Thursday, November 1, 2012

Teaching Your Children About Marriage

****PLEASE NOTE:
I AM GETTING A LOT OF EMAIL AND COMMENTS ABOUT THIS POST.  PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT I WRITE TO WOMEN.  YES HUSBANDS AND WIVES SHOULD BOTH SERVE ONE ANOTHER IN LOVE.  BOTH HUSBANDS AND WIVES SHOULD TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER AND FULLY RESPECT ONE ANOTHER.  THE REASON THIS POST TALKS ABOUT WOMEN SERVING AND RESPECTING AND NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND IS BECAUSE IT IS WRITTEN TO WOMEN.  AT SOME POINT I MAY WRITE TO MEN AND IT WILL BE THE OTHER WAY AROUND.  AGAIN, BOTH PARTNERS SHOULD SERVE AND RESPECT EACH OTHER IN LOVE, BUT I WRITE TO WOMEN ON THIS BLOG.  THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS.

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The most important thing we can teach our children is about God.  His salvation, His grace and His love.  That is something we need to begin teaching our children even from the womb.  I remember with each of my pregnancies, I would touch my stomach and talk to my babies, as most moms do.  But I did not just talk to them, I prayed over them and told them about God.  So yes, even in the womb we can teach our children about God.

However, there is something else that is very important to teach our children about from a very early age.  Marriage.

Our children see our marriage.  They understand more than we realize.  What we model to them is their first and most influential example of marriage.  Is your marriage teaching your children how to truly love, respect, honor and cherish a mate?  Or is your marriage teaching your children the exact opposite?

How can we teach our children about marriage?

  1. Respect your husband.  Even if you do not agree with him, respect him. Period. Not only does this teach your children to respect their spouse, but it shows true love to your husband.
  2. Never point out his mistakes in front of the kids.  If you do not agree with something he says or does, only tell him in a calm way, not an accusing way. And only tell him in private, away from the kids and away from others.
  3. Do not argue in front of the kids.  Hold your temper and your tongue and take the discussion into the privacy of your bedroom.  Even in the privacy of your bedroom, be careful not to raise your voice, voices carry.
  4. Never talk bad about your husband to anyone, especially your children.  When you speak ill of your husband, it gives the impression to your children that it is okay to speak badly of their father and later on their own spouse.  When you are speaking to others, speak positive words about your husband.
  5. Be his helpmate.  We are called by God to be servants, so serve your husband. You can do little things to help him out like run errands, fix him a glass of tea, bring him a snack, and iron his clothes, for just a couple of examples.
  6. Laugh with him.  Laugh with your husband.  Even if it is the same jokes you have heard a million times, laugh.  This shows your husband your love and shows your children that marriage is meant to bring fun, not anger.
  7. Show physical displays of affection.  Hold hands with your husband, kiss, hug, let your children see that you love each other.
  8. Be an example of compromise.  It is Saturday and you want to go to the park for a picnic and play but your husband wants to get yard work done.  Come to a mutual agreement.  Do yard work for two hours then go to the park for two hours.  Let your children see you working together and compromising.  
  9. Pray with your husband.  Let your children see that in a marriage, prayer is vital.  Let them see you praying together.
  10. Pray for your husband often.  When you are saying prayers throughout the day, pray for your husband.  Let your children know that praying for your mate is of great importance.


Sweet Blessings~


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45 comments:

  1. Great advice! And I love the picture!

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  2. Awww... I love that picture. Great points! I've broken several of them here lately. Sigh... Onward and upward!

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  3. Hi Jenifer, great advice here and like Kelly above, I've broken a few this week too. However, love the idea of grossing the kids out. mine are 17 and 19 and SOOOOO easily grossed out when it comes to the oldies romancing, lol
    God bless
    Tracy

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  4. That last one made me smile:) Important list here, thanks for the encouragement to teach by example. Blessings!

