the trinity of family life

Give and take. Sacrifice and compromise. The exchanges we make in love.

Our December has turned into a microcosm of our marriage, a portrait of our partnership. First I was gone for five days of meetings, and F had to scramble to stay home with the boys when the babysitter was sick. Now he leaves for a week-long business trip, and I’m the one scrambling to rearrange my schedule.

This month we’re both juggling child care and work responsibilities and housework and errands. We’re sharing dinner duty and diaper duty and sending a zillion emails a day between home and office to coordinate the caring, cooking, cleaning.

One feeds the baby and the other washes the bottles. One makes dinner and the other scrubs the dishes. One does the laundry and the other buys the groceries. One stays up late with the baby and the other gets up early with the toddler.

The next day – or week or month – we switch. And the cycle of sharing starts over again.

Sometimes we’re tempted to keep track or keep score. We’ve sacrificed more, we think. We’ve done too much lately, we brood. But that is the temptation away from agape, from mutuality, from self-giving love. Marriage and parenting are never 50/50, but the allure of the equal makes us constantly renegotiate what’s working, what’s not, and how we can change.

This is the dynamic we’re daily carving out for our family. This is the model of marriage we want to give to our boys. This is the way of life that makes the most sense for us – even when it doesn’t make sense. This is the Trinity of family that teaches me daily what it means to love, to give and to receive.

The nature of our God as Trinity is no dry doctrine. Sometimes it seem mysterious or esoteric, but sometimes it is as close as the people in our own home: those with whom we share a table or a bed.

The Trinity is a dance of love among a family. It is the gifts we give and receive as we help each other become the people we were created to be. It can be messy and demanding but also beautiful and divine.

And in the midst of this busy week in a busy month, I’m humbled and delighted to share the glimpse of God that our family life gives to me. Check it out at Picturing God: Faces and Traces of the Divine.


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