Mixed Feelings on My Boys, Marriage and Milestones

Today’s topic on Marriage Monday is Children and Marriage.
This seems like a timely topic for me, since I’ve found myself reflecting back on those many years of raising my three boys due to some milestone moments of late. And not only have I reflected on the past, but I’ve also looked ahead to my three son’s futures, asking myself, “How well have my husband and I prepared them for life and marriage in particular?”
Honestly, I feel a bit sad when I look either direction—past and/or future.
As far as the past is concerned (ugh!), it’s a mixed bag. I still have pictures all over my house of when the boys were small.
I love looking at those pictures! (“Memories, like the corners of my mind …”)
I remember my boy’s sweet, child-like innocence. I remember the cute little things they used to say and do. I remember how they all gave that trademark squinty-eyed, big, happy smile to the camera. They could be such hams, when all three of “the bros” were in the pic!
I miss those days (sigh) …
And since my middle son just graduated from high school and is now a college freshman, I feel that ever-familiar twinge of grief rolling over me like it did when my oldest, now a college senior, left for college in ‘08. And that, of course, means my oldest is graduating college in May (Yicks!). All these milestones, remind me that the empty nest is just around the corner (2014 to be exact!), which brings me to …
… The future (double UGH!). Here’s where I struggle with worry about how my messy marriage and messy mothering moments have shaped their hearts.
So I always pray that:
  • With life-experience, maturity and God’s refining influence, they would gain perspective about the many mistakes and messes they observed in me in my husband.
  • God would use every relationship they have—married or not—to mold them into His image.
Unfortunately, I know what praying that second one means for them. It means I’m not exactly praying for easy, non-messy lives (Close to tears!). Any loving parent knows how hard it is to watch your children experience pain. We want so badly to protect them.
But I KNOW that pain is the tool God uses to develop character, strengthen their faith and … make them good and Godly marriage material!
So I trust in God’s ever-faithful transformation. After all, that’s exactly what God has done and continues to do for me and my husband in our messy marriage moments. He redeems the Messy—even the Messy Married!
Yay, God! 🙂
“In all their suffering he also suffered, and he personally rescued them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years.” –Isaiah 63:9 (NLT)
“Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.”  –Isaiah 36:17 (NIV)

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