Sometimes in the midst of motherhood, we forget that we are first, wives. Our relationship to our husbands may change a bit but it should not suffer or become unhealthy. Plus, we have the added responsibility of the need to model a Christian marriage for our kids.
The past year has been one of hardships on so many levels but it has also been an opportunity for more family time. With most schools closing for a portion of the year and many events being cancelled, we have had the privilege to recapture some blessed family at home time.
And, this gives the perfect opportunity for Moms and Dads to represent what a solid Christian marriage should look like to our kids. We are going to chat a little about the Christian model of marriage in the scriptures and then jump into 8 simple, but effective ways to model a Christian marriage in every day life for our children.
The Christian Model of Marriage
“Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness… God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number…”Genesis 1:26-28
God made us “in His own” image and likeness. There are so many things here that it would take a completely different post to discuss them all but for the sake of brevity, I want us to see 3 things:
- In marriage, we reflect God’s image.
- God is love, compassionate, kind, gentle, humble, etc. All He reflects is good.
- In marriage, we are one.
- In marriage, children are a blessing.
- He blessed them to be fruitful and multiply. We also get the opportunity to produce disciples of Jesus for His glory.
- In marriage, we get the show the world Jesus.
- Marriage is a beautiful picture of the relationship between Christ and His church. As believers, we make up the church, His bride. As Bridegroom, Jesus gave His life for His bride, “to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word.” Marriage reflects this as husbands sacrificially love their wives and wives submit to their husbands. (Ephesians 5:25-33)
8 Ways to Model a Christian Marriage for Your Kids to See
1. Honor Your Spouse
“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.“Romans 12:10 ESV
The definition of honor is to regard with high respect or esteem. This is an action that we can show with the way we speak about our spouse, the way we treat our spouse, and the way think about them. We love our spouse like Jesus when we put their needs above our own.
My husband is really good at this. He will tell the kids about all of the time or effort that I’ve put into a meal or planning different activities. He will then ask them to thank me and tell me how much they enjoyed it. He also shows me preference by asking my opinion or thoughts.
I think taking time to honor your spouse’s strengths and accomplishments in front of your children is important. But, its more important that a consistent behavior of never talking down to your spouse in front of your kids, never talking bad about them to your kids, and not ignoring their feelings, thoughts, or opinions is crucial.
If you feel like this is an area of struggle for you, check out great article on 32 Ways to Honor Husband from Family Life.
2. Show Affection
“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—Song of Solomon 1:2
For your love is better than wine.”
Your kiddos need to see you being affectionate with your husband. There are studies that prove that physical touch is linked to a healthy individual. Babies need skin to skin contact with their mothers to bond. Children need hugs and physical care from their mothers to grow mentally and emotionally. Even if physical touch is not one of your love languages, in order to stay connected and emotionally healthy, it is a must.
Your kids need to see that you show your spouse love in physical ways: a little peck here, a hug, a playful swat, hand holding, etc. It shows them that you are linked and “two have truly become one flesh” and gives them the model of a healthy, Christian marriage. Just keep in PG it front of the kiddos, hehe.
3. Date Your Spouse
“He brought me to the banqueting house,Song of Solomon 2:4
And his banner over me was love.”
I adore how this verse says that her lover didn’t just take her out to eat to fulfill the standard date night but, “his banner over me was love.” This means that his claim on her, his purpose toward her was love. How beautiful is that!
It doesn’t matter how cool, expensive, or social-media-picture-worthy a date is if the attitude isn’t one of love. No matter what you do together, the time alone should be quality and an expression of real love.
One of our favorite date times together is our daily, morning, thirty minute walks. We talk about his work, home life, and we pray. We encourage on another, we laugh together, and sometimes we are just quiet and soak in God’s beauty.
Need some ideas to get started? Check out Focus on the Family’s 100+ Great Date Ideas
4. Pray for Each Other
“praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints”Ephesians 6:18
One of the greatest gifts that I received at my wedding was “The Power of a Praying Wife” by Stormie OMartian. She is so honest about the struggles in her marriage and how the Lord led her to pray over her husband. It is complete with prayer topics, scriptures to pray, and sample prayers. I highly recommend it.
