Somewhere along the road, I got the idea there were perfect families. When my children were growing up, you might have looked from a distance and thought our family was Ozzie and Harriet or Ward and June. Let me assure you that was FAR from the truth. Most days I was swimming as hard as I could to keep my head above water. My children were not perfect and their parents were so far removed from Ozzie and Harriet and Ward and June that we could not even catch a glimpse of their profiles.
I certainly do not blame my children. They learn from the Alpha's how family life should appear. It is the job of the parents to teach the children how to be family members and someday have families of their own.
As the years of our lives (is that a soap opera title?) lengthen, we see a slow (sometimes abrupt) changing of roles. The children begin to take on the role of caregivers- decision makers. Some of us in my generation accept this reversal of roles with grace, others dig in their heels and fight it tooth and nail. I am asking God to give me the wisdom to know how to gracefully age. How to accept help and direction when it is called for and the wisdom to gracefully accept it. None of us want to cause more problems for our children as they seek to help us when the time comes.
NOT where I was going with this post---HOW DO I GET OFF ON THESE PIG TRAILS??
We all have roles we play in our families and these roles will change with the passage of time. I have been thinking about the story of Naomi and Ruth the past few days. "Your people are my people," was a sweet declaration of allowing Naomi to lead Ruth through her widowhood. NOW, obviously Naomi was no longer able to physically do what she once must have. She could not go to the fields and reap the harvest. Instead she relied upon Ruth to perform this duty. Naomi gave Ruth wise counsel and the kinsman came to their rescue. Ruth accepted Naomi's instructions as the matriarchal head of the family and learned from her teaching.
Fast forward--this is not to be found in The Word--but based upon the past, my educated guess is Ruth always took care of Naomi. A day would come when Ruth would accept the mantle of matriarch-decision maker--caretaker. Naomi would take on the role of honored grandmother, and Ruth would make the day to day decisions of running the family. Ruth learned from Naomi's example and one day assumed the role of being responsible for Naomi.
I am mulling over the ladies at The Well. For two years we have provided support for the ladies and we slowly have morphed into family. Soon, we will be asking these ladies, who have been with us for this time, to assume a role of leadership in the family. It is not unlike how we slowly give responsibility to our growing children. We teach them, we supervise them, and then we begin the process of allowing them to assume the responsibility of helping with the work of keeping the family going. We do not throw them in the deep end from the very beginning, but we do expect them to contribute to the family as they mature. It will be a learning process, but until we allow them to accept these roles, they will not know how to someday perform them independently.
All Believers belong to the Family of God. It is not unlike our earthly families, we slowly have matured and grown since being adopted into the family. Ideally we should go from milk drinkers to eating from the family table to helping provide the nourishment for the family. If we honestly looked at ourselves, what would our place in the family be? Are we still expecting to be fed and taken care of, or are we participating in providing the family's needs? I hope you stop and think this over---I certainly am examining my role as a family member. Where do you stand in the Family of God? Are you using the talents He has blessed you with for His good purpose or are you stagnant and stuck in the role of being taken care of? OH, MY--convicting!
"So then, as we have opportunity,
let us do good to everyone,
and especially to those who are of the household of faith."