Blog  /  Parenting  /  Loving Well Through Times that Aren’t So Easy

We have 3 children. For the most part we feel we’ve been able to express our love well to each of our children even though (we all admit) there were times when we had to concentrate more on the special needs of our son, which may have looked like we loved him more. Nothing could be further from the truth, but through little eyes of his sisters, and through our tired minds, bodies, and hearts….sometimes we just wondered if we really did love “well” and if our kids would turn out okay in spite of ways we might have missed the mark. With God’s instruction book, the Bible, we set out to show and teach them that not everything in life was going to be easy, fun, and comfortable, but we would do what is right. We decided to teach it, we had to live it, so little instruction was given beyond our example for the most part.

 

Our daughters have shared that sometimes they’d have to give up an activity or event due to something that surrounded our son; or times we’d all have to just stop life because Joey was having one seizure after another. We don’t remember all those individual times, but we surely know it’s true. What we can tell you is that because of those times of giving things up, being redirected in our day to care for our son (their brother), and putting his care first when needed, God molded into loving young ladies our two little girls and made them who they are today.

 

We will never forget waking our 2 ½ year old Kristina in the middle of the night knowing we needed to get Joey to the hospital. I (Cindi) remember simply saying, “Kristina, I need you to get up, grab a few little toys and put them in a bag so you can play with them, get your shoes on, and meet me in the kitchen.” Without question or delay she did as she was asked with the sweetest of spirits. Another time, though with our Kathleen who was in her later teen years, we remember her watching out for her big brother, helping him do things that were hard for him to do on his own, and without a fuss or complaint from her. (And with as much as he picked on her growing up, this was quite a sweet site to see!)

 

We suppose what this has showed us is that getting our kids involved in helping to serve and care for another is what preps them to do that in adulthood without effort. When we see people acting selfish, it’s often because they were never asked to serve beyond their own needs. Today we watch our girls serve others, care for others, and give up their own agendas from time to time because that is what they lived out in our family. We see in other families as well, that challenges change individuals and even families when they are given the opportunity to love unconditionally and serve beyond themselves.

 

A great reminder for us as we celebrate the month of “love” is doing not just what is easy, comfortable, or fun, but what is right. How are you pursuing that in your own life and how are you modeling it to your children?

Joe and Cindi Ferrini

Joe and Cindi have been married since 1979, live in Cleveland, OH, have 3 grown children (one with special needs), grandchildren, and enjoy speaking and writing together on topics related to marriage and family (FAMILYLIFE’S “WEEKEND TO REMEMBER Get-A-Ways” as well as for organizations pertaining to special needs), leadership, and time/life management. Joe has practiced dentistry since 1978; Cindi enjoys writing (books, blogs, articles, etc.), speaking, radio, and social media. Together they have written articles and blogs for Focus on the Family, FamilyLife, http://specialneedsparenting.net and here at FamilyMatters, and authored UNEXPECTED JOURNEY: When Special Needs Change our Course. They’d love to connect with you at: www.joeferrini.com or www.cindiferrini.com

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