Last night, when my husband walked in the house tired from his 14-hour work day, he hugged me and said, “Thanks for working hard.” Blessed and humbled by his acknowledgement of my equally long day of cooking, homeschooling, laundry, chiropractor appointments, and caring for four children (two of whom were sick), I replied, “Thank you for working hard.” Still hugging me, he said, “We’re a team, right?”
It’s true. We are a team. If Travis didn’t get up every morning and go to work and give his best for his .boss/co-workers/colleagues/clients and then come home at night and continue giving his best for his wife/children/home, I couldn’t get up every morning and give my best for my husband/children/home by staying at home to raise our children and to care for the affairs of our household. Likewise, if I didn’t give my best by taking responsibility to mother our children and to feed and clothe my family, etc., Travis couldn’t be his best when he gets up and goes to work every morning. So, not only do I say that we are a team; but I also say that it takes a team–especially with a family of six.
Considering the big-ish size of our family, I would say that our household runs fairly smoothly. I say this not to boast (Our family is far from perfect, and some days “smooth” just means we are running too slowly to notice the bumps!) but merely to make the point that teamwork in a family really does make a difference in the overall operation–and atmosphere–of the home.
As I see it, teamwork in a family simply means loving one another. What does that look like? John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” And how do you do that? Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing from selfish or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”
This is, of course, easier said than done. It’s hard to deny self. When Travis asks me to prepare him a snack at 10:30 p.m., after I have in my mind “checked out” for the night, a joyful jumping-to-it isn’t always my first response. But, when I stop and consider the meaning of my life, I am compelled to make that plate of nachos with joy, knowing that I am fulfilling the second greatest commandment to “love [my] neighbor as [my]self” (Matthew 22:39). (Do I fix myself something to eat when I’m hungry? You bet I do!)
I find it interesting that, although we do consciously work to instill this mindset of “regarding others as more important than yourself” in our children, they seem to–at least at their young age–do this by nature. Not only do they play on Mommy and Daddy’s team (doing chores or favors); they also team up with each other. Here are a couple snapshots of some “teamwork” that happened in our house this morning.
The “A Team” playing Go Fish, working together to play by the rules and to create fun
I guess that makes them the “B Team.”…
Isabel (L) spent most of her morning on the couch keeping her sick sister Elliana (R) company.