written by Zach
It’s no secret. Ash and I are not the biggest fans of Valentine’s Day. It seems like society has made it out to be one of the only days a couple can do something really nice for each other, instead of making it a consistent practice. However, if I were trying to hopeful with it, maybe Valentine’s Day could be a catalyst for us treating each other the same way the rest of the year?
There’s another reason we’re not the biggest fans of Valentine’s Day. We also remember being single on Valentine’s Day- Too. Much. Pressure. Even though Ash and I have been married for almost eight years, we were single more years than we have been married. So we remember well.
We love marriage. We love family. However, sometimes we wonder if our view of family, especially as Christians, is somewhat skewed. You see, when I read the stories of the earliest Christians, it seemed like there wasn’t SUCH an emphasis on the nuclear family.
Instead, there seemed to be a bigger, more inclusive practice of family. I’m definitely supposed to love my family, but I’m also supposed to love the family of God.
How could we do this better? How could we do this in a way where a man or woman doesn’t sacrifice their nuclear family on the altar of ministry and loving others well?
Our family learned the benefit of having a “bigger” view of family last year. Ash and I had been encouraging a younger friend, Gabby (I got permission from her to talk about her) from afar. One day, Ash and I both felt a leading to ask her to come live with us for a season. Everly was a year old. We were learning how to be a good daddy and mommy, while also still trying to be a good husband and wife to each other. I was working and also finishing up grad school. On paper, it was not the best time to have someone come live with us. However, Ash and I, TOGETHER, both felt strongly that Gabby was supposed to live with us for a little while. And she did.
Gabby came and lived with in the Dickson household from January until June. She became a part of our family for those months, and she remains a part of our family, even though she has moved on to work and live in the Big Apple- New York City.
When we asked Gabby to live with us, it was because we wanted to love her well. But it was also because we want our family to be bigger than “us.” As a Christian, my concept of love and family has to be bigger and less exclusive. I’m not naïve. I know this cannot happen all the time, and it’s not wise for certain seasons of life. But can we hold each other accountable that the “specific season” of nuclear family life doesn’t become a forever thing?
You don’t have to let someone live with you, but you can invite someone into your family. I believe this is more so about maintaining an attitude of welcoming, gracious, hospitality, and a commitment to helping others know they BELONG to a family.
How would Singles feel on Valentine’s Day if we could commit to living and loving like this? What are some ways that you have helped others feel like they belong to a family?
Oh! I almost forgot to say…
Happy Valentine’s Day!