Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"Meeting the Parents"

Ok, if I thought the Delilah critics were going to be bad, I can’t imagine what kind of judgments will be placed on me after I admit this, but yes, I watch The Bachelor! The relationships, the drama, it just hooks me week after week! The reason I bring up this semi-embarrassing fact is to talk about one thing that has really been on my mind. That is, the importance to knowing someone’s “home” and family where they were raised and experiencing what their life was like before you marry them.

Granted, The Bachelor does not set the perfect example for dating and marriage, but I do completely agree with one element to the show that I believe they do right. Once the 25 girls have been narrowed down to the final 4, each girl takes home the bachelor to meet her family, to see the home that she was more than likely raised in, show him around the town/city where she grew up, and just let him get to know who she really is. Isn’t it interesting that even in a secular world, where Christianity might not be of any importance, they still understand how vital it is to meet a girls’ family and really experience who she was over all those years before you even met her. This drives home the importance of family and “home”. “Home” makes us who we are, and you learn so much about a person when you experience their past “home”.

Now don’t get me wrong, you should never completely judge a person based on their past and their family life, there are a lot of people who have overcome so much to rise above who they used to be. And in Christ we are a new creation, the old is gone, the new has come, and for those who were not raised in Christian household and have a rough history, they can rise above that by making God Lord of their life. The point I’m trying to make is that even in those situations, it’s still vital for the man you are dating to experience that. To know what “home” you came from, to learn what you’ve dealt with and how it has shaped you.

Let’s make this a little more personal. Josh and I met in college, therefore neither of us knew the other’s family. It’s a big deal when as a couple you decide to “meet the parents”. I was so excited to bring my man home. To show him the church I grew up in, drive him around my small town, take him on a walk through the arboretum I took countless walks through as a child and adult, to have him meet my parents and meet our good family friends, to let him eat our amazing popcorn while we play cards, to have him meet my brothers, to show him the place I worked all through school, to show him the schools I attended and the yummy restaurants to eat at! It’s vitally important that Josh experience this, to really know and understand me. Afterall, there was 20 years of my life lived before I even met him, and those 20 years define me. It’s through those experiences that shows how I demonstrate love and my expectations of marriage. Maybe that’s kind of deep, but I really think that if people look for it, a hometown visit really can show you that much about a person.

Now I ask you to consider this; what about the couples who meet as playmates down the street from one another, or high school sweethearts. What an advantage they have, they have not just heard about the childhood of the woman/man they love, they’ve experienced it with them! The parents have been a part of their growing up and dating process as well. How amazing as parents to get to know your future daughter or son in-law on such a close level so early! It would be so easy to make them a part of the family. On the down side, I do think it’s very beneficial for a marriage to each be from different backgrounds just because 2 different life experiences, different schools, churches, communities, etc. can really broaden the perspective and expectations in a marriage and for a family. But how amazingly sweet for those people who can say they’ve known their spouse for all those years! That must be so special and bonding in a way those of us who have only been known each other since college will never understand.

After watching The Bachelor, it really pushed me to blog about this topic that I feel so strongly about. Family and “Home” is so critical to history and future, if you are thinking about getting married, make sure you take the time to examine and experience each other’s “homes”---current and past. It tells so much about a person.

Below are some thoughts from Deborah Raney relating to this topic that are so sweet and challenging, I wanted to share them with you all.

Deborah Raney “My mom and dad met when they were 8 years old! They remember going horse-back riding back and forth to each other's houses. They knew each other's parents and siblings from the time they were just little kids! I didn't meet my husband until we were both college age. But it was very important for both of us to meet each other's families and get to know about each other's childhoods. I remember being so impressed with how eager Ken was for me to get to know his mom. I'd heard people say that how a man treated his mother was a good indicator of how he would treat a wife, so I was glad Ken thought so much of his mom that he couldn't wait for us to meet. Shirley and I are good friends to this day.”

I would love to hear from others, what are your thoughts on this topic? What are your life experiences? And for those who just want to put what they think about The Bachelor, I’d love to hear that too! J


  1. Was Josh impressed that you worked at a dirty nursery? :)

  2. I think your thoughts are right on! Beautiful blog today.... brings back good memories of you bringing Josh to our home the first time. :)