As a teenager, I thought a ton about marriage. I dreamed of the day that I would be happily married to my prince charming, but deep down inside of me there was always that little voice of doubt that crept in discouraging me of my dream. I had a longing to know that marriage was a good thing; a union that would bring joy and happiness. Television didn’t always depict marriage as the trusting, fun, content, happy adventure that I had dreams of living someday, nor did the relationships that I observed around me in my own little world.
I had heard a lot about the “realities” of marriage, but there was still that dreamer in me that needed to look forward to a real live adventure with a man who would love me and enjoy my company. It is easy to SEE the hardships and disappointments in life. What I needed was to hear and see some of the blessings and adventures of marriage.
I believe that kids need the hope of a great future. By the time a child becomes a teenager, they have probably seen and been a part of a few disappointments and realities of life. There is no doubt that bad times come, but, as a dreaming teenager, I needed the hope that even in the bad times, love would last and joy could and would return. Our kids need to know and see that too.
Often as adults, I think we tend to forget that our kids are measuring their future marriages in relation to our marriage. Many times, that is all they have of honest reality. They don’t know what is going on in other people’s households unless they live with them.
With the hustle and bustle and the stress of life, our kids may get the idea that life as an adult is no fun at all. Things may really be great between us as parents, but the kids need more than just what we say. They need to SEE us really outwardly respecting and loving one another, having fun together, and placing one another above the other. They need to see that we are still “awakened” with the romance and fun in each other.
As parents, in my opinion, it is our job and opportunity to teach them that marriage has its hardships, just like most everything worth having in life, but it is one of the most fun, exciting blessings that we can ever have. “Whoever finds a wife finds a good thing.” (Proverbs 18:22)
I asked a question today that made all 7 of my kids stop and listen…now, that is some kind of question, I must say! I was in a really fun frame of mind and asked Scott, “What made you fall in love with me?” He looked a little embarrassed so I gave my answers as to why I fell in love with him first.
The kids were all staring at both of us in awe. One of the kids blurted out, “I bet it was his truck.” I responded, “No, it was his boots!” Then I honestly spoke words that my kids need to hear about their dad (giving them hope that someone will also fall in love with them and STAY in love with them).
I told Scott that my love for him grew as I began to understand his love for me. He loved me so much that I couldn’t resist loving him back (it took me a few years to allow myself to love him back, but his persistence and patience payed off for him and me). I continued that he was thoughtful, funny, Godly, manly, extremely smart, a gifted artist (in my mind anyone who could “see” and do artwork like Scott had to have a really amazing soul), persistent, and not afraid to stand alone. I knew that he would be a great leader for me.
I always asked myself while dating, “Would I want to become like this man?” If the answer was “yes” then I knew I could trust him and allow him to lead me.
Playfully, I threw the ball back in his court with the full intention that he would answer my very pointed question. Scott is much more reserved than I am, but he quickly answered. I was waiting to hear the answers and the kids were sitting on pins and needles. Scott always surprises me. He said that there was more to me than meets the eye!! He lovingly said that he loved that I had depth unlike anyone he had known, was Godly, a deep thinker, energetic, a DREAMER, and that I was set on seeing my dreams through.
I learned something new. I didn’t know that he appreciated my dreaming about the future and my ambition. That was exciting to hear today.
This verbal testament to one another and the demonstration that we love each other more than the day that we were married means a lot to the kids. I could tell they were quite content with these answers.
Kids need to see us having fun together (no matter how hard things are – life does have a way of bringing troubles) and supporting one another’s dreams and hopes.
“For the joy of the Lord is your strength..” Nehemiah 8:9 – If the joy of the Lord is my strength, than surely the joy of the parents brings strength to our children. I’ll end on that note.