Sunday, December 15, 2019

Your Children Need A Good Marriage!

One of the issues I often confront in dealing with family tension is that of priorities. What's more important, marriage or the children? The relationship or getting stuff for the children done? Providing financially or providing emotionally? Having fun or getting work done? Where spouses come down on those issues is often where the tensions develop in a marriage with children.
Some parents feel that because the children are "dependent" they need parents, and the "adult spouse" doesn't need as much. These marriages often become "children-driven," and when the children grow up the marriage dissolves or becomes an "empty nest."
I have consistently taken the position that marriage is the most important of the two, and children benefit enormously from parents who give marriage a priority.
If you are a parent, you are probably trying your best to be a good parent, right? Think for a moment about all the time, energy, and money you put into your children. You take them to school each day, help them with their homework, buy them clothes, wash their clothes, take them to the doctor, plan birthday parties, drive them to baseball practice and make their favorite dinner.
Those are all good and necessary actions, all a part of the "doing" category of parenting. But none of those actions is the most important!
The most important thing YOU can do for your children is to have a GREAT MARRIAGE! If you care for your children, marriage must be your number one priority. Parents who care more about their children than their marriage often end up in divorce or with troubled children. That's the way it works! It's a law of family life just as gravity is a law of physics.
It's hard to be a good parent unless you have a good marriage. Why? Because teaching your children how to succeed in the LOVE department is your most important responsibility. Nothing compares to that responsibility. You can do everything right and run all day as if you are on a treadmill, but if you fail to model love to your spouse in front of your children you have failed in what you have been called to do for them as a parent.
Nothing will be more important in your children's lives than the success of their marriage. And who's going to teach them how to love their spouse. You are! But they won't learn it from what you say; they'll learn it from the life you lead. They'll learn it from your marriage. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "Who you are speaks so loudly, I can't hear a word you're saying."
If you're struggling in your marriage, it's probably because your parents struggled too. So, who's going to break the cycle? Will you be the one to change things for generations to come? Or will your children suffer the same burden? The ball is in your court!
Whatever you want your children to achieve in their life, you must model for them in some shape or form. You can be the generational bridge in your lineage and build a new path for future generations in your family. It's not easy, but it can be done.
There's nothing better for your children than to be raised in an environment in which their parents have LEARNED to love each other. Love does not just happen. It has to be crafted and cultivated carefully over and over again! But if your children witness true love between you and your spouse, you will give them the greatest gift life has to offer. It's the only gift that keeps on giving!
There's nothing more devastating to a young child than to be the victim of a broken family. Divorce has been described as one of the most violent, brutal, emotionally abusive events committed against innocent children who were brought into the world to be protected by two responsible parents and raised to understand love in the lives of their parents.
I have heard many stories from parents who are in a second marriage. Depending on the age of your children you may have a chance to model "true love" to them in a second marriage, but it's unlikely unless your former spouse is a real loser and your children see the problem. As long as your former spouse is around and is a decent person, your children will forever be left with a broken picture of what love is. That's why I believe that in most cases divorce is not the answer to marriage conflict.
Be a good parent. Do everything you can to succeed with your marriage. Love your spouse regardless of your feelings. Love is not just a feeling! More often than not, love is simply doing what's right for someone else's sake!
I am often asked, "Is it OK to stay married for the sake of children?" My answer is, "Yes! Definitely, yes." Unless you are so selfish that you need to take care of yourself over your children's basic needs, it's always worth it to save a marriage for the sake of the children. Give your children the only gift that keeps on giving forever! The love of your marriage.
You can learn to love your spouse if you follow my simple steps to build your own "True Commitment." Attend one of my seminars, or call me to make an appointment. I will coach you over the phone. Very often, action steps is all it takes to experience the love you long to have in your marriage.
*Just a personal note:
Divorce increases the risk of interpersonal problems in children. There is evidence, both from small qualitative studies and from large-scale, long-term empirical studies, that many of these problems last for a life time. In fact, they even become worse in adulthood.

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