Chew on this thought for a moment… If your child was asked this question, how do you think they’d respond?
“Do you think that your mom and dad will stay together forever, no matter what?”
Sadly, in today’s culture, many kids are being raised without the confidence of knowing that mom and dad are in it for the long haul. In fact, many of them can only hope and pray from day to day that their parents relationship will stay solid.
Amidst the loud voices of fighting, threats, and put downs, it’s often hard for them to know what the future holds in their family. As we know, this is not God’s intended plan for any child or any family.
What every kid wants, needs, and deserves is a family, and specifically parents, that stay together through thick and thin.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and divorce happens, even in Christian homes. And if it’s happened in yours, don’t allow that to keep your current marriage from being all that God intends it to be. What’s in the past is in the past, and it’s just as important now that you strive to make the marriage you’re in successful for the long haul.
In our family growing up, there were some definite rough patches when mom and dad could have given up on each other or on the family, but I’m thankful that they never did, no matter how hard things got. I can honestly look back and say, that in my mind as a child, even when I knew things were bad, I never even considered the possibility that one of my parents would quit on each other, and even now, I’m very thankful for that.
“Of all the things in life that are uncertain for a child, family should never be one of them.”
Parents are the cornerstone of the home. And home is to be the safe place for every child – the one place in life that they know they can count on to be solid no matter what. Every child in the world deserves the right to know that mom and dad are together forever. (Yes, I know that’s “perfect world” thinking, but it’s true.)
When kids have the reassurance that mom and dad are together forever, it provides these things:
1. STABILITY IN THE HOME
Very simply, a child who is raised with stability in the home has an easier time growing up with stability in their life.
According to statistics from Child Trends – The number and type of parents in the household, as well as the relationship between the parents, are consistently linked to a child’s well-being. Among young children, those living with no biological parents, or in single parent households are less likely than children with two biological parents to exhibit behavioral self-control, and more likely to be exposed to high levels of aggravated parenting, than are children living with two biological parents. Children living with two married adults (biological or adoptive parents) have, in general, better health… and fewer emotional or behavioral problems than children living in other types of families.
Among children in two-parent families, those living with both biological parents in a low-conflict marriage tend to do better on a host of outcomes than those living in step parent families. Outcomes for children in step parents families are in many cases similar to those for children growing up in single parent families. Children whose parents are divorced have lower academic performance, social achievement, and psychological adjustment than children with married parents.
Bottom line – committed marriage relationships produce stability on all levels in children’s lives.
When kids know mom and dad are together forever, it also provides…
2. AN EXAMPLE OF BIBLICAL MARRIAGE
God created marriage for keeps – one man, one woman, for one lifetime. And not just for the benefit of the husband and wife, but for the benefit of the children as well. Kids need to know that regardless of what happens, good or bad, mom and dad are committed to each other for life.
Kids also need to see and understand that their parents are committed to doing things God’s way, because when they don’t, the consequences can be devastating.
It’s no secret that children of divorced parents are more likely to get divorced, says Christina Steinorth, author of “Cue Cards for Life: Thoughtful Tips for Better Relationships.” According to Steinorth, studies indicate that daughters of divorced parents have a 60% higher divorce rate in marriages than children of non-divorced parents, and sons have a 35% higher divorce rate. “Part of the reason is that when parents are divorced, it seems to send a message in a non-direct way that divorce is acceptable”, she says.
What our kids need to see is an example of biblical marriage done God’s way.
3. A PATTERN WORTH FOLLOWING
The benefits of children being raised in a home with parents in a committed marital relationship are many, but one of the greatest benefits is that they are more likely to follow the pattern set for them by their parents and have a successful marriage themselves.
Consider these statistics…
Children raised in intact married families are more likely to attend college, are physically and emotionally healthier, and are less likely to be physically or sexually abused. They are also less likely to use drugs or alcohol and to commit delinquent behaviors, and they have a decreased risk of divorcing when they get married. (foryourmarriage.org)
No doubt, many of these benefits are the natural result of kids having a positive pattern worth following as the grow up, including a pattern for a committed marriage relationship.
Parents, whether or not you stay together both while your kids are in your home as well as after they leave impacts your children immensely.
If you can’t remember the last time you’ve verbally reassured your kids of your life-long love for and commitment to one another, maybe it’s about time.
Your kids need to know that you are TOGETHER FOREVER.