Monday, February 25, 2013

What defines my family?

At our church this month, we've been talking about families. It's a whole series, going through the basic things like how to treat your spouse and how to parent your children based on biblical principles. Yesterday's sermon was about the family meeting and also about what defines your family. We should talk to our children about 1) who they are, 2) where they come from and, 3) where they are going.

WHO THEY ARE:
So what defines our family? My husband and I were discussing this yesterday evening. Two words that he could think of were "scholar" and "warrior". I agree that we are scholars. My husband has his Masters degree and I am pursuing mine. We always work to learn more and more each day and we are very intelligent on the whole. We want our daughter and our son to be the same way. I started thinking about the word "warrior". Warrior has the base word "war", so it makes it sound like someone who is a warrior is always at war with someone or something. So, as my husband often does when he starts to think of what a word really means, I looked it up in the dictionary. According to dictionary.com, a warrior is "a person engaged or experienced in warfare; soldier". But there is another definition - "a person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness". I started to think of the words that describe a warrior - dedicated, perseverance, strength, courage. Yes. This describes my family. We've been through a lot, losing jobs, friends, etc. We've always had each other and we've, each one of us, been a warrior to get through it all.

THIS FAMILY IS A FAMILY OF SCHOLARS AND WARRIORS.

WHERE THEY COME FROM:
It's difficult to trace my roots back too far. I am a European mutt. English, Irish, Swedish - those are the main ones I can name. I did a report in grade school about my ancestry, and it was difficult to go back very far. My husband's family roots may be a little easier to assume, though maybe not easy to trace. There's the possibility that his ancestors were slaves, and we also know that there is Native American blood in his family. So when I tell my children where they come from, I think it really boils down to uniqueness! There's not many children that can trace such a varied ancestry. It's also so important to talk to them about how things were different before. I've written another post in the past about racism, and my daughter has asked questions about skin color from time to time. I try to put it in the back of my mind because it's not really that important to me. I don't want it to be that important to my daughter and my son either. I want them to be able to turn to someone who asks them "what" they are and say, "I am me!" If they ask them if their dad is black and their mom is white to say, "My dad is my dad. My mom is my mom." Yes, where they come from is important. I won't deny that. I just don't want that to define where they can go.

WHERE THEY ARE GOING:
My family is going places. Lately, we are stagnant. But I want us to go places. My father had his Bachelor's degree and my mother a high school diploma. I am going for my Masters degree, my sister has hers, and my brothers are both fairly successful in their chosen career fields thus far. My husband's mother and father both were educated, but they did not get as far as he did. He has two Bachelors degrees and a Masters degree. That is further than anyone in his family has gotten in schooling. So, yes, we are going places. The next step is to have successful careers and live in a house rather than a cramped apartment. When will it happen? Soon, we hope. But our family is going places, with God's help!

Sit down and define your family - WHO ARE THEY? WHERE DO THEY COME FROM? WHERE ARE THEY GOING? Have a clear vision because you can't get there if you don't know where you're going!