Part 10 of ‘Let’s Talk about Marriage’ part of the ‘In Marriage’ series
Jesus told his followers to teach future followers “…everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20). Therefore, that is the pattern for leadership training for everyone who comes to faith. In other words, Jesus gave us the blueprint for discipleship. This discipleship programme is for all forms of leadership including parenting.
The home is the first training ground—the place where a child’s first teachers are found. The culture at home directly impacts society because it determines a child’s outlook on life. When there is no training then chaos follows. If there is a process of ineffective leadership taking place there will be direct and indirect damage emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. From that combination there will be physical evidence of that internal turmoil. This is when that silent cry for help comes and other leaders need to understand what their role is in the life of such a child.
I came to faith as a teen so what was important to me as a teen would have been addressed from a general point-of-view since I was getting it from youth groups or friends and not home. I was emotionally bankrupt but wasn’t aware of having any emotional needs until my adult years when those deficiencies were noticed.
I also had trapped grief from not having a father in my life; lack a ‘mother-daughter’ bond with my mother, due to her absence in my youth. Losing my grandparents added to the pain. It meant that the teaching I needed was to help me deal with those trapped, untapped emotions.
Recognising that unprocessed grief can affect the richness of parent-child as well as spousal relationship I began to find a purpose for my pain. I wanted to help other married couples who were experiencing similar marital problems to the ones my husband and I were struggling with—finance, childcare, traumatic past, miscarriages, exhaustion, burn-out and leadership issues (some of which were simply grief being expressed).
I wanted to be in a position to help others and for that purpose I first needed help for my struggles. After seeking and finding the help needed to keep moving forward, I simply wanted to share that good news with others.
Sharing the News:
It is a natural human thing to shout it from the mountain top when we receive good news. That is why social media platforms are flowing with news of various celebrations: a marriage or birth and each subsequent anniversary of that wedding date or birthday, a dedication or graduation, a promotion or other types of celebration.
So it was a natural thing for me to start sharing some of what I was learning. I did that through my writing and in my one-to-one and small group conversations. I had good news to share and I wanted others to know that they didn’t have to head for divorce. I wanted them to know that the One who designed marriage had left the manual with all the instructions we needed. I wanted other marriages to thrive not just survive.
Nevertheless, there is a stigma attached to marriage or parental seminars, workshops and small groups addressing such issues. I simply couldn’t understand why others went silent once I began to talk about marriage. Why did no one want to engage in a deep and meaningful conversation about marriage?
We are okay talking about the weather, the behaviour of our children, the job related issues, the lack of volunteers for various activities, the news, the charities springing up to meet various needs in our communities and the hottest topics or viral videos on social media. We are even comfortable talking about the abuse but so many avoid talking about the very thing that could help avoid such abuse. No one wants to talk about marriage, not even the minister of the Word. Why is that?
I believe that there is a lot to unpack before we can arrive at a conclusion. Looking at it from such a distance will only find us creating more problems by saying things that will come out as ‘finger pointing’ or condemning. Each individual or group concerned will have part of the story and can only conclude in part. I’ve learned that lesson by doing a similar ‘unpacking’ exercise. It was after leaving the church fellowship we were part of during the time we couldn’t find a way to move forward in our marriage.
If, however, we apply the biblical lessons taught we will find that they actually work and our lives will be the richer for it:
In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus said to the disciples: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations… and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
Deuteronomy 6: 20-25, “ In the future, when your son asks you, “What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the Lord our God has commanded you?” tell him: “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand…The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today. And if we are careful to obey all this law before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.”
The Journey Continues in part 11 ~ Restoring Broken Homes to Save Lives