Pastor Jon Byron, Pastor Gordon Rumble, Tom Westfall (husband of our own beloved Mentor Extraordinaire, Julie), BVCS Superintendent Bobby Kirchner, and Pastor Scott Stubbert courageously joined us to share their thoughts on marriage and parenthood. With a combined total of more than 120 years of marriage, 18 children, and 11 grandchildren, these guys definitely had some great tidbits of wisdom to bestow upon us.
Without rehashing every question and answer, it's safe to say there were a couple of recurring themes. All of our guests, in some form or another, described the importance of quality time, good communication, and humbly serving one another in love. These things are easy to type, but not always easy to implement, especially when we're shuffling through the long days of early motherhood, often feeling as if we're one tantrum away from total insanity. That's where MOPs President and CEO Sherry Surratt's message comes in handy: Our attitude matters! She shared Ephesians 4:2-4 with us:
"Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowances for each other's faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future."
Humble. Gentle. Patient. (Not prideful, harsh, or nagging.)
For me, it was helpful to hear from other husbands many of the same things that my husband tries to convey from time to time. I even showed him my notes, and it made for some great conversation. We can't control everything that happens in our marriages, but we certainly have a great deal of influence.
We just have to use our influence with a servant's heart, keeping the big picture in mind. And as hard as that may seem some days, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."