I thought I might share why we are encouraging healthy marriages in our community. Yes, we want to see our Our of Wedlock births decrease, yes we want to see our divorces decrease and yes, we want to see our kids do well in high school. All of those are very good reasons, but in the next couple of weeks I want to share the stories.
About two weeks ago I got a FB reply that brought tears to my eyes. A sweet friend wrote to tell me how we had helped her family stay together. I think it was 9-10 years ago that she had come to me for help in disciplining their son. I get that question a lot and I’ve tried to study and give the best answers that I could to families about disciplining of children. Well, there was a little more than discipline that was needed here and they admitted that they weren’t on the same page as a couple. That they struggled quite a bit and did not really want to stay together.
I encouraged them to attend a class that could give them the skills that they needed to help with communication and also expectations of their marriage. They were very faithful to attend and felt encouraged after the classes and seemed to do pretty good. They would hit some rocky points and they would let me know and I would encourage them and remind them about techniques and to use their skills. They soon added a beautiful baby girl to the mix and life got a bit more challenging. They got discouraged again. Financial challenges hit and the dad ended up moving to another state to find work, which caused more problems. She missed her family here and there was an old flame of his that had risen up. I kept encouraging. They moved back and seemed to get it together again.
I believe it was a couple of years later he decided to go back out for a job that would pay very well to pay some of their debts down. She was supportive of this idea and they went through this trial. He came back frequently, they seemed strong and stayed together, but the kids had a real struggle with the situation. He eventually came back when she was pregnant. Sadly they lost this baby and the loss actually brought them together even stronger. They were learning to work together as a family. Presently dad is back in the area they have just recently had twins that are doing very well, but challenges with working and finances due to medical bills. But this time it’s different. They have seen that they can make it and she was writing to say thank you that their relationship is stronger because of what they went through and the encouragement they got while going through it. I was overjoyed and tearful as I read this. Yes, it’s worth it, I’ll keep going another day!!
Sometimes, couples just need to hear that they can make it. Encouraging them and teaching them to look at the positives and not the negatives is one of the keys to what we are about. We have recently started a mentoring program for couples getting ready to marry. We have three couples that we will be placing couples with to be mentored for at least the first year. We hope that these mentors will become friends and then continue to encourage. Every family needs social and emotional support. We can give all kinds of classes, but giving people hope and encouragement is the most effective thing we can do.