4 Things to Teach Your Kids About Marriage
My five-year-old daughter is becoming an expert on all things related to womanhood. With my wife pregnant with our third child, Evy packs her shirt with clothes to be like her pregnant Mama. She also tenderly rocks her doll to sleep and speaks sweetly to the doll when it’s “awake.”
She dreams about her future marriage, talking about her wedding day and the man she wants to marry. She fantasizes about getting dressed up in her beautiful white wedding dress and wearing lipstick and earrings and dancing with her future husband. That’s when beads of sweat form on my forehead and I begin think: Who is this man going to be?
My ever-present prayer as I watch my daughter dream about her future is “Lord, help me set the standards for my children’s marriages.” As I fall on my face before the ultimate Father, I ask myself four questions that enable me to calibrate how to help my children have tangibly realistic and Godly standards when it comes to shaping their expectations.
1. Am I Showing My Kids How A Man Treats a Woman?
With a highly-impressionable three-year old son in the house, the way that he sees me treat his mom is going to shape his interactions with females. If he sees me covering and honoring my wife, and loving her with a pure and selfless love, then I can raise a son that Godly women ask God for. I want to set the standard for my daughter by causing her to mold her standards of a good man by how she sees me treat her mom. Our society has more than enough examples of men-gone-wrong. Do I esteem and cover my wife with the sacrificial love that Christ offers His Bride, laying a foundation for my children to build upon in their own future marriages?
2. Are We Demonstrating the Joy of Marriage?
I preach about marriage a lot, but to say that I enjoy my marriage almost seems redundant. But it’s true. There are scores of Christians who believe in the sanctity of marriage, and yet are miserable in their own marriages. But, our marriage brings us joy, and we long to express this joy to our kids. On date nights, we put on nice clothes and can’t contain our excitement. The kids sense our energy as we prepare to spend time together. They smile as we hug and laugh throughout the week. Are we able to continually live out that joy, even in the course of our day-to-day?
3. Does My Marriage Create Stability in Our Family?
On Friday afternoons when I come home from work, my daughter scurries up to me and screams, “Daddy! We’re going to be a family this weekend!” This is because my wife excitedly tells our kids on Fridays that Daddy won’t have to work on the upcoming weekend, which means we get to do things together. The litmus test that our families are stable is that our kids enjoy family time. To our little girl, our family isn’t complete when we’re not all together.
4. Are We Proving to Our Kids That Marriage God’s Way Works?
My wife and I just celebrated our tenth anniversary. I had planned a weekend getaway for my wife and me, but it dawned on me that anniversaries are also a family event. I brought home a cake for all of us to enjoy and explained to our kids that an anniversary is like a “family birthday,” celebrating the birth of our family together. We want our kids to see that the joy and fullness of our marriage is a result of God’s hand in our marriage and it works!
Marriage is an heirloom that we are constantly preparing to hand on to the next generation. The world won’t teach your children about marriage God’s way. What are you teaching your children about marriage?