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  5. This is good except for the do not argue one. If you argue (disagree, not yell) and then work it out, it teaches your kids good compromising skills. And they won't be freaked out if you do yell and they'll know how to handle it when that happens to them!

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  6. I'm not sure that arguing in front of the kids is such a bad thing. Though I don't really remember my parents arguing in front of my brother and I, they've talked to me a lot (especially since I've been engaged) about how they thought their parents never fought (since they never did it in front of their kids), so when they got married, my parents thought something was terribly wrong when they were fighting with each other. They thought arguing within marriage was abnormal. Maybe fighting fair and showing the kids that it is possible to argue, make up, and forgive could be more valuable than hiding all conflict.

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  7. I disagree with the arguing part as well. When arguing in front of kids just make sure it isn't hateful and belittling. Arguing in front of the kids shows an example of when a disagreement occurs, how to deal with it, how resolve it and most importantly how to apologize, forgive, and continue to love. I know too many people who think that their marriage is failing because they think fighting in a marriage = failing marriage. Which in reality, it isn't. The reason for that is because they never saw their parents fight, resolve, make-up, and forgive.

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  8. I can see your point on the arguing. What you are explaining with arguing is what I was trying to point out in compromising. It is okay to have discussions that are calm, rational, loving and end with compromise and understanding. However, any arguments that are more serious, more heated (heated, even possibly in a loving way) should be between man and wife, not the children. If a discussion comes to this point, the couple should excuse themselves to the privacy of the bedroom telling the kids they need to further discuss this alone. Thanks for the discussion friends!

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  9. I wish you did say spouse instead of husband. I hope husband does the same things as listed as wife does.

    Sure we shouldn't be talking bad things about husband/wife to others, but s/he is not perfect and we all need to vent sometimes. You just need to choose who you are talking with. But that's just my opinions.

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  10. Yes, spouse not just husband. But I typically minister to women here.

    We do need to vent time to time and it is wonderful to have an accountability/prayer partner to turn to. But we need to make sure that talking to that one accountability partner does not turn into spouse bashing.

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  11. This was a wonderful post Jenifer!! Thank you for the reminder for how we need to be treating each other as husband and wife. Thank you also for speaking to us directly as wives. As a wife we have a special calling towards our husbands, it's the way God designed it. I also agree with not arguing in front of the children. They need to be able to see a husband and wife solving a disagrement in a nice loving way, not with voices raised. Great post!!

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  12. I'm 25 and my parents still gross me out. I hope one day God provides me with a husband who cherishes me like my father does my mom.

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  13. I loved your post. I have found that when I practice this suggestions that my home is more peaceful.However, I respectfully disagree with one of your suggestions. #3 says don't argue infront of the kids. I feel that this is unrealistic. If this was always practiced, than the first time your child has a fight with their own spouse they will think something is wrong with them. I once read that you should still "control your temper", but continue the disagreement until it is resolved. This teaches your child healthy conflict resolution. Of course, it if becomes heated it is appropriate to take a time-out from the argument.

    That's just my two cents! Thanks for the wonderful reminders!

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  14. I think it can be healthy to argue in front of your kids. Now, I didn't say fight, but arguing is OK. Everyone has a right to their opinion. Also, the second half of this coin, is to make up, or apologize in front of your kids. How else will they learn (see modeled) proper conflict resolution, and compromise?

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  15. Thank you Shari!

    Thank you Maddie and L Hitt. I agree to a point. It is okay to disagree in front of the kids and to make sure they see healthy disagreement, compromise and making up. However, when a disagreement becomes heated or depending on the topic, I feel, it needs to be taken into another room. When I posted this to my personal FB, a friend made the comment, and I FULLY agree, that sometimes children will hear something and misinterpret it to be something we were not meaning. Children hear things different than us and cannot handle the same things adults do.

    So YES, diagreeing in front of the kids is fine, even good to show the kids it does happen. But it MUST be done in a careful and calm way. ANYTHING else should be taken to another room,

    Thanks for commenting ladies!

