Thursday, February 25, 2010

Waiting On Your Spouse While Waiting On Your Child!--A Message From the International Director

I agree with Ralph Waldo Emerson when he said, “How much of human life is lost in waiting”
.. Amen Ralph! Someone could probably make a small fortune if they printed a t-shirt that said, “I HATE TO WAIT!” on the front of it. Waiting may be the single hardest thing we are ever called to do. If I had a dollar for every time someone in the adoption world told me that the waiting is the hardest part, I’d be taking my wife on a really sweet cruise annually.

So, how can we learn to maximize our waiting so that the waiting doesn’t become wasting? How can we learn to wait strategically and expectantly? The key is in converting waiting to hope. And the greatest way to do that is to stop waiting passively and start waiting actively. Waiting need not be an interminable period of finger-drumming, time-killing, mind-numbing inactivity. It can, in fact, be among the most creative and energizing periods of our lives.

With that in mind, I want us to think about the two kinds or forms of waiting. One is all about anticipation (this is the kind that every adoptive parent feels). The other is all about attending and serving (this is the kind you experience in a fine restaurant when someone cares for your needs)

Now, here is what I want to propose to our families going through the adoption process right now.. Consider waiting on your spouse (attending and serving) while waiting on your child (anticipating)! The beauty and hope of adoption is rescuing a needy orphan and placing them into an incredible family. The time between now and the “gotcha day” is a unique season of refining you, your marriage, and your home environment. Before you know it, your “little man” or “little lady” will be in your home and taking up a significant amount of time and energy. The greatest gift you can give to your new child is two parents deeply in love and committed to one another. In the hustle and bustle of adoption meetings and paperwork, followed by a time of waiting and unknowns.. it is easy to lose focus on the primary relationship in an healthy home.. the husband and the wife.

One of the most important things is to keep your enhancement plan simple and clear.. nothing too difficult and something you can work on every day. I heard a recent story that kind of makes this point.. but mostly, its just funny and I wanted to share it with you:

A husband and wife went to the Olive Garden and when the waitress came, she took the drink orders and then, pen poised over her order book, said, "Super Salad?" The husband thought, "Wow! that sounds really good..." So he answered, "Yes!". She stared at him for a moment and said, very slowly and distinctly, "No....Su...per...Salad" At that point, he was imagining what could possibly be on a super salad...perhaps meat delicacies or rare cheeses or nine kinds of pasta, so he nodded 'yes' again enthusiastically. At this point, the waitress just glared at him. His wife smiled, leaned forward, and whispered, "she's saying soup or salad...".

I don’t care what you say.. that’s funny. And its funny because its true! Its way too easy to get lost and confused so here’s ten simple ways that even the guy in this story can enhance his marriage.. I pulled these ten from our friends at New Life Ministries. I challenge each of you to wait on your spouse while waiting for your child!

1. Never bring up mistakes of the past.
Stop criticizing others or it will come back on you. If you forgive others, you will be forgiven (Luke 6:37).

2. Neglect the whole world rather than each other.
And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process? (Mark 8:36)

3. Never go to sleep with an argument unsettled.
And don't sin by letting anger gain control over you. Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry (Ephesians 4:26).

4. At least once a day, try to say something complimentary to your spouse.
Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit (Proverbs 15:4).

5. Never meet without an affectionate welcome.
Kiss me again and again, your love is sweeter than wine (Song of Solomon 1:2).

6. "For richer or poorer" - rejoice in every moment that God has given you together.
A bowl of soup with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate (Proverbs 15:17).

7. If you have a choice between making yourself or your mate look good, choose your mate.
Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it's in your power to help them (Proverbs 3:27).

8. If they're breathing, your mate will eventually offend you. Learn to forgive.
I am warning you, if another believer sins, rebuke him; then if he repents, forgive him. Even if he wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, forgive him (Luke 17:3,4).

9. Don't use faith, the Bible, or God as a hammer.
God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it (John 3:17).

10. Let love be your guidepost.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged (1 Cor. 13:4,5).

Dave Wood
International Director

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