Yesterday, as I was dropping my daughter off at the local high school we had a rather startling conversation about marital commitment. We had been talking about one of her friends whose parents had just separated. The transition had been tough on her friend. Separation, strained living situations and the drama surrounding the family was supplanting what every teen looks forward to: their grade-twelve year. Hurt and betrayal overshadowed grad-class celebrations.
Pulling into the school parking lot, I repeated something to my daughter that I am sure she has heard me say countless times. “You know my dear,” I said with calm assurance, “that is one thing you never have to worry about with dad and me. We will never leave each other. We will never get a divorce.”
In the brief second before she stepped out of the car, she turned her body so that her eyes looked straight into mine. “That is exactly what my friend’s parents had said to her”.
She opened the car door and left…. but not before I tried to get more words in. Still, my words sounded hollow, weak, and even overbearing. “Oh, it’ll never happen to us” ran through my mind, but instantly there was the realization that all the confident posturing in the world can not protect a young heart from the fear and disillusionment that lives in a society that doesn’t know how to keep its promises.
So, what do you do when you can’t seem to be heard? I’d suggest yelling. And yell it loud!
Everyday let your kids see you “yelling” your commitment to each other. Obviously I am not talking about elevated voice levels, but through words of affirmation and commitment. Let them hear you talk about your devotion to the family and the marriage covenant you made. Words are important, but often they are not enough.
Yell through your actions. Let your family see you treat each other with respect and love. Show it in your schedule, creating time for each other. There is nothing like a date night to say to your kids – we are committed. Marriage retreats, reading marriage books even displays of affection can solidify the look and feel of commitment.
Chances are, every child at one time or another has wondered if their family will survive. Chances are, you might have even wondered yourself if your marriage is going to make . So, put everyone’s mind at ease. Start by committing yourself to each other. Through words and actions keep your commitment to each other loud and clear.
Tonight my husband and I are speaking at a marriage event. Guess what our topic is? Commitment.
Originally posted on dorisdoumaborn.wordpress.com . Used with permission.