Families by Elaine H. Baldwin
Today I travel to Fort Smith, AR! Wahoo! Five days packed with all things wedding, plays and just being with my kids; including the new kid…Zack!
I am also very excited to have some time to see Zack’s mom and sister at a wedding shower. They are such a joy to be with and I truly value these times to get to know them better. And they’ve been so very gracious with our crazy family’s long distance relationships. It’s not something they are complete strangers to, but the vast majority of their family, both sides, lives within 25 miles of each other. And it’s a large family. Valerie’s first experience meeting Zack’s extended family was a little terrifying as a small army was present. But of course, they were marvelous and enlisted her right away!
Being within a short distance of extended family is something our nuclear family has never experienced. In fact as both sides of our extended family continues to expand through marriage and kids, our distance between each other seems to be expanding as well. Hopefully some day soon we’ll have a massive reunion, but for now Facebook and the glorious touch pad phones are the glue that holds us together. And I am so very grateful.
I won’t belabor the distance thing because I wept over that last time. Why I mention it today is because it simply amazes me that this whole marriage and family thing ever works! Think about it. Valerie and Zack could not have had any more different up bringings. Except for the Christian foundation which both families provided, which is absolutely vital, they don’t have a lot in common as far as their childhood experience. Neither family situation was wrong, though on our part I know we sinned daily, it’s just that the life circumstances were different.
For example: Valerie has flown quite extensively; even as a child. She flew with us to be the flower girl at her cousin’s wedding in Philadelphia. Since graduating high school and her parents living all over the country, she’s flown to many different states to see us and to Hawaii to see her marine brother and his wife. And just for fun and college credit, she even flew to Europe for a concert tour.
Zack has never been on a plane. Doesn’t mean he’s never been anywhere. It just means he’s never used wings to get to where he is going. Honeymoon flight should be exciting!
Another example: Valerie has attended, I think 4 or 5 different school systems and was home schooled for five years. Zack attended the schools in his town for all of K-12. You can imagine the varied stories they share together of the highs and lows that come with each of those schooling circumstances. Neither bad, just different.
Will that play into their decisions for schooling their own children? You bet and they’ll figure it out. How do I know that? Because my husband and I figured it out and our parents figured it out and their parents figured it out. That’s the crazy part I’m talking about. That two people can come from such varied school histories and still come to agreement on schooling their own kids.
Of course, not everyone figures this kind of stuff out in their marriages and that’s why there are divorce courts. But a vast majority of marriages do figure this all out and that amazes me. And yet, it is God’s first plan. That a man would leave father and mother and cleave to his wife and they would become one. What a beautiful mystery and plan. And I think God honors that plan whether a couple know Him as Savior and Lord or not. Though His master plan is that through marriage, the unbelieving couple would see Him as their God and King.
And, oh that more believing couples would be that picture of Jesus and His bride-the Church.
If I have one prayer for Valerie and Zack it is that they would strive to show Christ to others, together as husband and wife. If they do that, all the differences given to them at birth and the ones developed into them from their families will blend into a mysterious and breathtaking beauty that will bring them many years of true wedded BLISS and bring honor and glory to their Savior, Jesus the Christ.