Teach Your Kids the TRUTH about Romantic Love, Podcast & Blog, Episode 72
Click to Listen to Episode 72, The Truth for Kids about Romantic Love. What are Your Kids Learning about Love & Relationships & Marriage?
"First, WE guard our children's hearts. Then we teach THEM to guard their hearts. This episode will help you learn to do both." - Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM in Episode 72, What is Your Child Learning about LOVE & Relationships & Marriage?
If you’re anything like me, you have a whole list of things you know are very important to teach your children – essential truths that you long for their hearts to know before they grow up and begin life on their own.
I wish I had MORE time in my days to huddle up with my kiddos to transfer as many of those essential truths as they need before they go.
There’s never enough time to download all of my heart to their hearts in the eighteen years I’ve got them.
Side note, you’re going to miss some things. We need to aim high and squish a lot of wisdom into these years, but we aren’t going to squeeze it all in and that’s where God comes in. He’s the Great Gap-Filler – you know all those gaps of imperfection or shortcomings in your parenting, No worries, He’s got your back! He is going to teach them plenty of lessons without you. Now, with that being said, we want to do all we can to make the most of every opportunity.
When I'm publishing this podcast & blog, it is six days before Valentines Day. And that means we've got six whole days to make the most of this annual opportunity to shape their perspective about love & marriage.
Teaching our children the right views about love and marriage is one of the primary areas of life that they need the most wisdom downloads given.
There’s two reasons why I think it is so critical that we spend time on this topic
1.The world is pummeling our kids constantly with lots of lies about love
2. For most people, who they love and how they love will shape the moments of their lives more than almost any other aspect of their life. As parents, we must be intentional about shaping our kids' view of love and marriage.
If you look all around us and if you listen to all the messages, you will hear a constant bombardment of false messages in our society about love and about relationships and about marriage. Our kids see unhealthy relationships depicted in just about every movie out there today.
Don't even get me started on pop culture music lyrics and the love messages they send! Then our kids get to see and experience many broken relationships all around them.
That’s a lot of information they’re taking in that is not setting them up for successful relationships.
❔How are you doing at
*limiting the bad relationship messages your child is receiving
*correcting the messages they couldn’t escape,
*and filling them with helpful, life-giving TRUTH about how HEALTHY relationships should look and of what healthy relationships CONSIST.
I want to give you some action items to help you take advantage of the upcoming Valentine holiday to teach your kids about love and marriage.
✔1. Look up some of the unusual-to-you wedding traditions from around the world and then help them understand that no matter what traditions or laws may come and go regarding marriage, ultimately, God’s design for marriage is timeless. (If you listen to this podcast episode, we share some very funny examples of wedding traditions from around the world. Click here to listen to episode 72).
✔2. Watch a movie that incorporates love and marriage and compare the actions in the movie to God’s design. The movies I share here have wholesome, good examples while also contain examples of how NOT to do relationships. They are all family friendly, of course.
Cinderella 2015 Starring Lily James, Directed by Kenneth Branagh
Emma 1996 Starring Gwyneth Paltrow Directed by Douglas McGrath
Sense & Sensibility 1995 Starring Emma Thompson & Kate Winslow
Careful! Not all the versions of these stories are good examples. That's why I share specific versions above.
Admittingly, all of those are some what chick-flicks, but I had my three sons suffer through them anyway. Mostly because I didn't know good guy shows that had good examples of love & marriage in them. If you know some, I do hope you'll let me know so I can update this list!
Let’s think for a minute about where our kids are getting their beliefs about marriage:
-From what they observe on screens and books and songs. SO, are we going to talk about all of those examples with our kids? It takes time to do that. We’re not going to catch every one of those opportunities but we need to be aware, tuned in, and teach them to be on the alert.
-From what they experience in their lives – the marriages and comments about marriage from parents, grandparents, friends' parents, and from the news about our government and laws.
❔How do we counter culture when it comes to love and marriage?
DISCUSS & DISCUSS SOME MORE
💫If your children are old enough, talk about the current laws in our nation and how they’ve changed over the last few decades. You could talk about how the laws affect life. And how those laws compare to the word of God.
While we’re talking about God’s design of marriage, here’s a few more things to teach them, if you believe the Bible is the divine word of God:
💫1st point: God made marriage so that we could have an earthly example of how Christ loves the church and gave his life for her and how He went to prepare a place for us in heaven. There’s so much to talk about this. There’s so much in scripture that is a beautiful love story of how Christ loves us.
💫2nd point: Marriage is sacred because it is a reflection of God and was designed by Him, our creator. It is designed to be a life-long commitment and it takes many years of growing up to help us get to that place in our character where we can care so selflessly about another person.
💫A friend of mine reads the Love chapter of the Bible often with her kids. That is I Cor 13. It’s a list of words that describe what love is. It also makes a wonderful list for us as parents to focus on with our for kids character development. These qualities that are mentioned in I Cor 13 are a wonderful list for family relationships, sibling relationships, friendships, even relationships with teachers and bosses and co-workers. I Corinthians 13 is a fabulous relationship manual for life. And all of those relationships that I just mentioned, those are practice, for perhaps the most significant relationship of your child’s life – their marriage. Work together with your kids, enlist them in the journey of development of their ability to love well.
💫3rd Point: Marriage is a great blessing from God that brings us comfort, joy, stability, companionship. The message from the world is that marriage is a burden, a noose, an imposition. It's going to take some work on our part to offset that view from infiltrating our kids' hearts.
💫4th Point: Marriage is Selfless, not Selfish. The world is constantly teaching our children that love and therefore marriage as well is something you enter into selfishly – “Let your feelings lead you,” the world says. “If it feels good it can’t be wrong.” “God wants me to be happy and this relationship will make me happy, so I know it’s fine with God.” “I can’t help myself, I just want this so badly.” In contrast, God's design is that love is ACTIONS that bless someone else and COMMITMENT that safeguards your bond. This requires selflessness, not selfishness.
There’s so much more I want to say about this. I will just end with this but we're busy moms! In the coming weeks I’ll be doing a couple of podcast episodes on preparing our children’s heart for romance and love and marriage. I hope you'll be watching for those. Be sure to register for my FREE Monday emails that contain my podcast, blog, and occasional encouragement newsletter for intentional moms. To subscribe, simply enter your email at the end of this page and you'll be on my email list!
Finally, my dear mom friends, I especially want to give you this simple principle for equipping our kids' regarding love and marriage:
First, we parents guard their hearts.
Then we teach them to guard their own hearts.
Are you familiar with the story of St Valentine? Since Valentines is coming soon, it is the perfect opportunity to teach your children about this man who loved God's love. More accurately, he knew the value of marriage and gave his life for it. Click here to watch this cartoon with your kiddos about the story of St. Valentine.
RESOURCES FROM VAL
I have two resources to help families improve on LOVING each other.