Healthy marriages are foundational for a thriving society. But our children
don’t necessarily hear that message in the media, learn it at school or even receive teaching about this at church. Many young people are being challenged and are forming ideas about marriage that are contrary to God’s initial design. So how do parents – and grandparents, teachers, church leaders and mentors – help our children understand what marriage is and why it matters?
When we look around, it’s very easy to see brokenness in the world, especially when it relates to marriage.
• Divorce. Many of us know the devastating effects when a marriage is broken – whether it’s our own, our parents’, other family members’ or our friends’.
• Fatherlessness. The effects of fatherlessness in families go far and wide. Fatherlessness includes not just incarcerated fathers, single mothers, but also fathers who are absent from the home physically and emotionally because of their work and career.
• Marriage redefinition. While Singapore defines marriage as being between one man and one woman, many other countries have redefined marriage and legalised same-sex marriage. The push to decriminalise homosexual acts in Singapore continues.
• Cohabitation. Many singles choose to move in together, instead of marrying. But research shows “living together” actually threatens marital success, and women and children are at greater risk in these situations.
• Premarital Sex. Sex is holy and good. What God intended for marriage has become casual and the idea of purity and chastity is mocked at or taken lightly.
Don’t wait till your children are teens or young adults to talk to them about the value of marriage. Train your children at any age and at any life stage in the way they should go, and even when they grow old, they will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).
Toddlers and preschoolers
• God is so wise! He wants all children to be safe and secure. That’s why He created marriage between the man and the woman – a mommy and daddy – so children are loved and cared for.
• Just like dads and moms, boys and girls are different. Both are special, both are good, and both are made to reflect God’s image.
Read Bible stories
From Genesis through Revelation, the Bible shows marriage as very good. Some stories to highlight and talk about: Creation and the first marriage (Adam and Eve); Noah and the male-female pairs of animals; Abraham finding a wife for Isaac; Ruth and Boaz; Jesus and the wedding at Cana.
Primary school children
• God is the perfect Father – we can respond in thankfulness for good things He gives us.
• We are made in His image and likeness, created to reflect Him.
• We can help others who don’t have a mom and a dad.
Research and discuss together
February 14 is celebrated as Valentine’s Day all over the world. But who was St. Valentine? Valentine was a priest who lived during the reign
of an evil Roman emperor known as Claudius the Cruel. Valentine defied the emperor’s decree and performed Christian marriages. As a result, he was beaten, stoned and beheaded.
• Why do you think marriage is so important?
• What good things come from marriage?
• Why do you think St. Valentine was willing to disobey the emperor and perform Christian marriages, knowing he could die for his actions?
Teenagers and young adults
Watch and discuss movies together
Movies like Fireproof and Courageous by Sherwood Pictures and Irreplaceable by Focus on the Family come with small group discussion guides that families can use to discuss issues, ask questions and challenge popular worldview.
Many families, teens and young adults gave feedback that they have benefited from The Truth Project, a DVD-based small group curriculum that acts as a starting point for looking at life from a biblical perspective and discusses the relevance and importance of living the Christian worldview in daily life.
God’s design for sex, marriage and family is the answer this broken world is looking for. Start by passing the Master’s blueprints and manual for family to your children and your grandchildren.
Used by permission of Focus on the Family Singapore (www.family.org.sg), a local charity dedicated to helping families thrive through differentiated programs, trusted resources and family counselling.
© 2015 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.
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