My Family. My Team.
by Elizabeth Byler Younts
I know not every day will be like today. You know those days that are pivotal in a positive way for your family—you get this natural high. Suddenly those times in the trenches and moments where God tells you to just be patient make sense—the puzzle pieces from years of dreaming and praying fit together. And you consider how everyone did his or her part to make the team work. Everyone had a role, per se, and handled it like a team player.
Today was one of those days.
Today I was reminded that we are a team. Being a team with your spouse is one thing, but adding in small people with ages in single digits can simply be risky at best—right habits and focus are key. We are a small team—only four—but today we were mighty, and I was proud of my husband and my children and so thankful to God.
Being a team, however, doesn’t happen overnight and isn’t just about game day. God had it in His plan for His children to be team players.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! … And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (ESV)
Just like any team, there must be practice times before a big game. For families, this is the daily life. To work with each other and not against. To provide support and not tear down. If this is the daily habit, it will provide a great foundation for the family game day where everyone has a role to play. I don’t want to be the family that doesn’t lift up their own fallen member.
“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.” I Corinthians 1:10 (ESV)
Teams also need to have the same goals. Talking about our vision and goals for our family should include even our youngest children. Keep it clear. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Often big goals involve smaller goals along the way. Have many conversations on how reaching the goal or family vision will affect them personally. Reminder: reaching goals requires hard work, so no rose-colored glasses allowed.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
When family members develop self-discipline, they are also acting as a team player. Of course, young children learn this through experience, but this is not just for the little crowd. I admit that through watching the healthy habits my husband displays I have grown myself. Self-governing is all-important when it comes to teams. I personally believe also that when you lack self-control, you have a much harder time (or maybe it’s impossible) to be kind or patient. There can be great failure without God-given self-control.
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12
There are many other attributes of teams that feed into family culture, but the keys for our win on game day were prayer and patience. Just like with any game on a field or a court—timing is important. Patience is required. For me, patience is impossible without prayer. Prayer will bring peace, wisdom and the important reminder of Who is sovereign in all.
I know my family needs these biblical truths to remain strong as a team and not take it for granted the joy that comes when there’s a win on game day. One strong win, however, is not what it’s all about—but in daily dependence on God.
Elizabeth Byler Younts is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She was Amish as a child and after her parents left the church she still grew up among her Amish family and continues to speak Pennsylvania Dutch. She lives in Central Pennsylvania with her husband and two daughters.
We’d like to hear from you. Please share your comments below or like us on your Facebook page. Be sure to check back each month for more articles and products available at your local Christian bookstore.