Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Changing seasons...

Deb: I have come to realise that the changing seasons of family life have a great influence on our marriages. During the time when I had babies and children under five, I was often out of the Sunday meeting in crèche, sometimes as a helper, sometimes looking after one of our own boys. Unlike most other couples in church life, it wasn’t a role I could share with Steve - he had to be in the meeting! Yet, although I missed out on Sundays there were many positives in that season. As a mum of under-fives who had recently moved to London, I had numerous opportunities to make connections in the community. It was a demanding but very sociable time.

Once our youngest son went to school, I chose to work part-time. This has brought new and different challenges. I find that I don’t have as many automatic connection points with others and have to be more proactive in maintaining friendships. Steve and I are in constant discussion to ensure we are balancing family life with three lively boys, with Steve’s ministry and my work at school.

Looking ahead, we are aware that one of the most challenging seasons is still to come – when our children leave home. It will inevitably bring more freedom but there will be adjustments to make, having spent the last 20+ years pouring ourselves into bringing up children. This season is often combined with the increased responsibility of caring for elderly parents.

But God has shown us that no season lasts long – although it may not seem like it at the time! We need to embrace each season as it comes along and enjoy the good within it. We also need to be willing to make thoughtful adjustments in our marriage and family time as those seasons evolve and make sure that we keep on communicating as a couple.