Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Better Together

Better Together. 

This is the name of the new "series" our Sunday School teacher is doing with our class. We just started a couple of weeks ago and we are loving it so far. It's been such a good reminder for us and such an amazing confirmation straight from the Lord that we're on the right path when it comes to family life. 

The overall theme of the series is that we, as married couples, are better together and that our families are worth fighting for. We've talked about giving our children both roots and wings and the importance of flexibility, firmness, fairness, and FUN in our families. 

The main verses we've focused on are Hebrews 10:24-25, And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another- and all the more as you see the Day approaching. We've discussed it mainly in the context of family life. Spurring one another on and not giving up meeting together. Not giving up family dinners, family devotionals, (family game nights =)), family time at home, bringing your family to church, date nights, time set aside for each other, praying together, being together as both a family and a couple. 

We also looked at Matthew 12:25, Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. It is so, so important to be on the same page as much as possible in our marriages. I've touched on it some here on the blog, but this has always been a big one for us in our marriage. I think most of it stems from us being such opposites because from the start there were a few things we weren't exactly on the same page about. And we struggled with them a lot in the beginning. And still do struggle with some newbies from time to time. But we've found if we can communicate well, compromise well, and seek His will, we will always find ourselves on the same page! We are better together and seeking to figure things out together. Our marriage and our family is our most precious possession and we have to fight to keep Satan from dividing us.

I honestly didn't realize how much I needed this confirmation and encouragement until I received it. And it has been such a blessing! I am a homebody and family girl by nature. I've never had a busy, hoppin' social life and never been one to feel totally comfortable in bigger social gatherings/settings. I'm definitely more of an introvert so they're always just a tad outside my comfort zone. Big family gatherings, no problem. Going out with besties, my favorite. Dream Team reunion, the best. Double dates, so fun. But going out with larger groups that I don't know so well is a stretch for me. It's always easier for me to just be home (or out) with my little family. 

And I think some of our decisions to miss out on bigger social get-togethers... whether church related, kid related, school related, etc, have made me feel a little self-conscious. I've questioned whether it's truly best for our family or if at times just comes down to Terrell and I being selfish. I've even questioned if I'm truly giving my kiddos wings. I'm pretty confident about the roots... the wings are a different story. I don't want to shelter them and keep them home so much that they're afraid of independence or using their wings. I don't want to ever hinder their growth or hold them back from great things. 

We don't participate in summer camps... yet. We don't sign our kids up for everything under the sun that comes along. We aren't able to go to every party or get-together we're invited to. And so far, we're committed to only one sport per kid in the Fall and one sport per kid in the Spring. That's it. Firm rule straight from mama. =) These decisions are both financially based and what's best for the whole family versus just one member of the family based. But sometimes I wonder if we should do more. If we should offer our kids more opportunities. If we should sign them up for more and participate in more and do more.... more, more, more. Sigh.

But through our Sunday School series we've both been reminded that at this season and this stage for our family... one full of soccer, homework, school, choir, birthday parties, and other fun outings, we need to prioritize and fight for time together. Not just a routine of passing in the night as a couple. Not just dividing and conquering so the whole family is always going separate directions. Not being involved in everything around us that's offered just because it's offered and available to us and/or our kids. At this point in time, what is best for our family is to be together more than we're apart. And together at home as much as possible during this busy season of school starting back and extracurriculars picking up. And while it's challenging and tough at times we both know this is what's best for us as a couple, for our boys, and for our family as a whole. 

We still don't have it all figured out. We still question what we should be doing versus what we should pass on doing. I'm definitely guilty of comparing what our family does or doesn't do to what other friends and moms in our "circle" do. Never a good thing by the way. Comparing ourselves to others is straight from Satan. Ugh. 

It's easy to look around at other families and to then question decisions we're making for our family. Because they may look very different. And sometimes this leads to jealousy and other times it leads to pride. I think what I'm learning as we parent and raise our family alongside friends is that all families are different and all families, for the most part, are doing what they think and feel and believe to be best for their family. And it could be totally different than what is best for our family. And that's okay! In fact it's very likely. We feel different quite a bit. In the minority. The only ones not doing such and such. The only ones choosing not to do fill in the blank. But if we're at peace about it and we're following God's direction for our family, then that's all that matters. 

I'm so thankful for the encouragement and confirmation and even conviction I've experienced through our little series. We are better together. And not just during this season but for always. My favorite verse from last Sunday was Psalm 34:3, Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. As a couple and as a family that's what we should be doing. Glorifying the Lord and exalting his name together. 

Prioritize your family time. Prioritize your couple time. Fight for your family. You are always better together. =)

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