Tuesday, August 9, 2011

God and Marriage

I've had something on my heart for a while and wanted to share it with you guys....

What's the most important thing you want your child to remember about you? Are you an awesome cook or maybe keep an immaculately clean house? Are you the parent that gives them their heart's desires or are you the best friend they always wanted? While all of those are wonderful things parents can be, I want more. When Ryan and I talk about the things we want Caleb to learn from us and about us, two things come immediately to mind. When Caleb tells his grandchildren about his parents we want nothing more than for him to explain we loved God with all of our hearts and we had an amazing marriage. We want to be the example he bases his whole life on.

I have been asked what makes a parent successful in raising a child. While I'm still new at this compared to others, I already know the answer. I know for certain that Caleb is watching our every move. He models our behavior and is proud when he does something "just like Mommy" or "just like Daddy". From watching us, he has learned to pray....

When we talk about the Lord and praise Him, Caleb sees that.
Bit by bit, he understands.....If we show him the love we have for the Lord, he will be on the right path.
When we follow God, Caleb learns to do the same.
I also believe the second greatest thing two parents can do for their child is love each other. In a society where billboards advertise $199 divorces going down the interstate, strong and healthy marriages are few and far between.

Marriages are entered into lightly. Young women get swept up in the idea of marriage and wedding plans and forget the things that really should be focused on. People expect things to be like the fairy tales we were raised on. It's supposed to be sunshine and butterflies. When reality sets in and life gets tough, people bail.

Marriage takes determination, mutual respect, and plenty of forgiveness!
You have to be determined to stick it out in the tough times. The word "divorce" needs to be completely out of your vocabulary. When you run across a rough patch, you need to have respect for each other. No two people are exactly alike. You and your spouse come from different backgrounds. You've been through different experiences and can have different point of views. Both people bring things to the marriage and respect for the differences is key. You may not agree, but each person's ideas and feelings have value. The biggest thing to realize is that you cannot possibly be correct all of the time!
(This was my biggest issue! I always think I'm right! Ha!)
Everyone makes mistakes.
Forgiveness is what glues the marriage together.
I have found many people like to hang onto past hurts. When a new argument with their spouse comes up, they bring up other issues that still haven't been resolved. It creates a continuous spiral of pain and misery. Before the couple realizes, they're fighting over absolutely everything that has gone wrong in their marriage for the hundredth time! It's a vicious trap and no one "wins" in these situations.
If you are trapped in this cycle, forgiveness is the way to heal.

The only way your child will ever know what a healthy, happy marriage looks like is what you show them. You have the choice to teach them love, compassion, and perseverance to make a marriage work.
My dad still dances with my mom....She cooks him his favorite meals....They love to spend time in Tellico together...Ryan's stepdad still flirts with his mom....Fried chicken was on the table every Sunday just because it was his favorite meal....There's love all around us and we have been blessed by awesome examples of what marriage should be.
If a boy sees mom being beat by dad over and over, what do you think he sees is acceptable behavior?
When a kid sees mom and dad screaming at each other and calling each other names, what do they learn?
When mom throws jars of food against the kitchen cabinets in anger, does it show the child that is how to deal with bad feelings?
You better believe that the way children are raised directly shapes who they are as adults.
If you aren't modeling what a great marriage looks like, where else can they learn how to have one?

If you have a broken marriage or are a single parent, hope is never lost. God can heal your marriage if you turn it over to Him. If you are already divorced and are raising a child alone, please pray for God's will in your life. No problem is too great for Him to repair. His answer to your prayer may not be easy or you may not understand it, but He does everything for a reason.

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