A very interesting article was published online a few days ago and it’s stirring up quite a buzz around Facebook. Titled “How American parenting is killing the American marriage,” the authors suggest that mainstream American parenting has become a religion. They end the article stating, “Once our gods have left us, we try to pick up the pieces of our long neglected marriages and find new purpose.”
It doesn’t have to be that way. Since we are called to provide the best possible shaping influences for our children, we must start with the relationship that brought them into the family: your marriage. Whether you conceived and delivered the child yourself or made the mutual decision to foster or adopt, as a husband and wife team you decided to make your family more than just the two of you.
Tripp refers to the child as a covenantal being to “…remind us that all human beings have a Godward orientation.” As parents, we either help point our child to God or allow them to [eventually] worship idols.
We have a responsibility to our children. It starts with how we act out and fulfill our roles of the covenant of marriage day in and day out.
The covenantal relationship I committed to on my wedding day forms an irreplaceable portion of the foundation on which I build my role as a mother. Without emphasizing and demonstrating how I love her father, my daughter will not have a context in which to understand my communication about and emphasis on the discipline needed for her to continue to grow in His wisdom. My son will not have an example of love and forgiveness if he does not witness it between his father and I.
Instead of choosing to put my children on a pedestal as too many American parents have – which results in marriages dissolving once the children grow up – I choose to put God on a pedestal and follow His ordinance by putting Him first, my husband second, and my children third. After that, it’s up to Him to guide the rest of my priorities with what His plan is for my life.
Don’t buy into American parenting. Put your marriage first. Do one thing today to let your spouse know how important they are to you.
Maybe your husband loves a clean kitchen (preaching to myself). Or perhaps your wife would love fresh sheets on the bed and a back rub after a long week. You could also go super simple and leave your spouse a note on the mirror telling them how much you love them.
In Christ, Rachel
This is part of a 31 day series of shepherding a child’s heart in 5 minutes a day (click here for the series intro). I pray this series edifies you as much as reading Tripp’s book has encouraged and challenged my husband and I in how we raise our children. Subscribe to the blog in the side bar if you’d like to get posts emailed to you in a weekly digest or subscribe on your favorite blog reader.