Wait a minute. Aren’t your kids 7, 5, and 16 months so why are you even thinking about their future marriages?
Truth is, we don’t intend to be married for a long time but it dawned on me recently that the things we do now as parents shape them to make them a good spouse. In turn, that will be a blessing to our future children-in-law.
These things will sound easy to do when reading them on the blog, but in actuality, can be very difficult to put into practice. Let’s start with the mindfulness and then figure out the logistics later, deal?
Model a Good Marriage
Duh Cam! The broader picture is beside the obvious reasons of modeling and having a good marriage, we need to realize that our children are looking at our marriage as their “standard”. The marriage as a whole and the way each person functions in the marriage.
Husbands, let your sons see you cleaning up around the house without being asked. And make habit of it. Their future wives will appreciate that and so will yours.
Wives, tell your husband in detail all the things he’s doing right and doing well. Do this often. You will honor him, but your daughters will also notice.
When we show our kids a marriage in which mutual respect, open communication, and regard for the other person above our own needs- we’re setting a standard for our children to carry onto their own marriages.
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
*Note: I know that some of you are probably in marriages where it’s hard to do this and it takes both people to be on board to have a good marriage. Counseling may be a good option for you, it was for us.
Give Your Kids Independence
I wrote an entire blog post on the subject of autonomy, but as parents, we need to realize that the goal of leading them into adulthood is also weaning their need and dependence on us. Painful, I know and quite possibly the trickiest to implement.
Some kids will want independence and others love being coddled. As parents, we get the choice of deciding which mentality we will feed. For the parents who find it hard to not be needed, I hear you and I feel you.
There are so many articles about millennials and their entitlement and there are even marriage books about how to deal with overbearing mother-in-laws. This shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Moms, let’s hold our sons tightly but know that someday another woman will love them and while not “replace” you, this other woman will hold a very deep and intimate part of their heart in a way that you can’t. Prepare yourself to let her.
Dads, for all the “she’s my little girl” moments you have, know that a man will someday come into her life and not replace you, but he will/should be the first person she calls she’s having a tough day and needs a listening ear. This is a good thing.
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
Pray for Them
This may be the most important of it all because through our intentional prayer for these future children-in-law, we’re positioning our heart to love them, welcome them to our families, and desire for a good relationship with them.
These will be the people that will bring you grandchildren and raise them, take care of your son/daughter, and be an extension to your own nuclear family. I bet you haven’t thought of it that way. It’s ok, neither did I until I had that revelation in the shower 3 days ago.
We all want a good relationship with our future in-laws and it can start right now in the things we do.
As I mentioned above, this is going to be hard to implement but at least you’re aware now (like me). I encourage you to sit on these thoughts and maybe return to them. If you find yourself praying for your kids, pray for their future spouse, too.