He grew up in a violent alcoholic home. Evenings could get disrupted in a moment by arguments, outbursts of anger and violence. Being loud and intimidating was his takeaway on how to win an argument. She grew up in a more stable home environment where arguments were rare. If a discussion got heated, the practice was to shut it down and talk later. She saw heated discussions as disrespectful. The respective influences of their unique upbringing led to communication challenges over the first few years of marriage.
Then their first child came along. The blessing of children is exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. The opportunity to start a family together is wonderful but the responsibility can be daunting. One of the keys for a marriage to mature as husband and wife to dad and mom is having a healthy dialogue around the different home situations each were influenced by. Intentionality early on to discern what aspects of each other’s family experiences will be emulated and which will be eliminated in the new family will bless the home.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. – Genesis 2:24. Dads and moms influence their kids 24/7 in the home environment. When kids leave home and marry, it is important for parents and the newlyweds to read this passage afresh. To ‘leave’ means to not be dependent upon your father or mother physically, emotionally or spiritually – no dependency and no excuses. A maturing relationship in marriage is realized as couples discuss the good, bad and ugly around their respective family situations. Good may be a commitment to eat dinner together nightly as a family. Bad could involve anger issues in the home, arguments being commonplace. Ugly would be alcohol or other addictions that have impacted the family. A young couple has an opportunity to build on the good, discard the bad and rebuke the ugly.
Marriage is foundational for family. And family is foundational for raising the next generation. Cracks in the foundation reflect an immaturity in relationship with Christ and with each other. Intentionality to consistently evaluate the integrity of the foundation and shore up any cracks before they destabilize the structure is the responsibility every couple has in starting a family. There is nothing more gratifying in marriage than maturing together well as a dad and mom. It is not easy but with a generation in the balance, it is critical to maintain a solid foundation.
Prayer guide: Thank You Lord for the clarity provided in Your word. Too often I complicate the simplicity of the message You convey. Forgive me. As I leave my father and mother to unite with the bride You have blessed me with, grant me clarity to build on the positive, discard the negative and rebuke any evil influences from my home life experiences. Help me build my family on the foundation that is You in my life, inspect for cracks often and shore up fissures before structural damage is incurred. Amen.
A faithful father builds on the good, discards the bad and rebukes the ugly of family influence.