The Family That Camps Together
By Robin J. Steinweg –
Is it possible these days to raise a happy, well-adjusted family? When our boys were little, we listened faithfully to Dr. James Dobson’s Focus on the Family program. We learned a lot and developed confidence in the advice we heard. One day he mentioned a poll taken of successful Christian families. Something they all had in common: camping.
Without hesitating, we scoured garage sales and thrift stores for equipment. We borrowed How-To books from the library, and collected recipes for campfire meals. We found an available site at a state park and loaded the car till the bumper scraped the driveway.
My husband had never camped in his life. I had fond memories of camping as a young child. The rain, the long soggy treks to the outhouse, the lake leeches attached to my sister’s legs, the mosquitoes carrying me off. How could I describe such delights to my uninitiated family? I didn’t. They could experience it for themselves.
The book of Proverbs tells us wisdom will protect us, wisdom is supreme—so get it, if it costs all you have. Wisdom might come through God’s Word, or sometimes He plants it within us. But then there are the times He allows us to walk through an experience to develop our wisdom muscle. Guess how He chose to do it in our case?
I should have seen it coming. A husband who dislikes the unexpected, a son who believed he had a future in entymology, a toddler who believed every insect was a scorpion, and me with allergy-induced asthma. A thin sheet of canvas wasn’t a proper filter from ragweed that spread pollen like guests showering rice on newlyweds. Nor did it filter the whoops of drunken neighbors starting their weekend early.
By the time we folded up our sodden tent (of course it rained) we were only on speaking terms with our sons. We got over it eventually, and learned some valuable lessons: it’s wonderful to have programs like Focus on the Family to teach good parenting skills, but it’s a good idea to check with God before jumping into things. What works for other families may not be God’s best for yours.
Yes, it is possible to raise a happy, well-adjusted family these days. But leave camping for campers!
AUTHOR QUOTE: The family that camps together may end up soaked and ornery.
“Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men” (1 Corinthians 1:25a, KJV).
Today’s devotion is by Robin J. Steinweg. Robin’s life might be described using the game Twister: the colored dots are all occupied, limbs intertwine (hopefully not to the point of tangling), and you never know which dot the arrow will point to next, but it sure is fun getting there!