Conquering the land of Canaan was not a two minute job. If we take our time scale from the life of Caleb, we can see that from the time Israel entered the land, to the time that it was officially conquered, took a number of years.
Caleb was 85 years old when he was given Hebron. He was 40 years old when he was sent out as a spy to search the land of Canaan. Following that period of spying, all of Israel spent 38 more years wandering around the wilderness. That means Caleb was 78 years old when he crossed the Jordan River with Israel, and had been in the land seven years until the time of his inheritance (see Joshua 14). It took seven years to conquer the land.
The Reubenites, Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh had said they would go across the Jordan and help their brothers conquer the land. They had already inherited their land on the other side of the Jordan. These two and a half tribes fought for Israel faithfully for seven years.
Seven years is a long slice of life to give up when you have just moved into a new neighbourhood. Joshua commended them, saying, "You have done all that Moses the Servant of the LORD commanded, and you have obeyed me in everything I commanded. For a long time now – to this very day – you have not deserted your brothers but have carried out the mission the LORD your God gave you." (Joshua 22 v 2 – 3)
Would we have had the stickability, faith and courage to do the same?
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Surviving Marriage With School-Age Children
May the LORD bless you from Zion all the days of your life;
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem,
and may you live to see your children's children.
Psalm 128 v 5 -
"So, what did you say the schedule was for today?"
"Ok, let's go through it one more time. Straight after school I will pick up Jeremy and take him to the dentist. While I am doing that, you meet Charis and take her to the pool to meet Samantha. While she is swimming, pick up some meat for dinner from the supermarket and check in on your grandmother. Charis will need picking up after one hour. In the meantime, I will pick up Jonathan from the train and take Rosie's CV to be photocopied. If you could put some rice on when you get home, then I will meet you back at school for the parent-teacher interviews. Once they are done, we can have a quick dinner before you go our for the church meeting."
The time of having school age children can be one of the busiest times of life. The more children you have, the more activities they will be involved in, the more you will run around after them, and the less time you will find you have for your marriage. With four children in our house, along with numerous other commitments, we discovered that we needed to MAKE time for each other.
That's where we scheduled in our weekly date night. At first we made sure the children were in bed (either asleep or reading) early on a Thursday night, while we had the rest of the house to ourselves. Then later, when one of them was old enough to babysit, we went out. Our date nights have become vital to us. Things like date nights, weekends away, and attending a marriage enrichment weekend need to be booked into your diary and given priority. For the sake of your marriage and your children, you need these times together to maintain your relationship and be able to show a united front to your parenting - otherwise even the kids can begin to wedge you apart.
We also discovered that limiting both ours and the children's activities was essential to reducing the rush and giving us more quality marriage time.
Making the most of every moment is another aspect that has helped us through the busy years. Greeting each other with a hug and a kiss, spontaneously saying, "I love you," and going to bed together as often as possible helps maintain a healthy state of wedded bliss.
1. Book time together into your dairy.
2. Make the most of every day moments.
3. Limit activity.