The amount of grace it takes to sustain a marriage is unfathomable. Well, maybe that just applies to me due to my ability shoot off like a bottle rocket in a matter of seconds. This afternoon, we attempted to take the kids for a walk (more like marathon), when I got fed up with the antics all the kids were pulling at once. In short, I halted all screaming, pouting, bad attitudes, key throwing, temper tantrums kids to park their tushies in the grass and ordered a family meeting.
Giving Chris the floor, I waited for him to give the usual 4-1-1 on the current issues. Innocently waiting for him to take over, I glanced at him. He was still standing there–silent. Already the kids were sensing the division between us, and began toying with what little patience I had left. After glaring at him, he tossed out the ‘knock it off’ speech before releasing them back to our marathon hike.
Ah, marriage. It affects our children more than the schools we put them in, the friends they have, or the church we take them to. They learn about the dynamics of it when they are still peanuts in our wombs; by the time they are three, they know when the parental units are divided or united. Our kids are learning relationship habits (and manipulation tactics), as if they were breathing air through every day interactions.
As Chris and I squabbled about how he handled his chit chat with the kids, eventually unkind words were thrown out. This also included irritating habits, and other flaming arrows. Later, after I had cooled off, I apologized to my husband in front of my children. Oh why the humility you might ask? Not only are my children learning relational habits, but they also need to learn a thing or two about a united home.
Growing up, my mother and father didn’t have an ideal marriage which ended in divorce. Though their circumstances were very different than mine, I want to teach my children through my actions, my marriage, and my life experiences what Jesus states in Mathew 12:25:

Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.
As irritated as I was about the way my husband handled our family meeting and our spat, for my sake and my home, I needed to stuff my pride and apologize.
When God said that two become one in marriage He literally meant that we injure our own flesh when we tear down our partner. When I take aim at my husband’s dignity, I may as well stab my own heart. This is why fighting hurts us so badly; when we get in the ring with our spouses, we really are beating our souls.
Let’s not forget our kids, I know what careless words and constant fighting does to a marriage and to the children that are unseemingly involved. I’m 30 years old, and still remember the fights of my parents so vividly. The selfishness, the hurt, and living in constant contention.
I want my children to learn how to resolve conflict and to build up their spouses, not tear them down. The enemy doesn’t need an affair or other major tragedy to tear apart a family, he just needs a few careless words, pride, and selfishness.
Want to be a good mom to your kids? Then teach them the art of saying, “Forgive me.” Walk out your heart’s message to your spouse in front of them. Treat your husband with respect, talk to him about the things he likes to talk about that bore you to tears (I can now design a grain bin in my sleep, and fish better than my hubby!) Refuse to stuff issues until it rattles the home like the next 7.2 earthquake on the rictor scale. Tell your kids what a hero their daddy is and for goodness sake, have sex with him; this alone will solve most problems. Be his fan. The best gift you can give to your children is a good marriage. (Did I mention, have sex with him?)
So little mama, I leave you with this, if you want your house to stand, love each other well.

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