Mrs. Cummings and I are marriage ministers in our church, specifically helping those preparing for marriage. At least once a year, we are part of a team that puts on a weekend retreat to help couples think about the important issues men and women should think about before embarking on this great journey.
Finances, sex, careers, family planning, child rearing, whom to spend holidays with – these are a few of the topics we cover.
One of the subjects that receives more attention than others is family of origin. While not 100% determinative of your future, the family you grew up with or are still a part of exacts a substantial amount of influence on the husband and wife you are or will become.
Naturally, since no families are perfect, the goal is to take with you the good and leave behind the bad.
One of the more useful tools that helps new families square away what they believe is to write out your Family of Origin and, preferably, frame it and hang it somewhere prominent in your home.
Here’s ours. Hopefully, you’ll find a few things that will help you write your own.
We are the Cummings.
We believe in God the Father Almighty, creator of Heaven and earth, of all things seen and unseen. We believe in Jesus Christ, His only son, who sacrificed himself for us so we may live forever.
We believe marriage, blessed by God, is the foundation of good families, and one of the best ways to become better people. We believe husbands must sacrifice for their wives, and wives for their husbands, and at all times we must ascribe to each other the best of intentions.
We believe children are required by God to be raised with faith. Though they, too, are a tremendous way to become better people, we understand our marriage must come first, or the foundation crumbles and we lose the core of what keeps families together.
We are tough because life is.
We never say “poor me” or feel sorry for ourselves.
We put things back where they belong, and we put them back properly.
We say “yes” to those who need help, before they ask.
We never compare ourselves to others; it shows lack of faith and ingratitude for what God gave us.
We live with enough fear to keep us alive, but not so much that we do not live.
We say “please” and “thank you” frequently. Two reasons for this:
It’s the right thing to do
The more we say these things, the more people will want to give.
We sincerely say, “I’m sorry,” and we strive to know when to say it.
We know that to be successful, it takes little more than sweat and persistence behind an even average idea. Good luck befalls the hardworking.
We seldom use the word “entitle”, preferably only when we are about to name something. In other words, we earn what we want.
We give everyone the benefit of the doubt; we have no idea what kind of day or life they’re having.
We know we can’t do everything, so we focus. At the same time, we have more goals written down than we could possibly accomplish.
We never eat the last of anything, unless given explicit and preferably written permission.
We know that if we choose to be positive about all things, we will be successful in all things. There is no other way.
We remember that our impression is left on everything we touch. With the most menial to most monumental task, we always do our best.
We really communicate with others; we don’t just wait for them to take a breath before we start in.
It’s irrefutable that we take on the traits of our environment, so we take great care in putting ourselves in the right environment.
In short: Wake up, kick ass, repeat.
Happy Easter, everyone. He is risen.
Image: CC0 Creative Commons; Excerpted from: https://pixabay.com/en/curious-man-look-behind-see-watch-1483482/