I have two sons. Jonathan is three months old and Noah is three years old, but Noah echoes my words and mirrors my actions only minutes after he hears or sees them from me. Right now, where I go, he goes. My words and demeanor towards him have a profound impact on him. It’s scary, to be honest. Even now, he’s picking up my mannerisms. He’s catching onto what I value and care about, and even adapting them for himself. I love Batman, he loves Batman. I love music, he loves music. I speak too harshly to his mother—guess what—so does he.
So in the backwards world that my boys are growing up in, it is crucial—perhaps more crucial now than ever before—that I model godliness in life, work, and family. I have at least 18 years, God willing, to model these things well.
These are three things I want my sons to know about marriage,
- It’s not just a piece of paper. There’s a fallacy that circulates the airwaves that marriage is just a piece of paper. Subscribers of this fantasy and lopsided view of marriage will soon find their “paper marriage” in the waste basket. No, sons, marriage is “a cord of three strands”: God, husband, wife! (Ecclesiastes 4:12) Saying that marriage is a piece of paper bears the same logic as saying that insurance is a piece of paper, but I guarantee that you want what that piece of paper represents when the wind blows your roof away! What you regard as temporary will become temporary.
- It is relevant. Marriage is not outdated. Some argue that marriage is old-fashioned.They’re right, it is old-fashioned. It was fashioned by God at Creation. It has endured for millennia because God ordained it as a standing institution for earthly existence. Ancient does not mean outdated. Marriage is still relevant because it is still not good for man to be alone. (Gen. 2:18) It is still relevant because it is something that God has ordained from the foundation of the world and He has never parted the clouds and called for its end. God has called husbands to demonstrate the power of godly affection to their wives as an eternal illustration of divine marriage.
- It is good. I want my sons to know that marriage is good. I become a better a man because of the wisdom that I attain only from my wife. My wife becomes a better woman because of the support and strength I provide for her. I am closer to Jesus now than I have ever been because my wife will not allow me to stagnate in my transformation into the image of the Son. My wife is closer to Jesus because I refuse to allow the darkness of this world to cast her down and lie to her about her identity! Marriage is good because it is a chosen instrument of God’s love to teach us about reflecting the glory of God to the world and to one another. In marriage, two imperfect people are left practice mercy, grace, and forgiveness toward one another before they demonstrate it to anyone else. Marriage is the maturation process of true discipleship where growth occurs when no one else is watching, besides God and our spouse.
I want my kids to see me regard my wife as the princess that she is. I pray that they bring out the princesses in their future wives as a result of watching me. Instilling a godly view of marriage just may be the most important lesson I ever teach my sons.