If You Love Your Kids, Love Your Spouse!

At a friend’s funeral, I was amazed 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. In their early marriage, 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 to each other. It created a strong foundation for stable, happy children.

How can I raise happy children who love the Lord? Love my spouse!

Amazingly enough, the vast majority of 2nd Generation Christians I spoke to felt that their parents’ marriage was excellent. At least I thought it was amazing, because in many cases, I personally know their parents…and they don’t have the storybook romance! Not that they fight like two children over a candy bar, but that they have their differences for sure.

That tells me one thing: even if your marriage isn’t perfect, if you’re careful to keep your disputes private, the kids perceive the marriage as excellent. And a child’s perception is the child’s reality.

So how can we love our spouses, even through the differences?

1. Having a desire to please the Lord is probably one of the best things you can have that will strengthen your marriage. One young lady told me, “Both my parents had a tremendous desire to do whatever the Lord wanted, and often that seemed to settle the disputes.”

2. Present a unified front to the children. Successful-parent marriages always back each other up to the children, even if they disagree. They wait until later to talk over the decision privately.

3. Say positive things about your spouse, especially in front of the children. This may be a tough one for some folks, but I feel that it is possible to take the good of your spouse, however small, and show how thankful we are for it.

4. Never tear each other down in public, and especially not in front of the children. Successful parents know that to tear down their spouse is to tear down themselves.

5. Invest in your marriage. Take a little bit of time each day to flirt with or express love to your spouse. The returns on your investment will be tremendous! Take a look at my series on A Lasting Marriage for more ideas!

Let us learn from people like Mary and her husband. They didn’t always have an ideal marriage, but they sought the Lord and did their best to obey Him in their roles as husband and wife. They learned to communicate with each other without animosity, 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!

Question: Do you believe in the permanency of marriage? How does tearing down our spouses affect our children?

Special Announcements:

  • Stay glued to the Facebook page for daily encouragements, reminders, and exciting assignments!

 

 

  • Keep your eyes out for the upcoming release of my new book on this topic, Lionproof: Keeping Your Children from the Claws of the Devil, coming in September! In this book, there will be:
    • Not just information telling parents why kids are going astray, but proven parenting practices that have worked for generations that are successful in raising godly children.
    • Dozens of interviews from those 2nd generation Christians who KNOW what their parents did RIGHT.
    • Charts and graphs detailing the results of the interviews
    • Assignments to help the reader implement these principles in their own parenting.
    • And much, much more!

If you have a blog and would like a review copy of the book, let me know! All you have to do when you’re done reading it is to post about it on your blog! Leave a comment here or email me, and I’ll get in touch with you.

There are plenty of wonderful marriage blogs that are a real blessing. Here are a few of them:

To Love, Honor, and Vacuum

Messy Marriage

The Alabaster Jar

Also, some good books I’ve read on this subject:

Created to Be His Helpmeet, by Debbie Pearl. Debbie has some very insightful principles in her book. The one thing that changed my life completely was her description of the three types of men. If you read nothing else of hers, this alone will help you.

Lovebusters, by Willard Harley. Dr. Harley tells about the things which tear down marriages, and if we’re able to prevent those things from happening, we can build up our marriages.

Sacred Marriage, by Gary Thomas. I love the premise of this book, “What if marriage was more to make you holy than happy?” It’s so true. God can use the ministry of marriage in our lives to change us to be more Christ-like…if we let it. Right now, Christian Book Distributors is selling it for only $5!!

For your information, I get nothing from recommending these resources. They are just great books that I’ve read and I think are very helpful.

Linking up with: Monday: Alabaster Jar, The Better Mom, and Moms the Word,
and Happy Wives Club

Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage

Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum

18 comments

  1. Mai Bateson says:

    This is a very wonderful blog! I’m looking forward to have my future kids to know and love God with all their heart and soul! 🙂 I’m married for only 2 years now and I would love to have a legacy like Mary and her husband! 🙂
    They are so inspiring!!!

    Visiting you from the Happy Wives Club Link Up.

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you, Mai! Mary has been so inspiring to me over the years, and her home-going was no different! I guess her life and love for The Lord and faithfulness over the years made all the difference in her death.

