“The parent who loves his children and takes pleasure in training them in right conduct gives the best possible testimonial to marriage.
On the other hand, the parent who constantly complains about his physical, financial or emotional burdens breaks down his youngster’s vision of marriage as a worthy state in life.”
– Rev. George A. Kelly
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I stumbled upon this passage above a month ago when reading, and it felt like getting hit with a two-by-four upside the head! LOL While I do strive to be the best mom I can be to our kids, enjoying teaching them and doing life with them, the overall quote felt convicting! The worst thing I think in my journey as a mother would be to rob my children of the hope and joy they should have at this age – by making them fear growing up and feeling like they won’t be able to handle whatever burdens or trials they’re supposed to carry later on.
But I never linked breaking a youngster’s vision of marriage as a worthy state in life, with complaining – it makes so much sense!
And of course it’s true, a complaining mother is a drain on everyone in the family, she sucks the joy and happiness out of life. Sure, life may be hard, but I can see how crucial it is to choose our attitude – something my husband taught me I think in our 2nd year of marriage from a book he had read in college.
Ironically, it was a book about work-ethic mentality, meant for people in the corporate world! But it was a great book for how to live one’s life in general, echoing sound biblical advice of doing one’s work with a cheerful attitude, putting other’s above yourself in “making their day” (making them elated!), and finding fulfillment in enjoying your work. It was interesting… to think one can change their whole experience of even their dire circumstances, by simply changing their attitude.
How Does a Mom Exhibit a Worthy Vision of Marriage?
Make it a point to have fun, and have fun with your children and husband often!!!
This is something that should be a given, however, I think our natural default as humans is to fall into complaining. Therefore we have to choose our attitude, no matter what is going on. And to tell you the truth, even if everything is going well, our sin nature masked in the temptation to complain can come out even then unfortunately.
With how busy life gets, or bogged down with various day-to-day tasks, hardships or even trials families go through, I am seeing how setting aside time for making joyous and happy memories together is a necessary engagement.
This means even if we’ve had a long week, and we had something fun scheduled at the end of it, we make sure to still do it, in lieu of staying at home and calling it an early night. We’ve found it’s so much more fun to go out together and experience our “fun” things, rather than just giving in the passivity of tiredness or even the kids’ moods.
Love your husband well… and openly… and at every opportunity!!!
It is sad to me that this still needs to be said, but nothing makes children happier and more at peace than seeing and knowing how in love their parents are, and how much fun they have together and with them.
I think it is the secret recipe for a blissful family life overall. Not that hard things don’t come, or heartbreaking tragedies, but even in the midst of these in our life together, we’ve found that the love and joy between us, carries us through those times much easier than it would be if we didn’t have that in our marriage.
Complaining or bad attitudes in general just makes everything harder, less fun, and definitely less loving. This is true whether at work, school, in friendships, but probably especially within a marriage and around one’s children, who see them as they are all the time.
One of my favorite books of the Bible is Philippians, because it is the book on how to have joy in one’s life. This passage comes to mind whenever I find myself tempted to complain:
“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine as lights in the world as you hold forth the word of life, in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.”
I want my children to have a good vision of what a worthy marriage looks like, however human we may be.