6/19/07

Nothing to Prove

Paul and I have a yearly tradition in our home where we entertain the same 2 couples. We started this about 7 years ago. These 2 couples have been married a lot longer than Paul or I. They are not what you would call “older” but what we would call “wiser.”

It doesn’t make sense to Paul or me. Us: A young couple in the midst of child rearing and trying to get careers off the ground, but in need of healthy role models. Them: Retired, able to travel the world, able to spend time with older, more mature friends.

But that is what makes entertaining so unique. There is no certain formula regarding who you can share a meal with. We Americans are searching and longing for connections, for deeper friendships.

Friendship is an undervalued relationship in today’s society. We have lots of acquaintances – people we work with or go to church with or socialize with. But how many of them are true friends?

I found it interesting one night when one of the ladies left our house and said: “You know, we rarely get invited over to young couples’ homes anymore.”

That was shocking information to me. Do we not have time anymore?

Older couples are also longing for connection outside of their generation.

Not only have these 2 couples invested their time and energy into sharing meals with us, they have contributed to our children’s musical & sporting events & school activities, given financial support for mission trips, and shared with us loads of blessings from their gardens and orchard, as well as lots of holiday fun.

We come together around the table and share life. Our life is more hurried and theirs is more relaxed. They have lived ¾ of their life. We have lived ½.

Their conversation has nothing to prove. We are still young and trying to impress.

They offer encouragement and advice and we listen!

The 6 of us clicked that night, 7 years ago, around the table. Could we possibly be a gift to them? They most certainly are to us!

Paul’s words have never left my mind when explaining how he enjoys this tradition. He says, “Sandy, it’s refreshing because they have nothing to prove.”

21 comments:

Carol said...

Sandy,
My husband and I have found the easiest and least stressful entertaining has been with couples who are older than us. We have connected with one couple in particular and one older lady. Conversation flows easily. They take an interest in our family and we in theirs and it's always a special time.
p.s. I'm taking your advice and am trying to coordinate a court BBQ this week-end. We've invited everyone on the street and we're looking forward to getting together with the neighbours. Am enjoying your blog!

Nadine said...

What a wonderful post. I totally agree. Different generations have so much to offer us young and old. I have friends older, same and younger. It's always pleasant to spend time in their company. Wisdom is a great thing to share. Thank you for the reminder. I love the group picture.

Joy said...

You are so inspiring to me! I love the fact that you have this tradition and that it means a lot to each person that you do.

My husband and I love to have my parents (and his) over for dinner and they just love it. No offence to my siblings but they rarely get invites from them. Perhaps they're too busy, etc. but I truly feel you have to MAKE time. We won't have them here forever and I cherish these times we have together. And it's a nice night out for them without having to pay a bill at a restaurant. They are so appreciative and we all enjoy each other's company. :)

Diane said...

What a blessed group you have found! And what a great thing to do.

I fear I may be in the category of one of those older couples....and I have never thought about...having nothing to prove. You have given me food for thought today--as I ponder this phrase.

The way we interact with people is so significant. Do I leave people feeling exhausted by my challenges or do I leave them feeling edified by my encouragement.

Your photos are lovely.....as is the idea to meet regularly with a diverse group of people. You have blessed them as much as they bless you!

Diane

Kelly said...

I loved this post. What a great reminder for all of us to look outside of our "normal" circles.

We had a much older couple from our church attend a Sunday school class my husband was teaching. They were in their mid 80s, but they had so much wit and spark. We invited them to dinner one night, and three years later, they still mention it whenever they see us.

Barb said...

It's good for our kids to have a variety of people into our homes, including those of "grandparent" age, related or no. Sometimes we only think of having other families with children in, so they can play together, but our kids can practice a little self-discipline and their listening skills when older individuals are invited in, and learn from their stories. Scripture admonishes the older to mentor the younger, and conversing over a meal is one of the funnest ways to benefit from the lives of others!

Jammy said...

Where were the children during dinner? Just curious!

Jenn =)

Grace said...

What a treasure you've found in these friends - reminds me of the book of Titus in a real way.

I think every couple needs an older couple to be friends with - to look up to, to learn from and to laugh with.

Org Junkie said...

Other than family, I can't say I've ever done this. I've just never thought about it, so thanks for giving me the thought and the spark.

Laura

Jill@Who Could Ask for Anything More said...

Most of my girl friends are older than me (by 10 years or so) and then I have a few who are younger and the difference between get-togethers is remarkable. My parents were older when I was born and I spent most of my life around adults and older people and I'm just more comfortable with them. You said it well... they have nothing to prove and just enjoy the moment for what it is.

Rhoda said...

Sandy, how wonderful for you to get together with these couples. I'm sure they enjoy being with younger folks & what a wealth of wisdom they have to offer your family. I wish we could all get back to this more & more...it is so hard to build true friendships this day & time. Busy, busy, busy...too much so!

Rhoda
Southern Hospitality

Jenster said...

Todd and I are very close friends with a couple who are in their late 70's, early 80's. It's one of the most precious friendships and we both have learned so much from them.

Cathy said...

Great post! This is my first visit to your blog, I'm off to read more after this post. My husband and I are friends with a couple that have been married 52 years. They are lots of fun to be around and full of wisdom. We tell them we want to be like them when we're their age.

Cathy
Domestic Bliss

linda t said...

Such an important message you posted about Sandy. Really got me to think... how much we need to learn from those that have much to give in wisdom and experience.
Thanks for the reminder Sandy.

Sandy said...

Hi all! I love how most of you have shared how you to incorporate older people into your hospitality. And Kelly, our kids were probably upstairs watching TV or playing a game or something.
Since day one of our marriage we've decided that life is not always about the kids. It's important that Paul and I have adult time, and in this case with people we could learn from, to become better parents!
So often the kids just veg or hang out. This doesn't happen all of the time, but sometimes.
Now maybe your children are younger and not able to hang out on your own. We still had nice dinners back then, it was just a little more chaotic :)
Diane, you asked some great challenging questions...I'm glad this post made you think :)
Thank you again for such great feedback!
Sandy

Betty Jane said...

This is such an incredibly encouraging reminder of precious time spent well. We too are busy busy and need to take that time or create a similar tradtion to stop and enjoy God's creation in human life! What a blessing!

palmtreefanatic said...

Sandy,
Thanks for stopping by my blog...You are personal friends with Kevin Leman? WOW! Fascinating! I am so not a reader but this is my 2nd book of his I am reading, And want to read them all! What an inspiration he has been in my life!

I really enjoyed checking out your blog! this is a wonderful post...
Be Blessed!

Christine said...

I have always been so blessed by older couples and their wisdom. The generational gap shouldn't be one, ya know??

It's a blessing to know you Sandy! Praying for your Focus on the Family thing this week!

GiBee said...

We also have friends like this that are older than us, but totally click with us. We really enjoy their company!

Lana G! said...

Inspiring post - truly inspiring.

Becca said...

I have always felt I had something to prove. Either it's a holdover from being the oldest/perfectionist or some other source, I have to be the best/first/recognized. It's a hard place. I'm finally at a place where I see this and God is working it out of me. It's so wonderful. Thanks for your post.