  2. AJ Collins says:

    I think it’s the best thing to see a lasting legacy in marriages that have been less than perfect (though how many are ever “perfect”??) It is encouraging to me as a live out my less than perfect marriage… to know that in the end, what matters is how hard we try. Beautiful post and encouragement!!

  3. momstheword says:

    Beautiful post, my friend! And I am sorry about the loss of your friend.

    My hubby and I agreed we would never fight in front of the kids. When our eldest was around eight years old, hubby and I were doing a skit for the church.

    We were practicing in a room and raising our voices and “fighting.” Our kids came running into the room and our 8 year old asked us if we were getting a divorce.

    We reassured him that we weren’t and showed him the script so he could see that they were just lines we were running.

    While we didn’t fight in front of our children, they did occasionally see us “negotiate” as you’re out and about and not agreeing on something (such as whether or not to stop and ask for directions, lol!) That’s good for them, lol!

    Our oldest is getting married and we have let him know that the first year of marriage can be a bit difficult as you learn to adjust to one another.

    I know a gal who always tore down her husband in front of the kids, and she sided with the kids against their dad. They are still married but it hasn’t been a great one, and it’s not hard to imagine why the kids don’t have much respect for their dad. It was sad to watch her tear down her marriage with her own hands.

    Thanks so much for linking up to “Making Your Home Sing Monday” today!

    • Lisa says:

      Wow, that is really good. What a great example you’ve been to your children!

      I’ve seen the same thing too, where a woman will tear down her husband. The children, now adults, are just as you described – no respect for Dad. I can’t help but think that somehow their vision of God may be a bit blurred because of it. Either way, the marriage is not good, nor are her children very happy.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. momstheword says:

    Regarding your comment on my blog: I don’t usually get those large blocks of time either, so I like to take advantage of those little minutes too!

    Hey, we’re you the one that was asking me for help about the “no reply” blogger. Someone didn’t know how to do it and I thought it was you. Maybe it was Lori.

  5. Sheila at Longings End says:

    Hi Lisa…great post and tips. I always told my three sons — while raising them as a single mom 🙁 — that one of the most important gifts a parent can give their son or daughter is to LOVE and RESPECT their spouse really well. Even though we were divorced and their dad started a new family, I purposed to show him respect whenever we interacted and I taught my boys to forgive, love and respect their dad as well, speaking truth about the situation where appropriate but always with grace. And it really helped for today we all get along well and my sons have strong relationships with both me and their dad. Visiting from Mercy Ink.

    • Lisa says:

      Wow, Sheila, that is amazing! I don’t know very many people who would take such a stand for right; I know the Lord has greatly blessed you because of it. I sense forgiveness and grace even in your comment, and that is a blessing.

      You’ve shown us that even broken relationships do not have to sabotage our whole life. Thank you.

  6. Heather @ Becoming Titus 2 Women says:

    Such a great post, Lisa! I definitely believe in the permanency of marriage. I have seen first hand affects of one wife tearing down her spouse and how it has affected her children. There is no more respect for him and it’s sad. If I am upset with my husband I try not to say bad things about him. I may let them know if they ask,but I don’t talk bad about him. I tell them he is human and that I am too,that I know I upset him sometimes.

    I used to think that marriages were great because of no problems,that is so wrong. I’m learning the differences and struggles is what makes the marriage strong and of course seeking the Lord.

    I found you through Darlene at Time-Warp Wife. 🙂

    • Lisa says:

      The older I get, the more I realize that the Goal of the Journey is not the Destination, it is the PROCESS of the Journey that is important. How we travel, and what we learn and who we bless are the goals. If we were already perfect, we wouldn’t be here – we’d be in Heaven!

      It’s an encouragement to see how less-than-perfect people come together and get along together and learn to love each other – anyway.

  7. Beth says:

    You’ve shared a powerful example of a life surrendered to God and how He can turn that marriage around. He really is our only hope in making our marriage what it needs to be. Thanks for your points too. I really like the idea of encouraging people to speak positively about their spouse in front of the kids and others. I think this can not only change the children’s view of the marriage but make such a difference for the spouse who’s doing the praising. I guess, this is sort of like my point – Practice Gratitude. I know it makes such a difference in my heart when I choose to be grateful for all that God gives me. Great thoughts, Lisa. You always share such helpful advice here in this place. 🙂 Love having you at Wedded Wed!

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