Just recently, Kerry and I were asked if we intentionally taught the girls about marriage.
The answer is yes… and, no.
Yes, there are times when we’ve talked specifically about marriage (either ours or ones that our kids have observed). But, for the most part, Kerry and I have been wise enough to know that our kids are constantly watching and learning from us. Our actions (both good and bad) are always teaching them about marriage.
I would be thrilled if my daughters had a similar type of marriage that Kerry and I share… it’s definitely not perfect, but we’re both very proud of what we’ve developed over almost 25 years.
Here are 10 things that I know Samantha and Baylee have observed from us over the years:
1. Affection: Kerry & I are very affectionate and I like having the girls see me holding their mom’s hand, hugging, kissing, cuddling, etc… as often as I can.
2. Saying, “Please forgive me”: I want to be quick to use this phrase and I want my kids to hear me say it (and I have to say it a lot more than Kerry). Too often than not, we also forget to ask for forgiveness from our children.
3. Affirmation: This is one of my primary love languages so it’s easy for me to dish out encouraging words. The girls get a lot of verbal affirmation, but they also hear me directing it towards Kerry (which is really easy).
4. Attraction: I think Kerry is hot… and, I make it known around our family. I’ll regularly say, “ Isn’t your mom beautiful?”
5. Time: The girls know that we like to spend time together. When they see us steal time away to go run an errand together, go for a walk, or go on a date night, or sneak away for the weekend…that’s a good message I want them to see.
6. Laughter: We laugh a lot in our house and Kerry’s quick wit and amazing sense of humor cracks me up. I like having the girls see that Kerry makes me laugh.
7. Respect: Opening the door for Kerry, saying “thank you” and “please” and showing her simple signs of respect.
8. Faith conversations: We’re not always praying in front of our kids, but they hear and see our faith conversations and know that we’re always talking about Jesus and what it means to be a follower.
9. The value of friends: Our house is well worn from the traffic of friends in/out of our house. We love having people over and the Vivian Casa is a regular hangout for some incredible friends, both the girls and ours.
10. Servanthood: I know the girls have had a great example in Kerry and myself as we have chosen to serve each other throughout our marriage. Always asking, “How can I help? What do you need to make life better?” Serving one another is seen in the daily, little things and there’s many opportunities to serve.
Our children are always watching their parent’s marriage and yet too many marriages underestimate the power of modeling! Children are taking daily recordings of what a marriage looks like and those recordings are definitely influencing and shaping their view of marriage.