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    1. I totally agree with you.my husband and I, try not to fight,not in front of kids, not even when we are alone.I love the things you have said,.to pray for him, to love him, to run errands for him and respect him.I love this post and its a great reminder for those days when Iyou are not feeling very happy with your husbands.

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  16. This post makes it sound like a wife should be a slave to their husband. "Serve your husband", what am I, his maid?! Just be kind and helpful to EACH OTHER would be enough.

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  17. Yes, we should be kind and helpful to each other, most definitely! The husband should serve the wife and the wife should serve the husband. Here at Sweet Blessings, I talk mostly to women, not men. This is why it doesn't say serve your wife.

    I am not saying be his maid or doormat. You can serve him in love without being those things. When you get up to get something from the kitchen, say "honey would you like anything while I am in the kitchen?" If you know he is coming home and will be in a rush to get showered and ready for Bible study, if you have time, help get his clothes ready to relieve him some. Little things like that are a blessing to our husbands. In turn, they will bless us too.

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  18. Great list, although I have to agree I wish it said "spouse" not "husband." As a mom of two boys, my husband and I want to show our boys how to treat their future wives. My husband is one of two boys as well. His parents did a great job of this as he is a great husband and father.

    Also, I'll also add to the theory that is is OK to argue/disagree in front of the kids as long as it is civil, not demeaning, loud, hurtful, or mean. I remember my parents having little disagreements and they still do after 40 years of marriage. I think it is cute when they do and I try to keep disagreements with my husband light-hearted whether or not they are in front of the kids. I remember before we got married, the minister wanted to meet with us a few times like most do. One thing he asked is if our parents fought in front of us when we were growing up. He said it is healthy. So that we can see how to resolve disagreements and to know that married couples do argue. He said his parents NEVER fought in front of him and the first time he and his wife argued, he thought they'd get a divorce! ha!

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  19. Thank you for your thoughts!

    The reason I say husband and not spouse is simply because here at Sweet Blessings I write for women.

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  20. So delightful! Thank you, and what a fun picture! :-)

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  21. Disagreements happen in real life. If your children do not see how you handle a serious matter in a respectful way as a couple, how will they learn? Based on your steps above, what the kids will see is a wife being submissive constantly - NOT something I want my daughter to learn. Being a helpmate is a way to show love not to be a husbands' servant and it works both ways. Totally agree about the displays of affection and your picture is very cute.

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  22. This is a really good article, but in some ways I disagree. I think children should see parents love and respect each other. But on the same hand your children should see there is conflict in a marriage instead of having a perception that marriage should be perfect. I don't know if you've ever read a Christian marriage book called A Marriage Without Regrets (not recommending the book for marriage just off hand. The writer's parents basically followed the rules given here according to her, so when she got married she had a false perception that marriage is perfect like she saw with her parents. But she had a bitter taste of reality when it turned out that life's not really like that. I agree 100% that your kids should never see you put down your spouse, use harsh words, or hear you "vent" about your spouse. But in my personal opinion it is good for children to see conflict and resolution between their parents.

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  23. Love this! I recently met a couple celebrating their 50 year anniversary. They were still so in love. When I asked them their secret, they both said DO NOT ARGUE!! They said to take some time when things get heated to evaluate what the disagreement is actually about... Only discuss things when you are both calm. This is best for the family dynamic and for preventing saying something that you may regret later.

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  24. I think people are confusing arguments with disagreements. I recently met a couple who was celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. They were still so in love. When I asked them their secret they said to never argue. It is too easy for an argument to escalate. Take some time, come back when you have both calmed down. You can disagree without arguing. Teach your kids healthy conflict. This should not involve an argument. I love everything the author has said! It is easier said than done, but definitely worth striving for!!

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  25. BetheBright, YES! That is exactly what I am meaning. Kids do need to see that we do disagree. NO one will ever agree 100% of the time. It is when those disagreements become more. Thank you so much for your support and comment!


