I enjoyed hearing my daughter Michelle and her husband share about a recent visit they made to the home of one of Michelle’s childhood friends. Between the two families, there were six children age 9 and under, five of them boys. Everyone who knows them would agree that, of the two, Michelle runs a tighter ship at home, so it was amusing to hear her recount with wide eyes, “It was so much fun, but wow, it got pretty chaotic at times….I don’t know how they do it!”
What jumped out at me was: “It was so much fun…” Despite the rambunctiousness with several very energetic boys leading the charge, and the ensuing mess and confusion, our daughter’s family came away happy and with fun stories to recount and remember (including my 4-year-old granddaughter’s tale of how she ended up with a streak from a blue marker on her forehead).
We have a focus on hospitality in this issue, and this is a perfect example. The focus was on each other, enjoying the time together, and celebrating this stage of life where both couples are all-in with parenting. The messes, chaos and probably less-than-Martha-Stewart-like presentation were backseat to just enjoying life, friendship and each other.
For me, one of the biggest takeaways I received from learning more about theology of the body is the importance of recognizing the dignity of other people, and remembering that no matter how different we may be. We hope our hospitality articles inspire you to be more open to sharing the gift of yourselves with those the Lord puts in your life, even if takes you out of your comfort zone. Don’t wait for better furniture, more room or for the yard to be perfectly manicured. Focus instead on who around you might need a little TLC.
Our focus on the other spills over into the topic of responsible parenthood – the principle that guides married couples’ discernment about family size decisions. Be sure to read how two couples gradually came to view the gift of the other – any yet-to-be-conceived new child – as something more desired than some previous practical concerns as their hearts grew in generosity.
And we take a gripping look at one of today’s most prominent examples of devaluing the other—pornography. Today Steve Pokorny heads up a coaching practice to guide others out of pornography addiction, and is successful because he knows firsthand the ease of the descent into complete selfishness with no regard for the dignity of those he used to feed his desires. It’s a hopeful story, trust me.