When your kids talk about what they want to be when they grow up do they ever say, “I want to be married.” Probably not. My kids have never said that.
Most kids probably speak in career terms like a professional athlete, astronaut, fireman, or veterinarian. All of those things seem fun and exciting.
But what is their opinion of marriage? Does your marriage encourage your kids, or anybody, to desire getting married?
Very few model marriages
My wife and I have been blessed to have a very strong circle of couples who value their marriages. Couples who invest in their marriages ensuring they not only last, but are enjoyable.
We do our best to get together for marriage enrichment, and not just for entertainment. At one of our gatherings we learned that very few couples had marriage role models.
Very few witnessed marriages that made them say, “I want that!” If any of us saw our parents, family members, or friends’ marriages there wasn’t anything that really popped. Honestly some even seemed boring, or something we wanted no part of.
Model marriages are needed
If that is the way our kids see our marriages, then we are not doing a very good job modeling marriage.
It is not just important to be good parents for our kids. We have to be good spouses for our kids to see. [Tweet this!]
We do our best at teaching and preparing them for everything else. Why not marriage? Why not the foundation of the family? Why not the building block to strong communities?
Your marriage can be that model marriage
Maybe you see the importance, but aren’t exactly sure how to model marriage for your kids, and everybody else. The 7 points below can be your starting point on how to have a model marriage:
- Be open and honest. Your kids should see how a real marriage works. A real marriage has ups and downs. Disagreements and misunderstandings. It also has some real joyous moments. They don’t have to know every single detail, but seeing an honest look at a marriage, and how you work to have a great one will be encouraging.
- Be husband and wife just as much as you are mom and dad. Many kids see their parents as mom and dad, but not as husband and wife. They should know your relationship is different from any other relationship. Even the relationship you have with them. Sometimes you have to act like you did before you had kids, but keep it G rated around the kids. 🙂
- Allow them to experience dating with you. Dads take your daughters on dates. Moms go on dates with your sons. Show them how real dates are supposed to be so TV, the media, and their friends do not taint their view of dating and relationships.
- Husbands: Don’t let chivalry die. As husbands once we marry the girl of our dreams we sometimes stop doing what got her to say yes. That should never stop. The impact will be lasting, something your kids won’t forget because it is somewhat a lost thing today.
- Wives: Make him feel like the man. Affirm him, build him up, speak highly of him, and not critical of him. What an impression it can make when your son or daughter witnesses this.
- Grow old together, but don’t act old together. The 80s and 90s sitcom Married with Children had some truth to it. Al and Peggy’s marriage and lives had become boring. Many couples do the same thing. Yes, your goal in marriage is to grow old together, but you don’t have to act it. Have fun, stay active together, and enjoy the lifelong best friend you have.
- Teach them what you know about marriage. Our kids will catch a lot by witnessing our relationships. But we also must be intentional, and teach them about marriage. Not after they come to us engaged, but early and often, based upon their age and maturity. Show and teach them about marriage.
Your marriage must be that model marriage
You may not have the model marriage, but you can model marriage. Model it for your kids, and for anybody else who may witness your marriage in action.
Marriage is the foundation for the family, and our families are the foundation for our communities. Your marriage can impact many generations. Make sure it has the right impact. [Tweet this!]
What is something else a married couple can do to make marriage look good and desirable?