When we sisters were growing up we actually had it pretty good by standards then. We never were close to being without a meal, our electric was never cut off and we always had an auto. We even got to do special things like charm school, swimming lessons and the movies on weekends. We were pretty middle class for the times.
For some reason however, I always felt a dreaded awareness about what was going on around me. There were times like Easter when my mom gave each of us girls a $10.00 bill - pretty cool. I would, after she went into the kitchen put the $10 back in her purse and she never new it. I felt guilt? compassion? something, but I felt disturbed like it was wrong to take that.
I should have been excited and ran straight to the store but I couldn't feel good about myself doing that, I knew she didn't really have that kind of money and it was going to create an "issue".
Was I a good little girl, no, I don't think so now. Now I think I was too aware of what was happening around me. I knew the money wasn't there, that my parents fought about money. I knew about my mom swindling money from my dad under false pretences. I knew how hard he worked 12-16 hours a day and it just felt wrong for her to give me something like that.
I was often the center of their fights, without meaning to be. I just seemed to be their favorite excuse for one. I'm guessing now that while all I wanted was for it to stop, and I was doing my little part toward that, I was involving myself, a foolish and immature, childish choice.
My mom bought me a saxaphone, I never asked for it, it was her idea that I play. She paid for me to go to charm school - I surely never wanted that. And as far as swimming lessons go, heck I grew up in the water and could swim like a fish. She just did those things and the money really wasn't there. It always brought about a fight.
Things did not "go over my head" when I was child they landed right on top of me, I heard it all, saw it all, and hated it all. I wanted it to stop. I honestly used to walk home from the school bus stop closing my eyes and praying every day "let one of them be gone today Lord, I don't care which one, just one of them". And it never happened.
I always came home to the anger, fighting, shouting, lieing, manipulating and throwing things. It disturbed me so much it made me sick, phyically sick. I was at the doctor at 14 years old with what he diagnosed as "spazmatic stomach" and prescribed me valium, at 14. I never had the opportunity to take them becaue my mother did!
There are things that your children shouldn't know, they are not equiped for it, they shouldn't be aware of. Things, that make them not just physically ill but emotionally scarred for life.
Following God's plan in your family life is a way to prevent that, oh sure there are still husband wife issues, teen issues, just being "human" issues but maybe less obvious reactions with those issues, less drama, less catastrophic emotional plays, just handling them differently.God's way is the only way and He maps that out for us in His Word.
From the outside looking in we were pretty cotton-pick'n normal, from the outside. But, remember your kids are on the inside.
I can't blame my parents for my faults, my sins and wrong choices I was an adult when I made them but, I think things might have been very different with a different set of standards for me to have grown up living with. I think about that a lot, about how I failed my children in some of those ways. Just think about it, what gifts or baggage are your kids growing up with, think about it.