Yesterday our family spent the day at Goderich, on the beach of Lake Huron, with some of Tim’s uncles, aunts, a few cousins and family friends for our annual ‘Beach Day’–a thirty year, plus, tradition. Tim and our children enjoy the water and spend their day swimming. I enjoy the sounds, the scenery and watching the waves–the bigger, the better.
Tim and I managed to get away for a walk, just the two of us, and wander over to the breaker, climbing over rocks to watch the waves for a while. The waters were quite rough, causing the waves to crash and splash over the rocks. It was lovely to watch, but I had no desire to be in it.
It made me think of life. Of the rough waters Tim & I have come through, many of which were caused by my responses to life, due to my background. I thought of the emotional struggles I went through because of those things, and how it impacted us in training our children. Some good, some bad.
As we stood there, high above the ‘storms’ in the water, holding hands, I realized how much our love and commitment to each other has played a role in breaking chains and building a new legacy for our family.
The one thing our children know, always and without question, is that their mommy and daddy are very much committed to each other, and still crazy in love. We display affection in front of them. Contrary to popular belief in some cultures, this does not damage children. (I recall being taught that physical affection should only happen in the bedroom. )
One of our children, at about age thirteen, commented, “You and daddy are kind of mushy.”
I was a bit surprised because we are discreet, never making out in front of our kids, or anything like that. We hug a lot. We hold hands. We kiss, but not super intimately–just sweet, gentle kisses. Still, that was her take on it so I asked, “Does that bother you? Do you wish we wouldn’t?”
Her eyes sparkled as she shook her head, “No.”
We talked awhile about it and she told me it makes her feel secure, that she finds comfort in knowing her daddy and I won’t abandon each other, leaving them with the aftermath.
Training is a big part of breaking the chains of sexual abuse and violence, or any other generational chains, but what we show through example is as important. Our lives should exemplify the things we teach, reinforcing the words we speak into our children’s lives.
To teach truth, and live a life of purity, commitment, love and hope, leaves our children with a new legacy Where we fail, we need to take ownership and then release it, trusting the same God who saw us through our parents’ failures, to walk them through their disappointments and the scars of our failures.
If we have shown them how to forgive those who have wounded us, and if we have demonstrated how to love and stand with our spouse in commitment, we will have equipped them to make wise choices.
One day, when they are adults parenting their children, they will remember, and hopefully they too will break the chains we carried forward, unwittingly, and leave their children with a stronger legacy than we gave them.
Last evening, as the day was wrapping up, I went for a brisk walk along the board-walk, enjoying the sights and sounds of the ocean in the background, and playing worship music on my iPod. When it’s all said and done, it is God who redeems, God who gives strength resilience and courage, and it is God who breaks the chains, offering us a new legacy for our children.
© Trudy Metzger
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