Monday, May 31, 2021

Preparing Kids for Marriage

 Some statistics:

89% of adults will marry (only 9% say don't want to get married)

The average American spends 2/3 of their life in marriage

If a person marries ... it'll affect every aspect of their life.
(physical, emotional, social, financial, vocational, recreational)

IF you marry, Nothing will have a greater affect on your life (with the exception of Salvation)

(We know) a good marriage is a source of great pleasure, joy, comfort, satisfaction, happiness!!
(on the other hand, a troubled marriage creates frustration, disappointment, sorrow, pain, etc.)

Vast majority say "when I marry, I expect it to be for life".

100% say, "if, when I marry, I want it to be a success."

Question:  Why are we not more focused on preparing kids for marriage???

Some thoughts on "How to" prepare a Child for marriage.

#1.  Be Intentional
Compare time, effort focused on sports they'll probably never play again?!?

#2. Pray for your child - James 5:16

#3.  Pray for your child's future spouse - James 5:16
Pray specifically, pray early - example:  Pastor's wife prayed for their children and grandchildren, and future spouses from the time they were very small.

#4.  Evangelize your child
On one hand, only the Holy Spirit can draw, save
However, you CAN (a) introduce them to the Faith
     therefore,            (b) giving them opportunity to decide
This is NOT pushing. It = influence!!  - take them to church instead of sending them.
Example:  the success rate of committed Christians and marriage!!!

#5.  Disciple your child
Deut. 6:4-9
Eph. 6:4
Parental duty!  We tend to think "evangelize ..... then disciple", BUT ... the reverse often = effective!!! 
Start discipling early in hopes it will influence acceptance of Christ.

Example:  The marital satisfaction level = highest among couples who attend church together!!!

#6.  Discipline your child
A selfish, spoiled brat makes a lousy spouse!!!
Prov. 19:18, 13:24 - issue is not spanking.  It = correction, training, etc. - Heb. 12:5-11

#7.  Focus on Godly character - Mal. 2:15 - character supersedes all other things.
Emotional health seeks its own level, so... do you want your child to choose an emotionally healthy" mate..??

*Child raising tidbit* - A recent wave of research shows that children who eat diner with their families are less likely to drink, smoke, do drugs, get pregnant, commit suicide, and develop eating disorders.  additional research found that children who enjoy family meals have larger vocabularies, better manners, healthier diets, and higher self-esteem.  The most comprehensive survey done on this topic, a University of Michigan report that examined how American children spent their time between 1981 and 1997, discovered that the amount of time children spent eating meals at home was the single biggest predictor of better academic achievement and fewer behavioral problems.  Mealtime was more influential than time spent in school, studying, attending religious services, or playing sports. 

#8.  Teach Practical marriage skills
Example:  finances, housework, sharing the load
Also.... compliment, apology, forgiveness, compromise, arguing "to resolve" ....

#9.  Teach respect for the opposite sex
On one hand, gender competition = example:  Day Camp offerings - boys against the girls
However, gender competition is rampant in situation comedies

#10.  Model a Godly marriage
60 of learning that affects behavior is based on watching someone we know and trust.  (this works toward Positive AND Negative!!)

Basic beliefs and behavior are formed by age 13.  Which doesn't mean can't change, ... but = must change ... which = effort!!

The greatest predictor of a successful marriage = the successful marriage of the couple's parents.

Which leads to:  Do you want your kids to have a successful marriage???

Then:  (1)  WORK ON YOURS
and    (2)  MODEL THAT WORK 

Question:  what if are divorced?  single?  failed marriage?
Answer:  can still be a good model!!
   -  how to handle divorce in a Christian manner
   - how to live as a single parent
   - how to treat your ex
   - how to properly seek a new partner

Point:  God's Word has wisdom, advice, instruction for living ... Regardless of Marital Status!

Add:  This goes far beyond your kids, grandkids.  You have NO IDEA who's watching you .. who you are influencing.

Matt.   5:14-16 
What a great place to M.A.D.  (AND to personally benefit in the process!!)

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