Can staying married make you a better parent? Absolutely — in most circumstances!
“I don’t think you should stay married just for your kids,” came a snarky comment from a high school friend.
This was the same friend who was floored to find out I was getting married after only one semester in college.
And to be fair, I don’t recommend getting married at a super young age.
I teach my kids to pray about their future spouse and God’s timing.
Marriage is a life-long commitment and should be entered into prayerfully — and with a heart full of dedication.
But before we dig into this topic, I want to give you a gift for your marriage journey!
Checkout my FREE marriage kit below for wives who want to build and protect strong marriages!
Back to our topic!
God’s plan for marriage has always been a simple one.
One woman and one man for one lifetime.
Even young children can understand that!
With God’s merciful help and abundant grace, I am staying married to my one and only — and we will be celebrating 18 years of marriage this year!
It’s not been easy (Doesn’t everyone say this— ha!) and we have had many differences, but both of us have chosen to stay married to each other.
And yes, it has made us better parents.
Let’s be open and honest about the marriage and divorce issue.
My heart literally breaks for marriages that end up in divorce.
Everyone gets hurt — everyone.
The damage that stems form a divorce is brutal and catastrophic.
Divorce is caused by sin, lies, deception and selfishness.
Sometimes it’s both the husband and the wife who causes the divorce.
Sometimes it is only one person in the wrong.
I know several ladies that are faithful to God, their church and their kids.
They loved their husbands and did all they could to work things out.
They even forgave their husband’s adultery, addiction to pornography and even physical abuse.
One of them still tears up today (twenty years later) when she tells me about all the pain and suffering she went through.
Those women loved their husbands, their kids and their God.
They wanted to stay married.
They wanted to give their kids a home with two ever-present, loving parents.
But their spouses chose another path.
Their spouses chose sin and selfishness over family.
And for those sweet friends of mine, I cry and pray.
Those sweet moms deserved so much better, but are having to go on with life while trying to glue all the pieces of their shattered families back together.
To those moms, I say you are an awesome mom.
You are a strong mom who will always be an example of someone who did all she could do to save her marriage.
You, sweet moms, are not the subject of this article.
You know firsthand that life for your children is better when the mom and dad remain faithful to each other and choose to work through their differences.
But, circumstances happened beyond your control and you are doing the best you can — and God will bless and help you.
And I thank you for continuing to love your children and your God, even through the toughest of trials.
You, sweet moms, are my heroes.
You really are.
But for the moms who flippantly walk away from your marriages over “irreconcilable differences,” I would love to have a chat with you.
And I also have a very direct and raw article written to the wife who wants to leave. You can read it here.
Let’s lay it all out.
Marriage is tough.
Marriage is full of amazing experiences and high mountaintops.
But marriage can also be a gut-wrenching, sobbing all night kind of experience.
Sooner of later your spouse will fail you.
And they may do so quite miserably.
Sometimes your spouse may morph into some creature that you never knew existed.
What do you do then?
Do you walk away so you can start all over?
Let me let you in on a little secret.
As much as I wish that you could start all over — you can’t.
You have already made vows, you have become one flesh and you are now a parent.
You can’t throw those things away and start over.
They are a part of your life now, and you can’t just “let it go.”
But, you know what?
Not everyone is telling you to walk away from your marriage.
In fact, I am thrilled that there are people all across the internet that focus on encouraging husbands and wives in their marriage.
Right now I am teaching my kids this: marriage is made up of two sinners.
Your husband/wife will mess up.
You will hurt them.
It’s hard to even imagine those circumstances when you are enjoying your wedding ceremony and the first year of marriage.
But the sooner my kids realize this truth, the better.
Children need truth, stability and constant love and affection in their life.
They also need examples of real marriages that include real problems.
You can offer that to your child if you choose to stay married.
And you can offer them so much more!
Consider these advantages your children will have if you choose to stay married to your spouse.
Why Staying Married Can Make You a Better Parent
- Kids learn faithfulness. If your child brings home a bad grade from school, do you disown him and walk away? Nope.
You and your best friend have a fuss, do you never call her back? Do you shove her out of your life like yesterday’s garbage? No, that’s kind of insane.
Why would you want to divorce your spouse if they continually forget your birthday or lose their job?
