The video of your relationship will be what your child watches over and over as they grow.
What do they see?
Obviously, there ain’t a one of us gonna do it perfectly. And that’s authenticity. We’re not looking for the Cleavers, here. But we do need something attractive … something that draws our kids into seeing marriage as a good thing … something that makes it clear it’s not like what you see on TV … something that makes it better than hookups and promiscuity.
It’s our privilege to present that kind of example, no matter the ages of our children.
What kind of parental relationship do you think would make a child say, “That’s what I want for myself someday?”
- Kisses (followed by “Eeeeeew!” from older kids—be ready to do it again)
- Parent dates
- Stories about great times and romantic occasions (hold back on unnecessary details—holding hands and looking at each other with a sparkle in the eye)
- Holding hands (see above)
- Making up after a disagreement; asking forgiveness
- Giving up a right to a decision because of the other’s preference
- Regular bedtime with an explanation: “If mommy and daddy have alone time together, it makes them better parents.”
- Explanation to a sniggering teenager who has figured out why the bedroom door is closing: “Well, aren’t you smart! See ya in a little while!” (wink)
- This is fun. I could go on, but you get it, and you probably have better ones of your own.
What did you wish your parents did? What did they do that you are doing? A little assessment never hurt.
Make your children love what you have. And if you’re single, do the same. Make it clear that you can be satisfied, not desperate, and that you love your friends and treat them with integrity. Point out other loving couples, and happy single adults as well.
Married or single, life is beautiful. It doesn’t cost anything to show it, and it helps our kids so much.