In my previous posts, I shared with you some of the things I’ve learned through my discussions with second-generation Christians concerning why some of them continue to live for the Lord. One of the important points they brought up was how these people perceived their parents’ marriage.
At a friend’s funeral, I was thrilled to see her remarkable legacy of nine children and thirty-eight grandchildren, many of whom are being raised in the ministry. Each of her children and most of her grandchildren have put their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and are living their lives for Him. Mary has been a wonderful testimony of a godly wife and mother.
I would have never guessed, however, that her marriage hadn’t always been wonderful. The fights were almost constant and Mary wondered if she had made a terrible mistake. Still, Mary and her husband were unwilling to get a divorce, so they turned to God and began attending church.
God graciously rewarded their search for truth by leading them both to trust Him for salvation. Now that they were born-again, they began to seek Him for every decision. Through His Word, they discovered that as they drew closer to God, they drew closer together. It created a strong foundation for stable, happy children.
A Child’s Perception
In my talks with the Overcomers, I discovered that the very vast majority of them (89%) felt their parents’ marriage as excellent. Some, five percent, rated their parents’ marriage as good, while just as many stated their parents’ marriage was average. The conclusion is not surprising: when a child perceives stability in the marriage, it creates steadiness in his life.
That is not to say that disagreements or fights never happened; in fact, arguing is an inevitable part of married life. So, how did these parents negotiate the difficulties of marriage without losing their cool in front of the children?
Support Each Other –In a successful-parent marriage, the spouses back up each other. They present a unified position to the children. When one parent makes a rule, the other parent agrees to it and enforces it, just as the first parent would do. They support each other in every aspect of their home.
Say Positive Things About Each Other – They never tear each other down to others, and especially not in front of the children. They know that to tear down their spouse is to tear down themselves.
Agree to Disagree – Even the most loving spouses sometimes disagree. When that happens, keep a unified front for the children’s sake, and take the time to work out the differences in private.
Let us learn from people like Mary and her husband. They didn’t always have an ideal marriage. They did, however, begin to seek the Lord and do their best to obey Him in their roles as husband and wife. They learned to communicate, to present a unified front, and to speak positively about their spouse. They learned what the Bible says and began doing it. And because they did, there are now many young people across the globe living as a light for those around them. Oh, to have a legacy like theirs!
What do you think? Do you have any additional suggestions for having an excellent marriage? Share them here with us!