In the early years, we teach our kids the basics from how to eat with a spoon to how to go potty. We help them learn their ABCs and write their names. Before too long, we’re teaching them walk across a street, then drive across a street.
Along the way, in between the time we bring them home from the hospital as newborns until we watch them walk across the stage to pick up their high school diploma, we’re also teaching them a few things about love and marriage. These marriage lessons are just as, and perhaps even more, important, than these other life lessons. Yet, these are ones we rarely teach with intention.
Since we’re in the mode of reevaluating and shaking up our parenting skills this month, here are 10 lessons our marriages should teach our kids. Think of these lessons like a cattle prong. For better or for worse, our children may be forever marked by them.
“A child must see and feel God’s unconditional love in order to practice it for himself.”
–Discipleship & Discipline, Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae
- Divorce or the threat of divorce shouldn’t be the “plan b.”
- No matter how much work I think my spouse needs, changing them is God’s job, not mine.
- You can settle disagreements without yelling at each other.
- Prayer works. Praying with my spouse–even better.
- I must be willing to serve my spouse enthusiastically without expecting anything in return.
- Talking isn’t enough. We must be willing to hear and listen to each other, as well.
- It is never ok to speak harshly or call each other names.
- Mom and dad love the kids, but their relationship with each other comes first.
- Two united with God are more powerful than two disunited people working on their own.
- I must be student of my spouse, learning their love languages and keeping their tank full.
- Bonus: Putting the toilet seat down is one of many things my spouse may never learn to do 100%; however, I am the only one judged for my response when these “offenses” happen.
What if we’re not there yet on some of these? No need to despair. The key is to be in a constant state of growth. To go through each day so that when you call it a night, you know you were a better person than you were the day before.
Which of these does your marriage most resemble? Least resemble? Are there other marriage lessons you’d add to the list?
Want to read more in the Basic Training for Moms series? Click here.