It seems that at some point in a literature class, I read a story that was centered around an arranged marriage. I remember thinking as a teenager that was ridiculous. Now as a parent of teenagers my perspective has changed and arranged marriages seem quite reasonable. I know that it’s really not possible for me to select exactly who my children will marry. However, I also don’t plan to simply be a spectator.
Who we marry is likely the second (behind accepting Christ as our Savior) most important decision we will ever make. A great marriage has such an overall positive impact on our lives. My life is a great example of this reality. I married over my head, a home run; what a blessing Emily has been/is to me. I can’t imagine life without her. As parents, we can’t completely arrange who our kids will marry but we can help prepare them for this giant decision.
- Pray for their future spouse. Emily and I pray for Zach’s future wife and Maggie’s future husband. We ask God to protect and bless their lives. Truthfully, I pray that they are incredible – at least by my standards.
- Start talking with your kids about marriage. Talk with your kids about the significance of the decision regarding who they will marry. (I am making an assumption they will marry but it is certainly possible they won’t). Talk about the truth of scripture regarding marriage. Talk about the God honoring qualities that are possible in a future mate.
- Establish early, your guidelines about dating. Critical conversations like the ones I am describing in this blog are based on a foundation of a great relationship with our kids. Without that foundation conversations about marriage & dating can be a mess. Emily and I have established a few key guidelines regarding dating.
- Don’t date anyone you could not see yourself marrying. This begins with this person having a relationship with the Lord.
- Don’t worry about making your kids want to start dating. Many more problems will start too early. (In case you’re wondering, I think 25 is a good round number. Just kidding!)
I won’t be arranging my kids marriages but it’s too big a decision with a profound impact, not to provide as much wisdom and guidance as possible. What do you think?