Modeling a healthy marriage is the greatest gift you can give your children, who in all likelihood will take the same journey as their parents.
Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. – Malachi 2:15
I’ve heard the story countless times. The marriage is struggling with countless issues, none of which ever seem to get addressed. They continue down the same road, “Today was a pretty good day, I’ll just keep my mouth shut and not make waves.” Tomorrow, all hell breaks loose as the verbal assaults fly with zero regard to the little ears that are taking in all of the turmoil. The little ears that are internalizing the events and coming to only one conclusion, “I must be responsible (or at least partially) for the constant fighting that takes place between my mommy and daddy.” Young children are very egocentric, everything revolves around their perception of the events in life. Afterall, they only have a few years of experience to draw from.
What example are you setting in your marriage? Sons look to their fathers to learn how a man is to behave. Daughters watch their mothers very closely to determine the best ways to interact with the opposite sex. If petty bickering, infidelity, verbal abuse, and constant talk of divorce is your model, you will see the same patterns on display in their own relationships. Children learn well and will follow your example if they don’t choose to do something about it. Consider: how often do you respond based on the example that you were shown growing up? As parents, we are always being observed. Remember that!
I encourage you mom and dad, get the help you need. Put aside the past and focus on the future. Get a mediator who is interested less in your individual “happiness” and more on the success of your marriage, which will produce far more than a situational emotional response. Doing the work, practicing forgiveness, and focusing on the issues that resist resolution are essential and will go far in protecting your legacy to the future.
You don’t have to do it alone. Get a counselor who shares your values and has the best interest of you, as a couple, at heart. Here is a great place to start! Find a counselor in your area:
The American Association of Christian Counselors website @ http://www.aacc.net/resources/find-a-counselor/
©2016 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design
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2 responses to “Say What You May, Marriage Still Sets the Best Example to Children”
Oh, how I would love a second chance at my marriage. After multiple infidelities, mostly on my part, I left. I want to go home. I would love to try again with my husband using the principles in this book. I am praying that God will change his heart and protect us from divorce.
Hello Lisa. I am so sorry to hear about your circumstances. Without knowing all the details, I can feel the remorse for your behaviors. I have no doubt that there are behaviors on both sides, it take two to make or break a marriage. I want to encourage the two of you to get into some Christian counseling, counseling that will not condone divorce as the first course of action. It is essential to examine the root causes in the relationship that made the infidelity choice a “seemingly reasonable” solution. Infidelity is only a symptom of a deeper problem. I serve a powerful God that I have personally witnessed bring couples back together where multiple infidelities have been an issue. Forgiveness is going to be an integral part of the healing process for you both. Remember, you do not have the ability to change your spouse, but I will tell you that by allowing God to work through you and focusing on the things that you need to fix often has a great influence on the dynamics between the two of you. Hold onto hope and pray unceasingly. The post has a link to some great counselors in your area, utilize it. The book, “Marriage by Design” works couples through the forgiveness process as well as guidance on conquering the issues that can divide. Use your resources, stay close to God, pray for your husband (family) and hold onto hope. I pray for a wonderful praise report. Even though the Bible uses adultery as a reason for divorce doesn’t mean that God condones divorce, nor does it imply that there is no coming back for such poor choices. Blessings on you and your family! -Pastor Eric Disney