Marriage Before Mission
by Michael Brooks
Why Are We Talking About Marriage?
In the last WinterPromise Blogging Series we talked about the central goals of a Homeschool family. You can find that post here. In that post the goals were listed in the following categories: 1) Rich Education 2) Growth & Development in Character Traits, Habits and Skills 3) Family Experiences 4) A Joy & Love For Learning.
These are wonderful goals and they can be achieved as a homeschooling family. But Homeschooling is not something that is easy. You know that! These goals will not be accomplished without the foundation of a healthy and thriving marriage. Homeschooling begins with our marriages.
Cultivating Our Marriages
When you proposed to your spouse you did not propose to anyone else. Not your crazy son that is now eight years old and creating chaos. Yes, we love our children more than life itself but when you committed to live life with your spouse you committed in a unique way to them and not to anyone or anything else. Creating a healthy family culture begins with cultivating and growing your marriages. We want your marriages to be ones that are full of life, vibrancy and unconditional love. This takes a lot of work! This is not easy, but nothing worth having is easy.
Marriage is full of rough spots and mistakes. You and your spouse have both made mistakes and will continue to make mistakes. It is through those mistakes that you learn how to forgive, love and grow with your spouse in the most amazing ways. But how does all this impact Homeschooling?
A healthy home is the foundation for accomplishing the goals we have laid out for you and your family. A healthy home starts with a healthy marriage. Your children will thrive most when they see their Mom and Dad in love and committed to one another. They will know what marriage and what family is intended to look like. This is the environment that all children were designed to grow up in. A healthy, loving, committed family and marriage. This is why it is so important.
3 Aspects Of a Healthy Marriage
This may seem obvious. This is why you got married in the first place! You fell in love! The world is telling you that all you need to have is the “just like the movies!” love. Those feelings and experiences do happen and are wonderful but as we all know life moves forward, the new becomes normal, and the connection you have now is a deep intimate connection and not a connection of new romance. This deep connection is for the better! Romance only gets better when you are invested and deeply connected!
Your love should be romantic, but your love must also be selfless and unconditional. Why do we say this? The love you have for your spouse can not be based on how they treat you. Both you and your spouse have said things and done things that have hurt the other one. But those times of hurt don’t need to be situations where you grow apart from your spouse. If you forgive them and work through those problems your love will grow deeper. The sexy love in today’s culture is the one in the movies, but the most powerful love is the one that says “I’m not going anywhere.” When you show that “I’m not going anywhere” love toward your spouse your love and romance will become even more wonderful. This is also a great example for your children!
Love unconditionally and love selflessly.
#2 Partner and Supporter For Life!
Everyone has friends that are a huge support for them. Friends can be a great asset, but friends are not your spouse. You and your spouse have decided to go through life taking on every challenge that comes your way.
Challenges take many forms. In the morning when Dad is running late for work, the kids are in chaos over breakfast, and Mom is trying to find the keys that Dad misplaced, that is a challenge. When you have to move because of work, that is a challenge you need the support of your spouse. If the car breaks down and your budget can’t afford it you need your spouse. There are many challenges that you need to overcome and the person you have decided to team up with to take them on is your spouse. You and your spouse are a team. A team that cannot be broken up. When one of you is struggling, the other can lift you up. When one needs strength, the other is there to provide it.
Your spouse is the friend and teammate you have for life.
The issue of communication is central to the success of your marriage. To accomplish anything you must communicate. To work through a fight (which probably started at least partly because of bad communication) you must communicate. To face a challenge as partners in life you must communicate. To help each other become better Fathers, Husbands, Mothers and Wives you must communicate. Communication is vital to the health of your marriage.
Communication starts with communicating in the first place. Men have the stereotype of sitting on the couch, watching TV and ignoring their wife and family. Although there are lots of men that are responsible and engaged in their families that don’t do this, the reason men tend to have this stereotype is because often men don’t value simple, reliable communication and conversation. Husbands and Wives both need to communicate.
Now that you do communicate you need to learn healthy communication. This can look different for so many couples but here are a few questions you should ask yourselves as a couple.
– Does the way I say something hurt or disconnect with my spouse?
– Are there topics that my spouse needs me to talk about that I would not normally think about?
– After a fight do you establish where you both were wrong, apologize, and then problem solve where you can better communicate in the future?
– Do you enjoy talking and laughing with your spouse?
– Do you communicate your love and commitment in a way that encourages and connects with your spouse?
This is not a comprehensive list. This is not a complete study on communication. There are great places to find that information: your church, another healthy couple, great books and blogs. But hopefully this list has gotten you started thinking about how you can better communicate with your spouse!
A marriage thrives on healthy, gracious, and committed communication.
Summary: Healthy Marriages Encourage Healthy Families
So why are we talking about marriage? We hope that this has made it clear how much we value marriage! A healthy marriage is the foundation needed for a successful family. Whether you Homeschool or not you need a healthy marriage to raise your kids in.
Your kids will move out and move on in their lives. You will always be their parents but those relationships will change and your responsibilities will take different shapes. At the end of the day when the kids are gone it will be you and your spouse. All this started with your marriage and when things change your marriage will still be there.
You don’t want your marriage to be built on raising your kids, you want the raising of your kids to be built on your healthy, thriving marriage.
Here are some helpful Blogs about Marriage!
Dave Willis’ Blog – They have great lists, articles, and tips to a joyful marriage!
Fierce Marriage – You could spend a whole day reading and exploring this great website and just scratch the surface!