Saturday, September 26, 2009

In Sickness and In Health...of your child

It is said that the divorce rate is about 80-90% for parents of children with special needs. Even though there is not much data to support that statistic, it is a fact that parenting a child with special needs is most often more challenging and complex than parenting a typical child.

By the grace of God, Kempton and I celebrated 10 joyous years of marriage in June. No, life has not been easy since Christian has been born. Yes, we have to fight discontentment with the daily, mundane tasks of caring for his needs. Yes, we have our stressful seasons & gut-wrenching moments. But God! He has been so rich in mercy towards us. Recalling Psalm 68:19 is the only way I can describe these past 6½ years…“Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation.”

We are not experts in marriage, nor do we have it all together. However, I wanted to share some tips that are helping Kempton & I strive to remain focused on our Lord Jesus and put much effort into our marriage.

Only by God's strength, We say “NO” to…
1) Our family revolving around disability. We are the Turner Team and we’re made up of 4 members. Christian is a blessed part of the family, but his disabilities do not characterize our family. Each of us has unique strengths & weaknesses. God gives us the grace to strive to serve one another and not focus solely on one individual. Keeping this central, has been the key in many of the choices we’ve made as you will see in the following points.

2) Tons of therapy services. God is sovereign over Christian’s disabilities. If He chooses, He can “heal” Christian in a millisecond. So, why would we stress ourselves in trying to “fix” Christian with tons of services??? We are not against therapy, Christian has actually had several therapy services. However, putting all our energy, time, & focus there is not beneficial for Christian, our family, our marriage, or our ministries.

3) The demands of disability consuming our 1st calling as husband & wife. God called husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and wash them in the Word. Wives are called to help, submit, and respect their husbands. Read Genesis 2:18 and Eph 5:22-33. If we strive to honor & obey God in what He has called us to do and keep this priority, He will take care of the rest. If you are too exhausted or too stressed to follow God’s desire, you may need to reevaluate your priorities. Ask the Lord for the grace and strength for you to keep 1st things 1st! The best way you can actually love your children is to love one another.

I know that there are some seasons that your child with special needs may need more attention, time, and focus. We’ve had several of those seasons with Christian. However, I listed here what we strive to do under "normal" circumstances.

God willing, the next blog post will be about what we said “YES” to.


mom of 3, hater of cheese and birds said...

amen and amen. :) I can't wait to see your YES list.

robin said...

Of course you know i agree to all the things said, parenting a special needs child is of no easy task..Mike and I are constantly in prayer for our marriage and also for strength and direction for Dion...What is the Yes list :)

Lee n said...

There is a rest for the people of God....hebrews america most of us don't know how to to have shabbat..

Papa Bear said...

This is something I've had a hard time articulating. It is hard to keep your balance. There are some temptations that make you feel guilty even when you say no to them.

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