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5 Ways Your Marriage Might be a Bad Example for Your Kids

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Episode Summary

God’s intent is that marriage bears His image to the world and that begins in your home. In this episode, Isaac and Angie expose five potential ways your marriage might be a bad example to your children and encouragement for how to experience true change and redeem your mistakes.

Today’s episode is on five ways your marriage might be a bad example for your kids. We are going to give very practical tips and scriptures that will help you navigate what a biblical marriage should look like!

Romans 12:2 says “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

This is a signature verse. We have shared it many times and we are sharing it again because it is one of the verses that Courageous Parenting is anchored on.

It takes renewing of our minds to receive the biblical truth, apply it to our lives and not just be like the rest of the culture!

This renewing of our minds doesn’t just happen one time. It takes a constant flow of biblical truth so that our minds can continue to be renewed and not just fall back to our fleshly ways.

The race of being faithful to God isn’t over as long as we still live on earth and to run the race well we need to be continuously in the word, talking to God and walking with brothers and sisters in Christ.

So let’s dive in!

5 Ways Your Marriage Might be a Bad Example for Your Kids

  1. Taking Credit

  2. Apologizing

  3. Communication

  4. Gossip

  5. Friendship

 1. Taking Credit

  • God hears all prayers. God answers all prayers. Sometimes the answer is no, sometimes it’s yes but not right now, and sometimes He answers our prayers in the way we want him to. Don’t you think God is more likely to say yes to you when you are doing it to build His kingdom? God will only grant us things when it’s in His will, and if you are asking God for something but the purpose of your request is to just make you happy or to build your own kingdom God is most likely not going to give you what you want! 
  • When He answers your prayer and gives you what you asked for but you take credit for it instead of giving Him the glory don’t you think He might be a little upset? God is a jealous God and He wants to be glorified!
  • A question that is very important to ask ourselves on a regular basis is “Can God trust me?” because if you are taking credit for things that He is doing in your life or through you then the reality is that He might not be able to trust you and if He can’t trust you then why would He ever give you what you want? God needs to be able to trust us to give Him glory. 
  • Now, you may be wondering how this plays into parenting, well, first of all, kids see everything and let us just say, for example, you make an amazing business decision that ends up being very profitable, do you want your kids to say “Oh, wow! Mom or Dad, you are very wise!” or do you want them to say, “Wow! Mom or Dad, it’s so cool that God trusts you with this amazing blessing. You asked in faith and He answered you!”  
  •  What about plagiarism? It’s the same thing! Do we take wisdom from the Bible, change a few words and then say it’s our wisdom? Do we read a book and then rewrite the same thing only in different words, taking the credit from the person who deserves it? 
  • In everything we do, we should be pointing back to God, and when our children see us doing that, they catch onto the vision that life is not about building our own kingdoms, but it’s about giving God credit because He is the author and creator of everything!
  • While it is most important that we don’t take credit away from God it is also very important that we don’t do it to each other. An example of this may be taking someone’s idea and speaking of it like it’s your own idea. If you can’t respect other people and give them credit when they deserve it then how do you expect to be able to give God credit? If you arent giving God credit then how can you expect your kids to?
  • Romans 13:7 says “Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.”

2. Apologizing

  • We must apologize. How often do your kids see you and your spouse apologizing? If your children have a hard time apologizing to each other or other people maybe its because they are not seeing it lived out in your marriage and they don’t have an example set before them. You are the ultimate example to your kids and they will mimic everything you do. Do your kids see you being humble to your spouse and admitting when you are wrong? It is also important to apologize to your kids when you wrong them. 
  • Proverbs 20:7 says “The righteous man walks in his integrity;
  • His children are blessed after him.”
  • Hebrews 12:14-15 says “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;”
  • A root of bitterness can destroy you and the conflicting relationship, which is why it is so vital that we apologize, lead by example, and do not expect anything in return. Is there any bitterness in your marriage? If you have bitterness in your marriage you could be hurting your children! 

3. Communication

  • Communication is a big deal and there are few aspects to it, true communication includes both talking and listening. 
  • It is important to study our spouses and understand them so that we can make them feel treasured and loved, everyone is different and what makes you feel loved may not be the thing that makes your spouse feel loved. 
  • Communication is key and your kids must witness communication in your marriage because like everything else you do it sets an example for them and it shows them that you love each other and desire to talk to each other! 
  • It’s okay to go out on dates alone or discuss things in a private room, in fact, it is necessary sometimes, but if your children never witness communication and the love you have for each other it could be tragic for your family!
  • If you want your kids to be slow to speak, quick to listen, then you need to do the same and set an example of it for them in your marriage and how you interact with other people. 
  • It is also important to assume virtue in each other. And that means not assuming what someone is about to say, more importantly, not assuming that they are going to say something negative. Assuming virtue is assuming the best of a person. 
  • Romans 12:10 says “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;”
  • Ephesians 4:29 says “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”

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4. Gossip

  • Here’s the question, in your marriage do you talk about other people in front of your kids? 
  • A lot of people will justify that they are venting to their spouse because they are one and they need to have the same mindset and they need each other’s wisdom. Now, sometimes it is appropriate to discuss such things with your spouse but none of it, unless it is super positive should be talked about in front of your kids. 
  • Of course, sometimes you do need wisdom when you are dealing with something like a tear in a relationship, in fact, the bible says to seek wise counsel, however, are you doing it in a way that it may be tainting your spouses view of a certain individual, can they handle that, and again, don’t do it in front of your kids!
  • James 1:26 says “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.”
  • We’ve got to make sure that what is coming out of our mouths is pure, good, and wholesome. Our kids follow our example, do we want our children gossiping about other people, or gossiping about their friends, or each other? 

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5. Friendship 

  • One of the areas that your marriage might be a bad example for your kids is friendship. Are you and your spouse friends? Do you and your spouse enjoy communicating with each other, do you enjoy spending time together and doing things together? 
  • Do you treat your spouse the same or even better than you treat your closest friends? We should model friendship with our marriages, and model what we want our kid’s future marriages to look like. 
  • Here’s the big question. Can you look at your kids and say “follow our example?” dads, can you say to your sons “follow my lead, this is how you be a great husband.” and mothers, can you look at your daughters and say “follow my lead, this is how to be a great wife.” 
  • If this is convicting, guess what conviction is good for, conviction is good for change and growth. 
  • This is courageous parenting, thanks for joining us, see you next time!

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Scripture In This Episode:

Romans 12:2 – “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Romans 13:7 – “Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.”

Proverbs 20:7 –The righteous man walks in his integrity;
His children are blessed after him.”

Hebrews 12:14-15 –Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:  looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;”

Romans 12:10 –Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;”

Ephesians 4:29 – “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”

James 1:26 – “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.”

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Written By Angie Tolpin
Angie has been married to Isaac for 19 years and together they have eight children, whom she homeschools. She is the Founder of CourageousMom.com, a doula, the author of the best-selling book Redeeming Childbirth, and the creator of the first ever Christian Postpartum Course. Angie loves ministering to Women and has created a few online Bible Studies on Biblical Friendship and Motherhood.

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