Illinois Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

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Peter and Sarah

Peter slipped his shoes off his feet and pushed his toes under the sand. He always enjoyed the cool feeling of the wet sand between his toes. He leaned back and looked to the sky and asked Sarah, “So when do you think you’ll make a decision for college?”
Sarah, still with her shoes on responded with a shrug and a grunt resembling, “I don’t know.”

Sarah and Peter had been dating since the 9th grade. He was the son of a small town farmer, and she was the daughter of the local board trustee. Their lives were filled with fun, adventure and hard work. But now they were beginning to consider what was out there for them when they left home, if that were even an option. Would Dennery always be there home, or could they see themselves far, far away. A more meaningful question for them, as was the case for so many others in the past was, “Are we going to get married right after school?”

This question may seem absurd to many readers, but the reality is that in years gone by, this was very much the practice. Couples wedded at a younger age. There are couples in our conference that have been married for over 60 years. It is worth commending those that have been married more than half a century.

There are so many challenges within the 21st century family. Here are a few; blended families, single parenting, adopted children, 2nd generation parenting (grandparents raising grandchildren), absentee fathers, same sex parenting, foster care, teen mothers, and a host of others.

For many years I have worked with families to help heal broken hearts and mend fractured relationships. I have studied family ministry and it is evident that there is a great need for help in traveling through these waters. I have worked with spouses having difficulty conceiving, parents who want to kick their children out of the home, families that have had to admit their child into hospitals for the safety of the child, and singles struggling to find wholeness.

It is my desire to share with you the story of Peter and Sarah, and how their lives can be a springboard to issues relating to the family. Our conversations will range from topics relating to singles, husbands role in the family, raising children without raising blood pressure, divorce, to other topics such as money and marriage, sex and spirituality, and homosexuality.

Our conversations will be light and refreshing. It is my hope that each segment will offer you something to think about and something practical to do. At times we will have a guest writer, and there will be other moments where testimonies are shared.

The Illinois Conference is a great place to live and work. We are a mixed community of all nations, tongues, and people. One of the ways we can help in fulfilling the mission of the conference is by establishing, pursuing, encouraging and maintaining healthy families.

Let me end with 2 John 3-6: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love. It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us. And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to His commands. As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in love.”

“Well, wherever you go,” said Peter, “just be sure you take my heart with you.” And with that they watched the sun as it nestled gently into the embrace of the ocean beyond the distant sea.

Story by Danaran Frederick.

*Danaran Frederick teaches religion at Hinsdale Adventist Academy. He is married and has three children. He also does Family Life seminars and marital and pre-marital counseling. He has worked with youth and families for many years.

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