6 Things Your Children Should See In Your Marriage
Children tend to see more in our marriages than what we want to believe. They are watching the way we handle ourselves in times of rejoicing and disagreements. As much as we try to always put on a good face, they can see when we are really seething inside. What are the 6 things your children should see in your marriage?
Children should see your love for one another clearly demonstrated.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34)
Most children believe their parents love each other until given reasons to doubt it. Speaking unkindly or reacting in rage towards one another will cause your children to question your love for one another and for them. The unconditional love that the Lord models for His children is the same love that parents should do for each other. Each believing parent is given power through the Holy Spirit to love their spouse as a gift from God.
Children should see your mutual submission to each other.
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21).
When one parent takes an authoritative approach to most situations, he or she can cause the other parent to look or feel belittled. As mom and dad show mutual submission for each other’s preferences, ideas, or feelings—it encourages that same like-mindedness within the children towards other people. The humility demonstrated gives life to everyone in the family to openly share their honest feelings.
Children should see your obedience to God’s command for husbands and wives.
“However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband” (Ephesians 5:33).
The Lord has specific commands to husbands and wives for the household of faith to grow spiritually. He doesn’t give these directions in order to hurt the marriage; but rather to protect it from the attacks of the enemy, world, and their own fleshly desires. As your children grow in a household that demonstrates the love of the husband and the submission of the wife—there is blessed security and assurance of the marriage lasting through the years.
Children should see your disagreements handled with grace.
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24).
Parents can’t hide their times of disagreements even if they tried. The tense air between a mom and dad is perfectly apparent to your children. Parents must resist name-calling and other acts of disrespect because it’s of the sinful nature. Rather there must be a time of connecting, forgiveness, and reconciliation in private as well as in front of the children. Your example of handling a disagreement with grace demonstrates to your children how to settle a matter.
Children should see your respect for one another.
“Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor” (1Peter 2:17).
There are no doormats in the Christian marriage for God has called each person to a personal relationship with Him. Couples tend to be different enough that their strengths and weaknesses complement each other. Children should know that they could never say or act in a disrespectful manner to either parent without swift consequences. This is easily dealt with when they’ve seen the respect mom and dad have for each other.
Children should see your united commitment to God’s word.
“Be careful to obey all these regulations I am giving you, so that it may always go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and right in the eyes of the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 12:28).
A Christian marriage should be marked by a devoted commitment to the hearing and doing of God’s word. There’s no room for hypocrisy because your children will be the first to find you out. When parents completely surrender their hearts to God individually and as a couple—the children will sense the conviction of sinful behaviors without mom and dad always correcting them. It will be ingrained in their hearts and minds.
Be Careful Little Eyes…
As Christian parents, we are going to make mistakes with each other and in front of the children. God hasn’t called you to be perfect parents, but rather set an example of two people maturing and growing in the faith together. The Lord will give you the wisdom and strength to do so when you ask and believe in Him to do it.
Article by Crystal McDowell
Crystal McDowell is a writer, speaker, and teacher with a passion to encourage believers to know and grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ through practical application of God’s word.
Crystal and her husband, Marshall, raise their five children in the Bloomington, IL. As a freelance writer and editor for over 13 years, Crystal has published numerous Christian curriculums for Sunday School and VBS as well as many articles dealing with marriage, motherhood, and relationships. She’s a weekly staff writer for www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com as well as writing her own blog at http://crystalmcdowellspeaks.blogspot.com.