What is your marriage teaching your children? This is a question that we’ve asked ourselves over and over again. As we’ve dug deep into our hearts we’ve found some things that were less than desirable. And at the same time, we’ve found some wonderful things, too. We find that asking ourselves this question helps make us a stronger couple as well as help give our children what they need in order to fulfill their God given destiny.
With the exception of those clouded by drug abuse and mental illness, we’ve never met a parent on the face of this planet that didn’t want the absolute best for their children. And we believe that if every parent had their “right mind” they would absolutely want nothing but God’s best for their kids. With that said, we challenge you to take a deep look into the reality of what your marriage is teaching your children; the good, the bad, and the ugly.
But how? How do we really get to the nitty gritty of what we are teaching our children through the example of our marriage? Today we are going to share exactly what we do to figure out (over and over again) what our marriage is teaching our children (be sure to download the free assessment). We will outline several of the most important things that your Christian marriage is teaching your children so you can figure out areas to improve. This is a hard exercise but worthwhile for both your marriage and children!
7 Things Your Marriage Teaching Your Children
Whether we know it or not, we are teaching our children many, many things from the way we function in our marriage. There are so many cues that our children take from watching how mom and dad interact with one another. Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways our marriage is acting as an influence upon our precious children. We can use these 7 things below to answer the question: What is your marriage teaching your children?
1. Spiritual Disciplines
This refers to our walk with God. Do we read our Bibles? Do we pray? Are we striving to live an authentic Christian life? Do we speak life-giving words to one another? Do we serve others? Are we careful not to “force” our children into our beliefs but let them discover God their own? Do we attend church? Our marriage is a big influence on the way our children will develop their own spiritual disciplines so it is important to be checking our own hearts often to be certain we are walking out our marriage the way God is instructing us to. By doing so we are ensuring that we are giving them the example they need in order to become who God has created and called them to be. We have to trust God to do the rest.
2. How to Work as a Team
Teamwork is a very important facet of any successful marriage. Coming together for a common purpose and goal is a wonderful life skill to show our children. Learning to unite for a common goal, make a plan, and do the work to accomplish the goal is an amazing feeling. Marriage is a team sport; let’s be sure we’re showing our kids how to be a good sport! Need some help in this area? This goal setting planner for couples can help.
3. How to Love Unconditionally
Are you modeling unconditional love towards your spouse? This doesn’t mean we have to be perfect, rather it means that we are willing to forgive and work things out; leaving the past in the past. It means that we are willing to put the needs of our spouse above our own (except in the case of any abuse, that is NEVER God’s will for marriage). Unconditional love is best defined by these verses in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8:
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 8 Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages[a] and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!
Whether or not we show unconditional love in our marriage has a large impact on the way our children will view serving others with a Christ-like heart.
4. Conflict Resolution + Forgiveness
How we handle conflict in our marriage has a large influence on the way our children will handle conflict in their own marriages (and with siblings, friends, and peers). Even if the behavior isn’t modeled right away, our children are absorbing everything we do like a sponge. We need to be responsible in the way we respond to each other when in a conflict as well as be quick to forgive no matter what.
5. How to View + Manage Money
The way we view money has a big impact on how our children will view money. We need to be careful not to let money become an idol in our lives and allow it to remain in it’s rightful place. The Bible is full of wisdom on how to handle finances and the importance of not loving money. If you are struggling in the area of finances, these articles can help.
6. How to Treat Your Body
This is something that we need to be very honed in on as media and modern culture bombards our society with unrealistic body images and expectations. How are we treating our own bodies? Are we taking care of them? Are we honoring them by treating them as the temple they are? How can we improve? Let’s be sure we are showing our children how to eat right and exercise as well as give them a healthy body image from the start.
7. Emotional Health + Self Esteem
How we handle our emotions is a direct reflection of the way we feel about ourselves. We need to be careful to always be working on managing our emotions in a healthy way toward our spouse. If we see areas that need improvement we must be certain to seek help and accountability to work through the negativity and achieve positive results. One of the most common areas that people share they need help is are speaking unkind words to one another (and about themselves) and how to repair the damage those harsh words has done.
Need to work on one or more of the areas above? Join the club. Walking out a Christ-focused marriage is a life-long journey comprised of a lot of hard work, love, and forgiveness. But the good news is that God is patient and loves us through every step of the way. If we are willing to put in the work God promises us that He’ll never leave us nor forsake us and He will finish the good work he began in us. Isn’t that amazing?
Take the Free Assessment
We’ve created a free assessment for you to check your hearts and answer the question: What is your marriage teaching your children. You can download the assessment here.
More to Consider…