So I'm a Marriage and Family Studies major, right? Right. Except every time people ask me what I want to do with that I have to tell them honestly I have no idea. I feel like my three options are : research, teaching, or counseling. Out of the three I want to do teaching, but I have no idea where or how or what. I've thought about teaching community courses...but I'm not sure how one goes about acquiring a job like that. I've also thought (only a little bit) about getting a masters and such to teach at a university or something. Overall I don't know what exactly I would teach...just stuff about Marriage and Family I guess...(real specific, I know). Just the other day though, we were talking to one of the ladies we interviewed and she asked us what we wanted to do with our majors. And as we were talking I had two realizations.
First, in whatever capacity I teach, one of my main focuses I want to be Prevention/Preparation. Instead of solving problems I want to prevent them by preparing people for being married and having a family. I had already been thinking about this because I finally started reading a book Karen and Merrill had given me "First Comes Love" (which I love by the way...Thank You Kar and Mer!). There is a story in it which I found surprisingly poignant.
There is a man standing on the side of a river. He sees a family floating down the river on a raft. They are about to go around a bend and encounter some rapids. The man on the side of the river can see that, and he can also see that the family cannot see what is coming. He watches as they round the bend. When they hit the rapids everyone flies off the raft. The two adults swim to the land, but the two little boys are pulled under the current and are drowned.
What a simple, but terrible story! The book relates this to marriages and families. I think it is so true. People don't anticipate disaster or crisis to strike their family at anytime, but they do and if you are not prepared people fall off the boat and sadly people drowned...emotionally. It is heartbreaking. This is happening all around us. A lot of the families I visit are either single parents or some are even in the thick of divorce, and I often think "How could this have been prevented?" So much hurt and confusion and despair. And what repercussions! I just look at the kids and feel for them, for the relationship struggles they will have as a result of what they are going through.
Which brings me to my next realization. The woman we were talking to asked me who I wanted to teach...college students, adults, children? Honestly I had never even considered teaching children about having strong marriages and families. But as I thought about it I realized that that isn't such a bad idea. Why not start early? Shape an image of how to make marriages and families last amidst the efforts to break them down. I even joked with Jessie that maybe I should teach sex ed. (Could you see me as a sex ed teacher? That would be fun!). I was talking to another girl in my internship and she was like..."You should start up a program!" You know like DARE, but with marriages and families. Like Preparing For Our Futures or something like that. I don't know. It is just something I was thinking about. People might think that it is a weird idea...getting married and having a family is just something that happens right? Why study it and "prepare" for it? Ummmm....because they are probably THE most important aspect of our lives. Marriages and Families can cause the most joy and also the most sorrow in our lives. I, personally, am all about intentionality. Being aware of the things that I can do to make my marriage and family stronger and more resistant to deterioration and doing them!