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Blog: Love in the partnership Our Family Ltd.

in English 15.7.2017 06:20 | Päivämies-verkkolehti
With 11 members in the family, with a special needs child in the family, with both parents of the family working, is there really any need to ask myself if I am happy? Or you?
You and I together run this marital enterprise. Plus there are nine children. The true and solid foundation of family life arises from our mutual daily interaction. Operating models. Values and choices. Promises and the ability to keep them. We need to work hard to keep Our Family Ltd. on the rails. And that is our source of happiness. There are small tokens of respect and shared moments. There are loving words and moments when we pause to check that our compasses show in the same direction.  Love is cooperation and shared commitment to the mission of Our Family Ltd. And the underlying foundation of this is our marital union.

There have been times when that foundation has been about to come apart at the seams. Despite marital love, foundations are not eternal but need to be inspected from time to time for service and repair. A gentle look in the other person’s eyes. Apology and forgiveness. Words and actions. And the Heavenly Father’s blessing.

When we met, you got a whole package. Myself and two little children. That was how we gradually started our everyday life together. Or actually we started it right away. There was no honeymoon for the two of us. And that seemed like a good size of the family. During the first 11 years of our marriage, we had seven more babies. All the nine have been ours ever since the beginning. You adopted a parental role by my side so easily. You have always been a father for them all – there has never been any doubt of that. We have been blessed abundantly with happiness and love.

There have also been bad spots in our relationship when selfishness and fatigue have battled against patience and understanding. We have needed to lavish the gospel, and we have managed until today. We have attended marital courses, parental courses, mothers’ courses, and courses for the parents of special needs children. We have discussed child rearing while having sauna, while jogging, while driving, and with friends, and we have always reached a satisfactory conclusion and compromise – sooner or later.  

There have been times when we have been hardly able to speak to each other. Is this how people grow apart, I have wondered, when I have fleetingly found it difficult to touch you or to understand you at all. I stopped having babies, and you were burdened by the dismissals at your workplace and your demanding duties. We moved abroad. In a great hurry we packed away the familiar things in Finland and opened our door to welcome life in English. It was time to learn a new kind of daily life. Close together and yet a little separately. You worked long days, and I tried to learn the new schedule of a full-time mother. There was fretting and annoyance – for no reason really. Luckily, however, one of us was always able to approach the other, to take the first step toward discussion, and so we were able to settle the matters that had been bothering our relationship. We even laughed at them together – how stupid we had been! – and agreed not to waste time sulking. But one has to correct one’s errors from time to time. Marriage and family life require strategic skills!

As I said, there have been times when our mutual love has been like a ride along a bumpy road. But it has always been a safe ride. You are not scared if I am sometimes grumpy. I will remain by your side on both good days and bad. We have been through these experiences and this life together. We have come to pause and cherish our moments of happiness. To see the resources our family possesses, although the family members are sometimes far apart geographically. Lacking and faulty but together, sheltered by God’s grace and abundant love, we have been able to grow into you and me and into Our Family Ltd. And this is enough. For there is one kind of love that is greater than any other love. And perfect. The love of God that will carry us.

Text: Sarianna Suominen
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen

You will find the original Finnish blog post here.

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