and cherish them, you wil have lost out on so much and will put your relationship with your "birth-children" on shaky ground. Don't ever make your children choose between you and their beloved.

So God bless Jennifer, Jason, Timothy, Megan, Christopher and Jenjer. And God bless Benjamin, Kennedy, Lleyton, Luke and Mirai - and their future spouses, whoever they are, wherever they are.

God bless us every one.


emily said...

What a wonderful lesson! I have tears coming down my face. I never thought to be praying right now for my future sons. Thank you.

We are very blessed to have acceptance on both sides and I will be saying another prayer of thanks for that.

Megan said...

Thank you for your prayers! I know it was something much greater than circumstance that brought Tim into my life, and I pinch myself everyday that I got so lucky.

rebekca said...

I would love to see this post in every mother "in-law's" home, and I think I will make it my current mission of focus!

What a wonderful perspective you have. Very heartfelt and genuine:)

Thank you.

This has changed my view of my new family that I was blessed with through marriage.

I hope that I will be just as diligent in my prayers for those that will eventually join my own family, as you and Mike were. The payoff seems to have been a blessing many times over!

Kelly said...

I have totally enjoyed your blog since Jen(nifer) :) pointed me to it. Especially the last two posts. You have made me think about things that have maybe never crossed my mind in being a mom. Sometimes I just feel so busy with doing the basics~~feeding, cleaning, doing [whatever it may be]~~that I forget to slow down and really treasure every little moment I have with Reagan. Thank you for sharing you life and experiences.