Parents raising kid with special needs have to be in their marriages for better for worse. Joe & Cindi Ferrini offer tips they've learned over the years.

For better, for worse. Today’s guest bloggers, Joe and Cindi Ferrini, have been learning what those words mean for their family for more than 4 decades. In their soon-to-be-released book, Love All-Ways: Embracing Marriage Together on the Special Needs Journeythey share what they’ve learned. Today’s guest post us an excerpt from their new book. You’ll also learn how you can enter a drawing for a free copy of their book!

For Better, for Worse

Within a ten year period we lost 5 close family members (one to suicide), was in the process of helping one daughter plan a wedding, getting our other daughter ready for high school graduation, all while I was losing clumps of hair leaving me with huge bald spots, and us trying to continue to meet the needs of our son with multiple special needs. Some of you are saying, “Wow, that’s nothing, here’s my story!” Others are saying, “I sure hope that doesn’t happen to me!” Either way, we all will have hard times amongst the good and there will be challenges. Times got better and life got a little easier, but we aren’t going to lie: it was tough.

Things we learned and hope to help you in your challenges:

  • Don’t be afraid of bad news. Psalm 112:7-8, “They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.”
  • Trust in God no matter what the news. Genesis 22:1, “They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.”
  • Trust Him to provide: Philippians 4:19, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
  • The root of many problems and challenges is that they are unexpected and if not managed and dealt with will mature into bitterness and often anger.
  • Unrealistic expectations and inevitable difficulties are normal. It’s what we do with them that will make the difference in our marriage. 

It’s amazing to see that what we were given in life is the very template of who we will become. Caring for Joey has helped our whole family realize different things in life but as a couple it showed we’d be there for each other “for better, for worse” when that time comes. It was also good that it came early in our marriage giving us the opportunity to recognize selfishness in ourselves giving us the ability to ask God for help to see the bigger picture beyond just “me or us” and to share and serve. Good that comes from right choices was such a great story line in the movie Wonder (2017). It’s a lifetime of right choices, timing, and responding that finally tells the story of life and gives us the ending. In some ways we think we get to write, in part, how that ending turns out. What we find is that positive character traits will get us farther than negative ones and negative emotions. Don’t be entitled; be grateful. Recognize that both valleys and vistas have their own beauty. Life is not social media. Social media isn’t all that real in many ways; but fun, yes.

  • Embrace joy. Give life gusto. Keep trying, doing, enjoying different adventurous things. (Try new hobbies even if you’re lousy at them. We took dance lessons and had fun. We took golf lessons and are still lousy, but we had fun!)
  • Practice God’s presence and ask for the Holy Spirit to fill you.
  • Make friends.
  • Ask for help when you needed and before you need it!
  • Financial planning for you and your child will help eliminate some stress.

Be:

  • Winsome (fun)
  • Wise (Not a windbag!)
  • Wide awake (pay attention to each other)
  • Wishful (hopeful for the future)
  • Stop moving the bar you set for yourself and for your spouse. Are you moving it so neither of you will ever attain it? Stop expecting too much. But expect what is right.
  • Get counseling if you need to work through some things and need the help. Make sure they’ll keep it confidential and private.
  • Find a mentor couple that’s made it through the present stage you’re at.
  • The hardest challenges have changed us the most for the better.
  • Accept, affirm, and appreciate each other “as is” and always act with good intentions and affection.

When worse overshadows better, there is no shame in finding a mentor couple or seeking counseling. Let us help you work through your needs and give you some direction in Love All-Ways: Embracing Marriage Together on the Special Needs Journey. There is no harm in getting help. We all need it from time to time!

There’s your sneak peek at this great new book. To enter the drawing in which one person will receive a free copy, leave a comment below by midnight on October 31, 2019. 

 

Parents raising kid with special needs have to be in their marriages for better for worse. Joe & Cindi Ferrini offer tips they've learned over the years. Dr. Joe and Cindi Ferrini share their newest book, Love All-Ways: Embracing Marriage Together on the Special Needs Journey. They are authors, speakers, and bloggers on marriage, family and special needs. They speak nationally for FamilyLife Weekend To Remember Marriage Get-a-Ways, authored Unexpected Journey – When Special Needs Change our Course, and have been interviewed on Focus on the Family, FamilyLife, and various other radio and television venues. Connect with them at their website and on Facebook at Cindi Ferrini, My Marriage Matters, and Unexpected Journey.

 

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