My daughter, Khayla, comes up with the cutest questions ever. One evening, as we were driving down Juhu beach, she saw a wedding procession and asked me, “Dada, when am I going to get married?” I was definitely not ready for that one, but I grabbed the opportunity to bring in some godly discussion with my baby.
Children learn a lot from what they see, hear and observe. Media provides them with some seriously skewed perspectives on marriage. The fatalistic acceptance of live-in relationships, homosexuality, divorce, promiscuity, etc in society and its magnification in the media is a reality we must be aware of. If we don’t address these, then, our children will hear these as ‘alternative options’ which look acceptable.
On a recent trip abroad, I was told that schools have made it mandatory for 7 year olds to be taught about homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle. Instead of waiting for the church, you wake up and fight these issues off your home turf. Our children need to see successful marriages at home to want that for themselves (C2T). A marriage that is Christ centred, based on the foundations of love, honour, compassion, commitment and dignity.
What should you be teaching your children about marriage? As believers, here are some things I believe we should be teaching our children about marriage.
- Marriage is between a man and a woman and it is a lifetime commitment, not just until you get tired or bored of the person nor is it to be dropped when it becomes too hard. Marriage is for keeps.
- Marriage requires work. Lots of work. Failed expectation is a reality. Marriage is not for the faint or weak-hearted. It needs time, effort, selflessness and prayer to make a great marriage.
- Your spouse has less chances of changing, post marriage. You have greater chances of changing. I cannot tell you enough how true this is. Marriage is not about changing, but caring. Not self-seeking, but selflessness.
- Let your children see what a strong, loving and supportive marriage looks like. They need to see a marriage where both partners show respect, love and concern for each other’s needs. They need to see genuine expressions of love, not emotional black mail. Talk openly about your love to your spouse even when juniors are around. I say this because I know of couples who behave like different people when their kids are around.
- Live-in relationships don’t guarantee a great marriage! But a Christ-centred couple definitely does. A marriage where both the individuals have Christ as their priority cannot fall apart (C2T). It is as straight as that.
- If you are passionate about your faith, it is important to share that passion with your children. They have to seek spouses who are of the same faith. The Bible is very clear about us not being unequally yoked. Teach them why it is necessary to have common beliefs in marriage. Over the years, I have seen so many couples who have either messed their marriages or missed God totally because of inter-faith marriages.
- Another area that needs to be spoken about is that of expectations in marriage. Let them have an idea that there are real issues that need to be discussed before getting into this lifetime commitment. For example, finances, in-laws, household chores, parenting, employment of the spouse, etc.
The list is endless, but I do hope this provides a good start for you. Is there anything you would add to this list that I have not included? Please do add the same in the comment section.