    Jenifer

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  26. Although I appreciate your list, our children need to know that we are real people and that marriage takes work. By giving them the impression that we never argue, disagree, get upset with each other, or misunderstand each other, we give the impression that only "perfect" marriages work. We need children to know that we do disagree, get upset, misunderstand, and argue and then we work through it and are stronger and better for it. Perfection is not a marriage, working together to become better people and a better couple. Teaching children that marriages are not fairy tales, but are real relationships that take work and communication is the only way to be sure that children have real expectations in their own relationships. Thank you for the great picture and quote.

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  27. I agrer.with your whole list my only change would be no arguing in front of the kids i have 7 children from 3 to 23 I dont believe i should correct my husband in disciplining your children in front of them. If we dont see eye to eye on that I take it to the room. But normal disagreements if they can be settled calmly and rationally I feel is good to show my children that this csn be done and love can remain and become stronger by learning to compromise together. In our years together we have had our ups and downs. Some years were.real full of the downs. During those times we argued more than others and i do believe that the # of disagreements needs to be at a place that keeps the children still feeling confident that their parents arent headed to divorce. But I love the fact about grossing our children out me and my husband end our arguments with a.hug and kiss if we have time we curl up on the coach and talk with each other and our kids. We have had our times we forget our rules but we pray our children will forgive the human side to their parents. And i might add make sure that ur kids see you saying I love you to your spouse in private and in public it might embarrass them but as they grow they will confide and it made him feel secure.

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  28. I wish my mom did these things. I am almost 17 and I don't even want to get married because I am afraid that I am going to end up like my mom. I really do love her and she has given me an excellent example for my faith but the way she talks about my dad in front of us is heartbreaking and she compares other men to him in front of us and is bitter towards him. Please please PLEASE anyone reading this, take this to heart and love your spouse in front of your kids as best as possible. Even if you have to fake it. I don't want to have to imagine another little kid having to never see her parents even hug in their entire life and never hearing the words I love you spoken to each other. It really makes the kids feel wrong and like there is a mistake plaguing the household.

    I know that if marriage is where God leads me I am going to need all the help I can get and I am saving this post forever. Thank you.

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    1. I went through the same thing. Often physical fighting. I vowed that when god put the right person in front of me I would love them with my whole heart and set an example to my kids. We write our future. We are the masters of our own destiny. Pray on it. Marriage is work but wiyh God its great.

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  29. Vintagehourglass, thank you for your sweet comment. I pray that God leads you to what He wants you to be in a woman, wife and mother.

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  30. Nice post, wish it was titled how to be a great wife in a marriage, or that each post reflected how our husbands have the responsibility to respect us, pray for us, laugh with us, not point out our mistakes and so on. I may be different by I am an equal in my marriage and I expect the same respect I give him. If not the image I'm portraying to my daughter is to givegivegive and not expect much in return. Don't want that:)

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  31. Nicely put. I do believe it should say spouse also. It takes two to make a marriage work and they both have to be on the same page. I know I am not perfect and tried many of these ideas, but if if it is not reciprocated, it will not work.

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  32. I think kids should see parents disagree (not fight) and see how they resolve it. If it is a subject that will be an argument, then save it for later. I think it is important for kids to see parents disagree in a healthy way and it's important for them to see you make up.

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  33. I thought this was a great artical , until I got to this part..
    "Be his helpmate. We are called by God to be servants, so serve your husband. You can do little things to help him out like run errands, fix him a glass of tea, bring him a snack, and iron his clothes, for just a couple of examples."
    Excuse me ?? Is this the 800's both spouses should do things for each other, you should do these things only if you want to, not because you have to "for the kids".
    ... Sorry it just pushes a button.
    Maybe you could try wording it a different way.