What if they lose their cool and yell at you?
Do you call it quits?
No, you remain faithful to your spouse and work through your relationship issues.
You get help when you need it, but you remain faithful. And these five boundaries every marriage should have will help both of you do just that!
You stand by your spouse in the good days and the bad days.
You strive to keep your wedding vows, even if you forget to cherish your spouse all the days of your life — which you will.
- Kids enjoy balance in the home. When you choose to stay married, your children grow up with the balance of female and male guidance in their life.
They really need both.
Your husband is the strong male figure that enforces and sets the rules.
You are the soft and loving arms that welcome the skinned knees and tummy aches.
Your husband takes them fishing, plays basketball with them and teaches them how to ride a bike.
You fold their clothes, give them fashion advice and listen to their innermost thoughts.
Yes , your kids have it made when they have a mom and dad in the home to give them the exact baalance they need to be prepared for adult life.
- Everyone gets to enjoy the holidays — together. Isn’t it stressful to be split up over the holidays?
My husband’s parents are divorced and that can make holidays stressful.
Sometimes we have to choose t spend Christmas with this family and Thanksgiving with the other family. It can be quite a balancing act!
One of the best parts of the holidays is that everyone gets to spend time together — without work, school and other distractions.
If the family has divorced family members, that special oneness is now scattered across the country.
- Kids have a higher self-worth. Parents may often emphasize that it’s not the child’s fault when a divorce happens.
However, words can’t dictate a child’s most innermost thoughts and reactions.
Many adults I have spoken with on this topic tell me that they have always wondered what was wrong with them.
Why did their mom or dad leave? < em>Why didn’t they love them enough to stay?
Were they not smart enough, prety enough or talented enough?
There is no doubt that your child will experience negative effects if you choose to divorce.
Show your child he does matter by choosing to stay married, even when things are shaky and tough.
- Kids are less likely to get involved in drugs and crime. According to this study children from divorced homes are more likely to get involved in drugs and commit suicide.
Now, that’s a sobering thought.
- You provide your child with a more financially stable home. Splitting the income in half, paying lawyer bills, childcare costs and the extra travel to and from the other parent’s home can wreck havoc on a family’s finances.
Two are better than one — even in the financial area of marriage.
- Kids learn that you keep your promises. Your kids need someone they can trust.
If they see you walking away from one of the biggest promises you made in your life, how do they know you will keep the smaller ones?
Will you really be there for them when they need you?
Do you really believe what you teach?
If you choose to stay married, kids will see that what you teach and say is truly what you believe.
Though your marriage isn’t perfect, you have chosen to stick to your promise and not to depart from your spouse until death.
If your marriage is broken, take it to the Master Potter and let him fix it. <3
- Kids have an honest, positive view on marriage. If your child grows up seeing how your marriage was ripped to shreds, saw other spouses come into the picture and saw how your body shook with sobs everytime you saw your ex-husband with someone else, it will be difficult to provide a happy, positive view of marriage.
Some marriages can’t stay together because one spouse refuses to make amends, but if you can hold onto your marriage, I encourage you ride out the storms.
When the storms are over, you can enjoy the peace and companionship of the one you committed your life to on your wedding day.
And you know what else?
You can look at your child and honestly say, “Marriage is tough, but it can also be a wonderful, amazing gift to enjoy on this earth.”
And because we’re passionate about marriage, we want to invite you to join our 10 DAY marriage fix course! It’s free and it’s sent straight to your inbox! Change your marriage today for the better! <3
If you’re having doubts about staying in your marriage, may I encourage you to keep working and praying about it?
God sees your trials and He will hear your prayers.
He can work in you and your spouse’s heart, and turn them once again to each other.
Choose to stay married and be the better parent your child deserves.
And I have one more special note to wives:
Are you struggling with loving your husband?
Do you love your husband and just want to re-ignite the flames in your marriage?
Do you desire to keep the spark of love and like alive in your marriage?
I’ve poured all my best marriage encouragement into one book for wives who are serious about loving their no good, very bad husbands.
No, not all our husbands are THAT bad,but many times our hearts and others start to lean towards that opinion.
And yes,whatever your situation, you can learn to love your husband more passionately than ever before!
Learn more about this powerful, marriage-changing book here!