Perhaps one of the biggest reasons that people fail in parenting is because they are having trouble in their marriage. Tips and techniques for parenting almost always flop if mom and dad don’t act like they love each other.
Here are some simple tips for improving your marriage:
1. Keep your promises. This is most important. When you married your spouse, you made a promise to him that you’d always love him and stay with him. If you change your mind later, divorcing when things get rocky, your children will learn that you don’t keep your promises. You might be able to rationalize all the reasons why divorce was the best option, but in the mind of your child, you simply weren’t trustworthy. If you are married today, resolve to never allow the “D” word to come up in your home. Stay married for life, working through your problems rather than breaking your promise to your spouse.
2. Resolve conflict right away. Most problems in marriage start small, festering under the surface for quite some time before surfacing as major problems. The Bible tells us to not let the sun go down on our wrath. This means that we need to resolve problems immediately, before the day is over. If we always did that, rather than holding on to hurt feelings and allowing bitterness to take root, we would always have a good marriage.
3. Speak kindly and softly. The Bible says that a “soft answer” turns away wrath. When you’re upset, try to turn the volume DOWN rather than UP. Speak softly to your spouse, and you’ll diffuse his and your own anger. In addition, your children will learn how to resolve their own conflicts better, too.
4. Submit. Yes, this is the word the Bible uses. It’s impossible for two people to always agree. One of you has to “win” and one has to “lose.” When you choose to give in, even when you disagree, you are modeling many things to your children. You’re modeling how they should react to authority in their own lives. You’re modeling how to be unselfish. You’re modeling that others should be treated with respect and kindness. It’s not easy, but the results are worth it!
5. Show affection. Don’t save the kisses and hugs for after the children are in bed or are gone for the day. Rather, concretely show your children that you love your husband by purposely letting them “catch you” giving hugs to him. You’ll be speaking in a language they understand and showing them that your marriage is here to stay — forever!
Not only can these tips make your home happier and more loving, but they will create security and respect for parents in your children’s hearts. What a great reason for succeeding in your parenting!
(And even single parents can use these ideas to have a more secure home!)
In a few days, we’ll cover “Tips for Educational Success.”
P.S. How have you seen your children respond to the good and bad in your marriage? Did your own parents’ marriage affect your life? Write some of these memories down in a journal.