“You can choose your friends but you sho’ can’t choose your family, an’ they’re still kin to you no matter whether you acknowledge ‘em or not, and it makes you look right silly when you don’t.” Harper Lee
Most of us wouldn’t trade the family we have. Not only are we committed to them by the bond of blood, but we’ve kind of grown used to each other over time. Whether yours is functional, dysfunctional or just plain weird, you don’t have a choice when in comes to your relatives.
You start out as two people joining as one. From there it just gets better or crazier, depending on your point of view. We can become tightly bonded or go our separate ways, but there is just something total different between lifelong friends and family members.
The choices made for friends can change the way we think, improve the way we want to be and may even alter the way we live – but family is what really defines who we are. We spend a lifetime with our mate – if we’re lucky – and at least 18-20 years with each of our children during their growing up – again, if we’re lucky. During those short years we can influence what they believe in, how they communicate, behavior, prejudice, how they solve problems, what they will become.
Not a long time when you think about it. How much can you cram into that offspring in 18 short years? Most of your time is spent correcting, disciplining, and simply getting through each day. If you choose to have a family, you first need to know that it’s not always going to be a picnic. There will be days when you simply want to turn in your parenting badge. There will be times when you become overwhelmed, distraught, frightened, worried, overbearing – the beat goes on.
Once you’ve made the decision, however, you’re committed or should be. LOL! Just kidding. Actually having a family is one of our greatest accomplishments as a couple. We traveled the parenting road with three children – each unique in personalities, weaknesses, strengths and dreams – but together we learned to work as a team, rely on each other in times of trouble and grow up together. Having the Lord as the head of our house was the glue that really sealed us together.
Our children are now facing many of the same things we did as young parents. I don’t envy them, trying to get through these tumultuous times, but every generation has trouble. When God is your guide, you can overcome anything. With God all things are possible – even raising a family.