By Bethlie Young
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:”
Some years ago, a very wise Pastor had a “fatherly chat” with my husband and asked him, “When do you take a whole day to play with your children?” You see, we travel in evangelism. That means traveling, services, homeschooling, more services, and more traveling. Now, we love what God has called us to do. Our family verse is Psalm 100:2, “Serve the Lord with gladness.” (I’m not saying our life is busier than everyone else’s; you’re way busy too, right?) We’ve always tried to have fun as a family, but this wise Pastor gave us pause. We prayed and talked about how we could implement a WHOLE DAY of fun into our wonderful, neat, scheduled ministry life. It was then that the Lord helped us to start Fun Family Friday: a whole day of no homeschooling; a whole day of FUN; a whole day of resting, relaxing, and lollygagging! Yes, we still have a Friday evening service, but oh, how we enjoy that day! Thank you so much, Pastor Teis!! (For any of you concerned about our children’s academic wherewithal, we do school in the truck on Saturday. They’re a captive audience.)
If you don’t have a Fun Family Friday (even if it’s on a Monday), you should seriously consider it. We have toured historical sites; hiked mountains; explored tiny downtowns and found the best local coffee shops; played frisbee golf or putt-putt; run amuck on playgrounds and concerned the young mama’s with toddlers (you know you raise your eyebrows when teens show up at the playground in the middle of the day!); and slept in on rainy Fridays, ordered local pizza, and watched a movie that made us cry with laughter! As the years have rolled along, our Fun Family Fridays have gone from seven people to four. FOUR! Is it even possible to have a Fun Family Friday with only four people when we have been used to the chaotic crazy of seven? Yes! Do we miss them? YES! But here, dear ladies, is the true heart of this article.
“When do you take a whole day to play with your children?”
We are relatively new to this season of life with adult children. Our first went to college six years ago; the third followed his siblings last year. Our two oldest married their respective sweethearts last summer (within two weeks of each other!), and both couples are happily serving in ministries in California. We live in Florida. While I don’t know all that will come with this season of life (prayerfully, grandchildren at some point), I do know that the Lord would have us embrace and enjoy it and not mourn the fact that our children live “so far away.” Nor should I bemoan the missing places at the table or complain about the lack of crazy on Fun Family Friday. “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Let me encourage you; this season of life can have blessing beyond compare!
Psalm 127:4 tells us that children are “As arrows...in the hand of a mighty man.” What do you do with arrows? You aim them in the direction they should go, and then, ready for this? You let them go. What a BLESSING to see all the years of “aiming” our children in the love and way of the Lord, all the years of praying, all the years of Fun Family Friday-ing, come to fruition with adult children who are serving the Lord on their own!
So, Mama of littles, keep aiming those babies in the way of the Lord, have FUN while you do it, and don’t dread letting them go. And Mama of adulting kiddos, REJOICE! Enjoy the ones still at home. Keep investing in your man (soon it will be just you two again...how exciting!). If the Lord has allowed your adult children to live close to you, let them “adult,” and invite them for Fun Family Friday. If your adult children live far and wide, hello, technology! FaceTime, phone calls, texting, and stalking their social media (just kidding) are all wonderful ways to stay connected. Treasure time together. Pray for them. Be happy for them.
And let them go.