Saturday, September 18, 2010

I Love Family: It is EVERTHING

My mom and dad got married in 1965.  They are still married.  They never divorced, and never cheated on each other.  My dad never did drugs, and neither did my mom.  They are Christians and have been all of my life.  They are still in love, and although gross at times, I absolutely LOVE the fact that they are.  They raised my two brothers and me.  They raised us to have discipline, self respect, honor, dignity, to serve others, to love others, to love ourselves, to be proud of who we are.  They raised us to bring the best out in others, to give is better than to receive.  My parents modeled these things to us, and this is why we remember them.  My parents were and still are hard workers.  Two of the hardest I have ever seen.  When my dad says yes about something, he means yes.  Otherwise, he would have said something else.  His "No's" also mean "no" every time.  He taught me to say what I mean, and to mean what I say.  He taught me to speak the truth in love, and to love wisdom.  Look for it everywhere.  My parents.  My dad is one of my best friends to this day.

My wife's parents married in 1969.  They are still married.  They have never divorced, and have never cheated on one another.  They did drugs, but soon gave their lives to Jesus early in their marriage.  They have been in love with each other their entire marriage.  They raised three amazing children, who all are now married to wonderful Christian spouses.  They are the tightest family I have ever known.  Their extended family flies in from up state, and out of state just for their birthdays.  That's close.  And expensive.  I love their love for each other.  My parents-in-law are missionaries too.  They love mission trips.  They have been with us one of our trips to Uganda, and have been to India with their oldest daughter and her husband.  They have been to Hong Kong, Honduras, and other international missions trips as well.  They are two models of consistency with love, sacrifice, dedication, support, reliability, hard hard work, humility, and servant hood to their family, and to others.  I am incredibly grateful to have them in my life and to be able to marry into their family as their "son".  I have learned so much from watching this family operate.

I married my wife in 1995, and we are still married.  I have never cheated on my wife and she has never cheated on me.  I have done drugs before I gave my heart to Jesus in 1991, June 29.  Rebekah has never drank, done drugs, and was a virgin we were married.  She has loved Jesus all her life, and taught me what purity was, what it looked like, and how it lived daily in relationships with others.  I have been blessed with a woman only Jesus said I deserved.  By all other rights, she is way out of my league.  She has taught me so much about family, and about what my intentions can and should be for everything I do.  We have 4 beautiful children.  2 boys and 2 girls.

I used to think this life was about me, and me alone.  As we have grown in our marriage, I have learned that as I make life about God, my wife, my children, and our families, I grow more than I ever could if I were thinking and living for... me.  It is because family is the number one priority for Rebekah and me that our family will indeed yield families for life.  It is about resolve in the struggle.  To never quit or give up simply because relationships are difficult.  Rebekah and I said that we were married until the death of one of us, or both of us.  We meant it.  Cheating is not an option.  We forfeited the right.  Giving up on each other is not an option.  We fight sometimes, but it is to be resolved ALWAYS.  God is the head of our family.  He is the Provider, He is the Counselor, He is the Teacher, He is the Corrector, and He is the Protector.  Rebekah knows how to be a wife, because the example she had before her, and because of her obedience to God.  I know how to be a husband because of the two amazing examples before me in my father and father-in-law, and because of my obedience to God.  This recipe is tried and true.  It will produce great children, who will know right from wrong, and who will know how to walk out the right way with resolve, with strength, and with compassion for others.  They will have to make their choices and will make mistakes, but we will be there for them, always.  Because we are FAMILY.

I love my family.  We are a big family now, and getting bigger.  God loves us, and we love God, and we love each other, and we will be there for each other.  With family with me, the world can turn against me, and I will never feel alone.