The truth is that is really hard to be mad at some one you pray over. God changes our hearts when we pray and what may begin with our desires, ends with His. I can not think of a better way to honor and care for your spouse than to take them before the One who knows them, loves them, and can care for them best.
So how can we demonstrate this for our kids? We can make a point to pray for our spouse at family prayer times. We can simply tell our spouse how we are specifically praying for them in front of the kids. Finally, we can pray for our kids future spouses. This last one is super important because it reveals how important it is to have a godly spouse and Christian marriage.
5. Laugh Together
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”Proverbs 17:22
Growing up, my home was one full of laughter. My dad loved to make jokes and mess with us. It made for a really relaxed and fun upbringing. So, its no surprise that my husband ended up being a man who was voted “Class Clown” in highschool.
My choosing this one may be a bit biased based on my experiences. However, the Bible does encourage us ” a joyful heart is good medicine” and there “is a time to laugh.” Plus, have you ever met a kids who doesn’t like to laugh?
The more our kids see us have fun together and laughing with and at each other, the more they see that our marriage and relationship are actually enjoyable. They also see two people who truly like each other and appreciate being together. This will become one of the characteristics they look for in a spouse.
6. Be United
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity!”Psalm 133:1
As parents of four, we are outnumbered. Sometimes is us against them. I joke, kind of. It is truly important that we stand strong on major decisions and the rules in the household. Disunity leads to discord and bitterness. We need to “dwell together in unity.”
The first thing we have to be united about is that Jesus is number one in our house. We go to church, we have a daily family worship time, and we run everything through a Christian world view. We must realize that Satan and the world do not share our values and we have to be united in Biblical truth.
The second thing is discipline. (This is a great things to sit down and discuss without the kids first.) If we have decided a punishment for a certain offense, we both have to stick with it. When I tell the boys no PS4 for the week because they are behind on school work, my husband needs to know it and stand behind my decision.
The third, in my mind, is that we are united in not arguing in front of the kids. If we want to talk something out, disagree, or need more time to consider, we do it in private. We need to present them a unanimous and joint front when making decisions for our household.
“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”Deuteronomy 6:7
If you are wondering how this displays a Christian marriage to the kids, I’m glad you asked. One, it gives us the opportunity to put a couple of these things that we’ve mentioned into practice: praying for each other and being united.
Foremost, when we have a daily worship time, we are displaying a desire for Jesus to be number one in our hearts and lives. This shows our children a mom and dad who each, individually live godly lives but who want our whole family to model a Christian family as a unit.
It gives them a strong, healthy pattern to follow for their own families some day. It sets them up to put Jesus first and to trust then, everything else will fall into place.
8. Let Your Husband Lead
“Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.”Ephesians 5:24
I left this one for last on purpose. I feel like in this age of feminism and “women can do anything men can do” that it gets seriously twisted.
I won’t go on and on about how submission is out of obedience to God and go back to that picture of Christ and the church from Ephesians 5. But, I will say: God meant for our husbands to be our leader, protector, provider, and the head of the household. So, we have to let him lead.
If we want boys becoming men who embrace the role of a Biblical husband and girls who grow up to follow the example of Biblical wives, then we have to model it in our homes first.
It can be tough to keep our mouths shut or follow even if we have a different preference. But, if we believe our husbands are chosen by the Lord, then we can trust that God will lead them in the right direction.
We have to let our kids see that our husband is the one who leads us in the charge to put Jesus first.
Benefits of Purposefully Modelling a Christian Marriage for Your Kids
- We obey the Lord. And, there are so many benefits to obedience to the Lord. (Luke 11:28)
- We show the world Christ’s example and how He loves the church. (Ephesians 5:25-33)
- We raise kids who desire to have a Christian marriage and godly home of their own. (Proverbs 22:6)
As always, Momma, I hope this post was encouraging to you. If you feel like you’ve got all of 8 of these principles down then praise the Lord. I pray He keeps you modelling a Christian marriage for your precious children.
If you are struggling with some of them, you are not alone. I need to work on honoring my husband better and definitely showing affection since I’m not much of a touchy feely person. I am praying for you too and I know if you ask for the Lord’s help and get more intentional, He will help!
Drop a comment below if this was helpful or if you would add anything. Share to facebook or pinterest and encourage another Momma today!