Here I go again, offending the PC crowd!
Karl Marx would gnash his teeth with rage if he knew what my second greatest experience is, since a central aim of his was the destruction of the bourgeoisie family, and by that he meant the traditional Judeo-Christian family: one male father, one female mother, married for life, along with their children and extended family. Our society has fulfilled his wishes to a great extent. Well take this, Mr. Marx…
I was raised when Marx’s hated clan was still pretty much intact in the West, and I’m thankful for it. Yes, it wasn’t always peace, love and harmony, but those things were there, along with stability and commitment, and so what can truly be called “love”. Love is not being nice to someone so long as they meet your expectations, your desires, and your requirements regarding looks, shape, size and financial success: that’s just using someone.
This commitment and love is both an intentional reflection of God’s commitment and love for us, and obedience to his word and commandments.
For those of you still reading and who haven’t clicked off in an offended rage, I would like to first of all say that I realize many people have been mistreated, rejected and abused by family, and had no power to stop the destruction of their own family. Some who perhaps did now regret the mistakes they made and are unable to fix them. This is not because of a fault in God’s design for the family unit, but as I’ve said before, it’s evidence that human nature is indeed “fallen” in the Biblical sense. We started off facilitating divorce in extreme circumstances: now we’re positively encouraging gross immorality and family break ups.
So now I’ll briefly discuss my own family experience. I say “briefly” because I’m sure that only one or two of you have read this far.
My wife and I have had our problems-major problems. There have been times when I’ve regretted marrying her, and when I wished I could be a thousand miles away. I’ve no doubt she’s had exactly the same kind of thoughts: this is normal in marriage. But as with anything worth having, you have to persevere, and we have done this, for twenty-eight years.
The old analogy of a rough diamond being fashioned into something beautiful is relevant here. When you persevere, you end up with something you could never have had if you had extracted yourself early on. You find yourself in a relationship in which another human knows you more than you know yourself but loves you anyway. You find yourself with a companion that has been with you all along, “for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health”. You see that your children have enjoyed stability, security and commitment, and have been given a birds eye view of how to be committed, and how to forgive and forget. You see that you have contributed to the stability of your community and your society, and that you have, as difficult as it may have been at times, been obedient to your creator in at least one area of your life.
One thing you do not see is a trail of destruction behind you in the form of ex-lovers, estranged children and memories which you can never enjoy but instead keep locked up in your subconscious.
I have two sons. How I wish I’d had the wisdom to bring more into the world for my pleasure, for God’s glory, and for the benefit of the rest of the world (and to annoy Marx and his present day sustainable-growth crowd as much as possible).
My sons have been very nearly the greatest blessing in my life-far more than almost anything else I could name-hence family taking the number two slot in my greatest experiences. One of the many abiding memories I cherish is of both of them as toddlers running to greet me home from work, and me hugging them as tightly as I could: nothing in the physical world can beat that. Actually I can still do that-they just aren’t easy to throw up in the air any more.
Yes, children can bring a lot of trouble into their parents’ lives. While I’m not saying that’s always avoidable, I’m convinced from my own experience that love, kindness and commitment and the right attitude will, in most cases, release good, level-headed and loving offspring into our society.
I have two sons that I’m immensely proud of: two young men who aren’t likely to be menaces in their society, who aren’t likely to cause trouble for our law enforcement people, and who aren’t going to be a drain on our welfare budgets.
Thank you Almighty God, for my sons, my wife, and the amazing experience of having a family.