Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Couples Helping Couples

I have already spoken glowingly of the small group my wife and I are a part of, but with the conclusion of our 2008-2009 “season,” I wanted to chime in again. Since we joined a couple of years ago, two couples have left the area and the group, one couple has switched churches and left the group, two have switched churches but stayed in the group, one couple from our church has been added to the group, and two other couples from our church are thinking about joining. And we’ve added one baby, with one more on the way later this year. So the faces have changed. But the camaraderie has continued.

This season, it seems we’ve particularly delved richly into relevant topics like marriage, parenting, and conflict. I am heartened, in the midst of so many internal and external challenges surrounding today’s kids, to have such a warm and authentic support group of other parents of young children. And I am reminded that the far greater assault on the institution of marriage is not gays who want their relationships to have equal status but rather far too many couples who either give up and divorce, or perhaps even worse, give up and settle for un-intimate, un-edifying half-marriages.

In the midst of all this, we couples strive to attain to a standard in our marriages and parenting that is rarely found around us. We ourselves groan under the strain and in light of so many of our failures and weaknesses that leave us short of where we ought to be. And yet we continue to press forward: because what is promised is far greater than anything the world can offer, because God’s Word says so, and because we want to be salt and light in the midst of blandness and dusk.

None of us are insulated from the typical standards of the world around us, which can make it easy for us to think that we want for our marriages and kids is old-fashioned and perhaps even passé. But, while times have changed, what God wants for our marriages and kids is the same, simultaneously harder to live by and yet more sought after, in today’s climate. Thankfully, Amy and I have the other couples in our small group, together with whom we can provide the support needed to keep us all going.
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