Sibling Rivalry Done Right
Children are a blessing to parents. Sometimes you have to ask God how that can be when the kids are in that 2-year-old thing, or when they sleep through their early teen years. But, God says it, so it's true.
Well .. that even extends to grandchildren, too.
Our older son, Brian (hey world .. he's about to turn FORTY SEVEN!!!!) and his sweet wife Natalin had two children. That's them, Matthew .. on the right .. and Meredith, on the left. And what a blessing they are to Peg and me.
I can honestly say that they're best friends. This summer, as the past two summers, Meredith is a children's ministry intern at an SBC church in Tennessee, and Matthew and Meredith talk on their cell phones nearly every day. Can you imagine?
Matthew just completed (except for one night course) his studies in computer sciences here in Birmingham, and Meredith has one more year of Bible College (she's answered the call into children's ministry). They live at home, which is about ten miles south of us, and both schools are north of us, so they have been stopping in here several days a week for lunch, or to just hang out between classes or before some activity here with their friends.
What a blessing that was. And that's enhanced by many years of Sunday lunch, at our house, after church, with both sons and their families. That happens every Sunday, with whatever family is available that day. Brian is a Station Captain with our city Fire Department here (and hence he works 1 Sunday in 3), and Brad travels a lot, plus Connie works some Sundays, so we never really know how many are going to show up. And the grandkids drag some friends with them, to our house, every now and then. What a treat that is for Peg and me!
Oh, in case you wonder why I'm such a lout to allow my wife to have to work that hard every Sunday, we go to prayer meeting at 7am on Sundays; I get up at 5am to prepare for Sunday School and she gets up and fixes lunch and leaves it on time bake to it's ready at 12:15.
See, when she was young, her mom cooked in the cafeteria at Lindbergh Grade School in Lebanon, IN. Plus, Peg had two sisters, two step-sisters, and two half-sisters, so Peg's mom never knew how many were going to show up for Sunday dinner. We saw anywhere from 6 to 20 people around their table during the years we always went to their house after church. And there was always plenty of food; in fact, Peg's mom usually sent some home with all the kids.
Speaking of family, isn't that what we're supposed to be in the church? Family? If it's true, then why don't we learn something from what we embrace in family life?
I'm reminded of those times when we got together with all Peg's family. Her dad died a week before she was born, and her mom remarried when Peg was 7 years old. Now, Peg's father had 4 brothers and 3 sisters; Peg's mom had 7 brothers and 1 sister, and her step-dad had 4 brothers and 2 sisters, so family functions had a LOT of people running around. I remember Christmas get-togethers at Peg's Uncle Theo's house. Theo was Peg's mom's brother, and a single man. We'd sit around and play Euchre (still my favorite card game) all afternoon and we'd swap tables and partners every hour or so. I remember thinking what a privilege it was to be part of that and to be shown respect.
NOW: there was every sort imaginable at those gatherings. Folks with alcohol problems, a school Principal, laborers, religious folks, non-religious folks, you name it. But we were there because we were family. The first few years I was the only wise-acre Big City Guy in the crowd, and I figure there were those who didn't have much respect for that. Can't blame them; I don't have much respect for what I was then, either. But I was Peggy Sue's husband, by gosh, and they treated me as though I were what I actually was.
Say, isn't that how the chur..... uuuhhh .... hmmmm ....naah ... I better not go there. We're supposed to hold our families up to the church for comparison, not the other way around.