3 Ways to Prepare Your Teens for a Healthy Marriage

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Something strange has happened. I suddenly have two young women staring me in the eye each day. Where are my little girls who used to grab me around the waist and throw their heads back in order to see my face? My girls are growing up too fast. Cliche, I know. But I’m more aware with each passing day that my time to shape their hearts and minds is nearing the end of the race. I find myself asking the Lord, “What do I need to do to prepare them for the rest of their life?”

I want to love them deeply but launch them purposefully.

When I consider their future, I can’t help but think of marriage, especially because I entered mine anything but prepared! I was weighed down with baggage loaded with shame, guilt, and foolish choices. I spent the first seven years feeling the effects of my past decisions and wrecking havoc on our relationship, mostly because I didn’t have any clue on how to love well, show respect, live humbly, or walk in forgiveness.

3 Ways to Prepare Your Children for a Healthy Marriage

If it is the Lord’s will for my children to marry, then I want to prepare them as best as I humanly {ahem, imperfectly} can. This goal starts with prayer, but also includes looking for ways to naturally impart biblical principles as they apply to everyday relationships.

3 Ways to Prepare Your Children for a Healthy Marriage

1. Cast a Vision for Purity

In terms of pressure, purity is probably the number one challenges tweens and teens face not only from their peers but also because of their natural, God-given desires. Like any of us facing temptation, not talking about it can be the worst thing we do, so taking the time to engage in the conversation can be a gift of grace to our kids. While listening to their comments and asking questions, we can also seize the moment to cast a vision for God’s design for them to remain pure and keep their marriage bed holy. (Hebrews 13:4).

2.  Apply the Principles of Love and Respect

The principles of love and respect found in Scripture pave the way for a successful marriage and paints the picture of what to look for in a spouse. But boy, is it counter-cultural. By studying Ephesians 5:21-33 together, you can help your tween/teen discover what to look for in a spouse, brainstorm ways to begin living like that man/woman today, and discuss how to make love and respect the way you interact with others every day.

3. Model Forgiveness & Repentance

The key to any successful relationship is forgiveness (Colossians 3:13). Learning how to own your sin, repent from wrong behavior, and extend forgiveness requires practice. Encourage your teen to live this way with their peers and siblings, and also set the example for your tweens and teens by seeking their forgiveness when you’ve wronged them as you follow through with true repentance.

It is never too early to prepare our children for marriage, since the goal is to cultivate in them character traits built on biblical principles that can be applied to every relationship. But let’s be honest. These principles are challenging for all of us.  Purity, love, respect, forgiveness, and repentance are things our flesh prefer to reject. Yet because of God’s grace and power at work in each of us who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord, we can trust Him to enable us to be an example to our children.

*I encourage you to download this resource for ideas on how to talk with your tweens/teens about relationships.

Blessings,

Elisa, More to Be