(Part 11 of ‘Let’s Talk about Marriage’ part of the ‘In Marriage’ series)
Before my husband and I began looking outside the church for guidance, we had first tried several church leaders for help. The counsel we received was not in line with God’s Word and could have driven us to divorce, had we acted upon them. If not for our friendship in the marriage we could have made some bad decisions and today be living with regrets.
Moreover, a friend loves at all times (Proverbs 17:17) and I was not going to give up on my friend—my wonderful husband—who only needed a little guidance. I’m glad he didn’t give up on me either. This is why I would like to share this quote with you from one of our marriage resources:
“Never leave your partner, especially in a fire.”
Fireproof the movie dot com
Sharing our journey through this series of articles is our attempt at helping to break the silence so that we can start the work of restoration and help to save lives.
As a child bearing the traits of neglect due to my parent’s lack of understanding, I must speak out on behalf of those voiceless children who are currently being neglected. I want to be part of the solution in helping to bring understanding to their parents and in so doing save a life. We can never tell whose life we may be saving when we step out by faith in response to the call.
That life could be an unborn child about to be aborted or a young child about to lose his or her father (through their parents’ separation) and to later mask the pain will one day turn to drugs, alcohol, the gang life or a life of sexual promiscuity. It could be the life of a child, currently living in an unhealthy environment, watching domestic abuse (growing up with a warped version of love) who will one day marry and repeat that destructive cycle with the potential of the relationship ending in a divorce, death (through violence or suicide) or imprisonment. At that stage we have a new set of dysfunctional if children are left behind.
Restoration of damaged relationships is necessary in order to bring order in our homes.
To save a life is to save a family.
To save a life is to save a marriage.
To save a life is to help repair shattered relationships.
When shattered relationships receive a new lease of life healthy environments are created in our homes and we find thriving marriages and happy children who will thrive in life. Beauty grows in an environment where children can see healthy relationships develop and flourish.
Children learn how to respect themselves and others, at home. They learn about marriage and parenting by watching their parents. Those are the children who mature into healthy adults who will display what they have learned at home into the wider community and in the homes they will one day create.
It is our children, the leaders of tomorrow, who suffer the consequences when marriages struggle or breakdown. It is our children who suffer when parents go their separate ways and children are pulled in two different directions—four—if we count the grandparents on both sides and much more if we are looking at a blended family setting. It is our children who really need the services I’m encouraging leaders to consider implementing. It boils down to discipleship/training.
Our children really do not need more clubs and holiday camps to attend, more activities to participate in, or more variety in schools, crèche or youth groups. We do not need more volunteers for more activities to keep children occupied or stimulated. We do not need more meetings with councillors or MPs to discuss knife crimes, gang violence or anti-social behaviours. Children need their parents to spend more time with them and be the main leaders/teachers in their lives.
What our children really need is for parents to be empowered to parent well. Their parents need help in learning how to navigate their way around parenting while maintaining a healthy couple relationship as they journey through. Their parents need to learn the art of effective communication, dealing with conflict in a healthy way, how to grow in humility—saying sorry when they are wrong and being forgiving and welcoming. Their parents need to know what God requires of them so they can train up their children in the way they should go.
This is especially necessary for those who came to Christ after they became parents, having no prior exposure to the Bible or church life. It is also very important to those who have been exposed to church life but do not have a connection—no relationship—with God or understanding of the Bible’s instructions. See Titus 2 and 3 for guidance.
The journey continues in part 12 ~ Marriage and Parenting Ministries