Maybe you heard the story about the day Lisa finally had enough. Her husband, Greg, loved to shoot. An expert marksman, he traveled widely to compete against other enthusiasts, and occasionally he brought home a trophy. But Lisa had no interest in marksmanship. In fact, she didn’t like guns—period. To make matters worse, she missed her husband terribly while he was away pursuing his hobby.
One day it dawned on her that their relationship was in trouble. That was the day Lisa finally had enough. Lisa asked Greg to teach her how to shoot a rifle, then joined him in his travels. Soon she decided to compete at the shooting events. To Lisa’s surprise, she liked firing a rifle. And to her husband’s surprise, Lisa was a very good shot. She even started bringing home more trophies than he did. But of the prizes they brought home, one stood out above all the rest: Their marriage seemed reborn. The time they spent together at their newfound common interest helped them develop a closeness that simply hadn’t existed before.
Lisa’s story is a good reminder that what seems like an obstacle might really be an opportunity. Creative, committed couples discover this secret everyday. Just ask a husband who’s learned to love ballroom dancing or a wife who’s gotten hooked on fly fishing. That’s because the best times always seem to come in pairs.
Just between us…
When was the last time we tried a new activity together?
Did you enjoy it? Why or why not?
Are there activities keeping us apart that we could do together?
Dear God, we ask for fresh determination to explore new interests and activities together. Where our marriage would be strengthened by playing together, help us let go of the old habits and assumptions that keep us apart. Amen.
Our teenage daughter had taken the proper course work, passed the state driver’s test, and was already a responsible young lady. Yet the first time Danae drove off in our car alone, it was still a frightening moment for Mom and Dad! There is no sweeter sound than hearing your teen come to a complete, controlled stop in the driveway after her first solo trip in the family car.
By the teen years, however, parents should already be used to the idea of granting new responsibilities and freedoms to their kids. That vital process should begin at a pace consistent with their age and maturity during the preschool years. When your child can tie his shoes, let him. When he can choose his own clothes within reason, allow him to make his own selections. When he can walk safely to school, grant him that privilege. If responsibility and freedom are meted out gradually throughout childhood, the final release in early adulthood will be much smoother for you and your kids.
David became the king of Israel, but the Lord prepared him for the responsibility of leading His people in stages—first as a shepherd boy, then in battle against Goliath, then as a commander of soldiers in the army of Saul (1 Samuel 16:11; 17:49; 18:13). Likewise, we must prepare our sons and daughters for the responsibilities of adulthood one step at a time. A sudden transfer of power can be disastrous for both generations.
Before you say good night…
Are you gradually granting responsibility and freedom to your kids?
What should be the next step in this process for each of your children?
Great God and King, we ask for Your grace and wisdom as we seek to prepare our children for life as adults. Show us how to grant responsibility and freedom in appropriate measure, always depending on Your guidance for choosing the right path. Amen.