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  34. Thats great information. My husband and I try to show our girls this everday. If u can visit me at livingrightforme.blogspot.com

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  35. Thats great information. My husband and I try to show our girls this everday. If u can visit me at livingrightforme.blogspot.com

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  36. I enjoyed this and there are so many things you wrote that many took out of contents. I serve my husband like he does me. Its called gestures of love and kindness. Same goes for my children. Being able to be a servant to ur family is not negative. Its a word often used in the bible. I love how u talk about showing affection in front of ur kids. I do that often and I wany my kids to know what true love is and respect. I hope u can visit me too www.livingrightforme.blogspot.com

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  37. I think it's important to argue in front of your kids. My husband & I don't agree all the time but we work it out and it's NEVER a fight - we TALK.
    My husband was talking about his parents divorce one day. He said that he never even knew anything was wrong - one day he came home from school & his dad was gone...just gone. He'd never once seen his parents have an argument or disagree.
    Better that you see your parents talking, disagreeing & working things out.

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  38. Thank you for posting these thoughts. I agree 100 percent with all of them! I can say from experience that your children will NOT grow up with a false sense of marriage if mom and dad do not argue in front of them. My parents had 9 kids and I can honestly say that we have never heard them argue (mildly or heatedly). This did not teach us that marriage is perfect. It taught me that there doesn't have to be so much conflict in a marriage in the first place. My mom has always said that marriage is 100 percent "give" without expecting anything in return. Women today argue that that makes you a "doormat" and say that the 21st century has evolved past that sort of "old fashioned notion." However that's not "old fashioned", that's Bible. As wives we are commanded to submit to our husbands and they are commanded to love their wives. Yes, it goes both ways but it starts with me. I feel extremely blessed to have grown up with the most amazing example of a godly marriage that I have ever seen. I only hope that my husband and I can prove to be even better examples to our children.

    Thanks again, Jenifer!

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  39. JessB,

    Thank you for your comment and your support! I love your thoughts!

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  40. Really I like your points that is not I'm man. Point of women these points are like medicine for happy family.

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  41. I completely agree and thank you for your post. I did not realise it until I was dating my now husband, but for a large portion of my life I was afraid of marriage, I did not know it could be a good thing. This was because of the way I saw my parents interacting, the way I saw my father become lazy and disrespect my mother by doing nothing, even though she is the one who works all day. My brother copies him and is also lazy and is told off for doing this...only...he's just copying my dad. When I asked my parents if they enjoy being married, they said yes...this surprised me. The every day discussions they had with each other were always argumentative, they never appeared to respect each other, to compromise, I never saw their faiths worked out together in prayer or anything together...I am now hoping to set a different course in my marriage of only two years so far because I want my Children to see through us that marriage is a wonderful thing if you work on it and chose to treat each other well, every single day, and to talk highly of each other. I also want them to see how to respect and interact with people in general! For this is where you learn how to build relationships with others, within your family unit. I want my kids to learn the right way. I agree with you 100% and hope others see where you are coming from.

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  42. I completely agree and thank you for your post. I did not realise it until I was dating my now husband, but for a large portion of my life I was afraid of marriage, I did not know it could be a good thing. This was because of the way I saw my parents interacting, the way I saw my father become lazy and disrespect my mother by doing nothing, even though she is the one who works all day. My brother copies him and is also lazy and is told off for doing this...only...he's just copying my dad. When I asked my parents if they enjoy being married, they said yes...this surprised me. The every day discussions they had with each other were always argumentative, they never appeared to respect each other, to compromise, I never saw their faiths worked out together in prayer or anything together...I am now hoping to set a different course in my marriage of only two years so far because I want my Children to see through us that marriage is a wonderful thing if you work on it and chose to treat each other well, every single day, and to talk highly of each other. I also want them to see how to respect and interact with people in general! For this is where you learn how to build relationships with others, within your family unit. I want my kids to learn the right way. I agree with you 100% and hope others see where you are coming from.

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  43. I like this advice. I do beg to differ on #3. I think it is important for children to understand that you can disagree with somebody and still have love and respect for each other. This is important for children to learn how to stand up for their thoughts and opinions as well as learning the concept of compromise.

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