Last week I conducted a small focus group of special needs parents on the topic of marriage. Two of the most rewarding and most challenging relationships we enter into are that of spouse and parent. Both relationships are full of wonderful rewards, surprises, and joys. They may also be filled with heart-break, miscommunication and challenges. When a child with extraordinary needs is part of this dynamic, the challenges within relationships can increase exponentially.
Based on the input from my focus group I will be offering to a support group that I lead three weeks of strategies to help strengthen marriages in the areas where they expressed the most concerns. Each week I will share that information with my readers. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for ideas related to communication, careers and staying connected.
No one has a perfect marriage, including me. For that I am grateful. Perfect is over-rated. Perfect leaves no room for learning, trying new things, exploring life together, making mistakes, and finding forgiveness. Real marriages need work and attention, even more so for those with special needs children. While we are not perfect, we are made for relationships from the moment we are born. Relationships that matter are worth our time and attention.
The rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken.” Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh. (Genesis 2:22-24 NRS)
Loving God, thank you for the realtionships in our lives that sustain us, filling us with love and hope. Help us to strengthen all of our relationships and equip us to repair the ones that are fragile and in need of healing. Amen