[notice] A fortnightly column by Anna Heydenrych.[/notice]
As I am approaching the due date of my first child, languishing in all the delightful symptoms that come with the third trimester, I have been thinking about family, marriage and relationships. I am incredibly excited to welcome the new member to my family, and the joy of this far outweighs the sacrifice that my body must go through in order to facilitate his arrival. My little son will be born into a family with a mom and dad who already love him with a depth of love that is indescribable. I know this is a huge blessing. Family is a blessing.
I believe that God’s design of family is beautiful, and I have been blessed to grow up in a family that has stuck together. Each individual in the family that I grew up in is not perfect (including myself). There have been many times when we have disagreed and fought and caused one another pain, but I would not trade any one of them in. Our relationships are what they are today because of the many years over which they have been formed, and the experiences we have shared together. You probably feel the same about your family members, whatever your family situation is.
I recall a statement from a popular radio show host once. He was commenting on monogamy and stating that it would not suit him; sadly the kind of comment that contributes to the opinion of popular culture when broadcast across the airwaves. He was however speaking from a place of honesty, his outlook probably based on his own life experience and experience of family. He went on to say that he would find it terribly boring to have to come home to (and make love to) the same woman for the rest of his life. I found this sad, not just because of the impact his words would have on an impressionable audience, but also because he really didn’t recognise the beauty in family.
False message of popular culture
I will never become bored of my mother, father or sister. I don’t ever see myself growing tired of the sister that I have had for the last twenty-six years and feeling that I need to go looking for a new one. That would be ludicrous and sounds down-right crazy to most of us. It sounds crazy because we can recognise the loss in trading in a sibling for a new version due to boredom. Why then does popular culture promote the notion that one would become tired or bored with a spouse? This creates a sense of fear in young people of entering into marriage, a sense that they might miss out on something because they have chosen just one. My mother and father are so special in my life because they are the only ones. If I had had a series of parents throughout my life, the parent-child relationship would have lost its beauty.
After two and a half years of marriage, I am blessed to be able to say that it gets better all the time, because with every day we grow together as a family, forming bonds and shared experiences that are unique to us. We have had to work through certain dynamics, which have caused hurt and frustration, but at the deepest core of each of us, we believe our marriage is worth sticking around for. We believe that since we have made the decision to be together forever on this earth, our reward will be found inside staying together as a family. Nothing else on this earth would ever compare. I share these things to counter the things that popular radio hosts say over our airwaves.
The little boy growing inside me is a perfect fit for his family. Even though I have not yet met him, I know like any mother would, that I will love him no matter what. This is the son I want. I have no fear that I will grow bored of him and want to swap him for another son in a few years time. I feel the same about my husband (he will be glad to hear). I do not fear that I am missing out on anything else; the beauty is in keeping the one I chose.