Your Children are Watching…
If you are married and have children, remember your kids are watching.
One couple who came to a Love & Respect event as a last attempt to save their marriage, started reading the couple’s devotional together (The Love & Respect Experience) when they returned home. Soon after, their 4 year old son said, “Daddy, when I have a wife, I want to read that book with her just like you do with Mommy!” His Mom told us that previously he would get very upset when they argued. Now, when he senses even a little tension he tells them, “Go read the book!”
Are you paying attention to how your behavior affects your little ones? How about your teenagers? Could the increased tension you sense from them be a result of the tension they feel between you and your spouse?
Every now and then I get an email from a teenager or young adult who want to know how they can help their parents get along. Their concern and anxiety over their parents’ fighting or indifference to one another is heart-wrenching. They ask me how they can get their parents to read the Love & Respect book or come to a conference.
I understand because I grew up in a home where my parents were often fighting. I have memories of this as young as two years old. I cried myself to sleep many nights. I would’ve been beside myself with joy if my parents had gone to a marriage conference during those tumultuous years!
That’s one of the reasons why I do what I do. And one of my greatest joys is when I hear a story of how a child or young adult brought their parents to a conference!
Recently, while in the country of Slovenia, a pastor from a local church relayed a story that warmed my heart. A teenaged brother and sister, who were new Christ-followers, were concerned for their parents who were having some difficult struggles. When they heard about the Love & Respect conference, they bought their parents tickets and “dragged them there.” Afterwards, their parents said “This night changed our lives. We are going to make this our project: to go through the Love & Respect book together!”
Their teenagers were ecstatic! But what got them most excited was when their parents kissed – something they had not seen them do in a very long time.
Yes, parents…even your teenagers are watching. They are not indifferent to your marriage.
I was encouraged in Slovenia, a country where the majority of couples choose to live together rather than marry, that young people came out in large numbers to hear this message on marriage. They are choosing a different path than their parents.
What kind of an example is your marriage? What can you do – today – to change your course?