The kids had been crazy lately. Mean really. They argued over every thing. Who opens the chili. Who rides the hoverboard. Who takes the dog out. I was full-time referee and done with it.
First, I prayed the desperate prayer of a tired Mama. These are the 2 verses I focused on-
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9)–God, give us one, just one, peacemaker among these 5 hoodlums.
“And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12)–God, help our kids to unite with You and each other as one not many.
Jeremy and I also wondered if maybe the kids needed a break from each other. Maybe there’d been too much togetherness lately. But how do we get all 5 of them on individual dates at one time?
Here’s what we came up with:
1.We need a sitter to keep those who aren’t “dating.” (For us that was Stephen…how do we have a kid that old?)
2.It has to be a big deal. Unexpected. “Guess what everyone…we’re having our first ever family date marathon tonight.” Followed by blank stares.
3.Every child gets to pick his or her restaurant but it has to be quick and close by.
4.Kids left at home get to pick a Netflix show for everyone else to watch (and to help Stephen).
Then we did it.
I took Kenan to Moe’s while Jeremy took Esther to Wendy’s.
We met back at home and switched dates. I took Jonathan to Wendy’s and Jeremy took Caleb to Moe’s.
Lastly, Jeremy went home and started bedtime while I took Stephen to a local taco truck.
And for bonus these are the 3 questions we ask our big boys on dates:
1-What is the hardest (worst) thing in your life right now?
2-What is the easiest (best) thing in your life right now?
3-What is God teaching you right now?
In total, our family date marathon took 2 hours, cost less than taking our whole family out, and Jeremy and I ate samplings from different restaurants. And more importantly, our kids went to bed feeling cherished as an individual not a group.
Has the arguing gotten better? Some days yes. And some days no. Our kids fight the same sin nature as me and Jeremy so I’m not expecting a date night to fix that. But we’re still praying and trusting. Knowing that God has good plans for all of us because of His steadfast love and compassion.
“He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.” (Psalm 103:10-13)