Families Should Be Tough

My wife is kind and compassionate, but she is one of the toughest people I have ever known. She does not have a mean bone in her body, but she is strong. She will tell you like it is and somehow make you feel like she is on your side. And when it comes to being a mom, nothing will stop her. She is tough for her children.

She is the kind of tough that can handle trials that makes most women wilt. Just ask anyone who knows her. And yet she is kind toward others and displays a genuinely positive attitude most of the time, even though her days are full of service to others and hard work.

Monica BelluciMy wife’s strength is a large part of her beauty. Mel Gibson once described his leading lady in The Passion, Monica Belluci, as someone who looked absolutely beautiful no matter how much grime that the makeup artists put on her. They kept trying to make her look like a beaten-down beleaguered Mother Mary, and they just couldn’t seem to get her to look bad enough. That’s my wife, metaphorically speaking.

She is an eternal optimist and can be an unstoppable force. You can slow her down. You can make her sick, you can make her cry, but you cannot ultimately stop her. You can put her child in the hospital for major surgery, and she will go toe-to-toe with any nurse, doctor, or therapist. You can take away her sleep and give her  a nasty sinus infection, but that won’t stop her. You can give her three days worth of work to do in one day and make her kids sick and whiney all day, but she will not give in. Day after day. You can knock her down, but you can’t knock her out. She is Rocky Balboa tough.

Beyond her ability to persevere, she is a protector of her children. She wants them to grow up strong, so she pushes them and is not afraid to let them struggle. She knows that strength comes from the struggle, so she passes that legacy along daily.

Our family has grown tough. We aren’t mean or harsh, but we can take the hits. We know how to survive the storms of life to thrive on a better day.

We are general infantry, not special ops.

We are defenders, not high scorers.

We are minivans, not Mercedes.

For 14 years now, we have had a wheelchair-bound child who can’t walk or talk. We’ve had more than a few sleepless night and lengthy hospital stays, among many other challenges. We have busy every day jobs and middle class economics to deal with. We know what it’s like to face obstacles every day, and we have been through plenty of large crises already. Our medical records alone would scare most people.

The good news is that a tough life makes us stronger as individuals and as a couple. More importantly, it makes our kids stronger.

This ad below hits home with me. It makes me especially proud of my wife and our family life.

Our kids are becoming tough enough for more than just athletics. They are getting tough for real life. They are learning to deal with daily difficulties. They know what it means to lose, to get back up, and to find a way to win some other day.

They know that life is hard, but God is good, and He has special blessings for those who persevere and show grace under pressure.

They are not surprised by disappointment. They will get through whatever may come, knowing that it gets better, if they don’t give up.

They are learning how to delay gratification because not everything comes easily or quickly around our house.

We aren’t special. Nobody would want to make a TV show about our messy life. But we are human, and that means we are not alone.

So, here’s to you, fellow survivors!

Stay strong for your family. Because tough families will make the world a much better place, one tough kid at a time.

5 responses to “Families Should Be Tough”

  1. Loved it Andy! Prayers and love to Julie

  2. So proud, as always, of my son and his family!

  3. Julie is a treasure!

  4. Love this! No wimps!

  5. Carson Carrington

    Lesson: This is way better than Army Tough! Be Julie Kerckhoff tough! It ultimately means smiling MORE and complaining LESS!
    Locked and loaded, shoulder to shoulder, on top of that sentry wall with you…

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