Stephanie Pearce: Families worth fighting for
My daughter attended a large youth conference recently. She had some amazing speakers that really made her think. One spoke about how families are worth fighting for. I was really impressed about how excited she was to tell me about it.
The speaker talked about how families are not perfect, but if we all focus on serving one another, it sure makes the relationships a whole lot better. He said that in a family dynamic, it’s always better to give than take.
I kept thinking, “This must be a really dynamic speaker to make my daughter excited about serving her family.” Keeping 700 teenagers engaged while talking about families is quite amazing. My daughter is great when it comes to service outside of her family, but within the family, we all could use some work.
While she’s telling me this, I run through my mind all of the things I do for my family. I think to myself how nice it would be if everyone in the family put forth the same effort I do. Then I laugh out loud thinking how everyone else in the family who heard her talk is probably thinking the same exact thing. Isn’t it funny how we can list every little thing we do for others and compare it to what we think everyone else does? Yet, when someone else doesn’t do something for us that they normally do, we are very quick to notice.
The excitement and sincerity she showed as she told me how he described to them how to fight for your family and how important your families are kept me amazed and I found myself hanging on her every word. For 2 1/2 hours she bore what she had learned and told me how it touched her. I remember going to church camp and within a day or two, the inspiration from what I learned would wear off. This has not, though. I actually watched her put into practice what she learned from this speaker.
My daughter and I are extremely close, but she is a teenager. Which means that she can be selfish, moody and thoughtless at times (well, I can, too, but we will blame hers on being a teenager while she can blame mine on being 40). This week, she didn’t argue with me. When I told her we couldn’t go somewhere she wanted to go, she just said OK. When I asked her to do something, she did it. When we sat at the end of the day, she offered to give me a massage.
We talked about her hopes of a future family and what she learned for that. She said that families are not ever worth giving up on. She said she plans on that being a prerequisite for a mate — that they have that same view. She said she learned that if you wake up every morning and ask yourself how you can serve your family, you are less likely to focus on how they aren’t making you happy. If each individual in the family is raised to have that goal, everyone would be happy.
I don’t know a whole lot about the speaker, but I’m awfully glad my daughter was there to listen. I’m glad it hit her heart. I’m glad that someone isn’t afraid to tell our teens that families are worth fighting for.