Posted in Marriage, Parenting

Preparing Our Children for Marriage

We live in a society that is fixated on relationships. Specifically, romantic relationships. And I have two teenagers in my house, one of whom is a natural romantic.

In all honesty, arranged marriages are looking more and more tempting.

Is there a way to prepare our children for marriage?

Despite the arranged marriage temptation, my husband and I have chosen a different route. We have chosen to prepare our children for marriage. Yes, I know they are still young. But, what if we can shape their thoughts now, before the relationship temptations hit? Allow me, if you will, to share a couple of thoughts with you.

Teach Surrender to God’s Plans

I love talking to my children about Christmas and birthdays. For years, they never had a list of requests. That gave us a clean slate to direct their desires and interests. Now, they frequently have desires, but most of their requests tend to be thought-out. While they occasionally express frivolous desires, my children typically want useful things or pleasures that will have long-term delight. They want the desires that we have taught them to have.

This training also involves teaching them to hunger for the things God wants them to have, promoting a natural hunger for God’s will. They may still fall prey to adolescent puppy love crushes. But ultimately, a hunger for God’s perfect plan will remain the foundational drive for their desires, whether that includes marriage or not.

Teach a Right Attitude About Relationships

It is important to teach our children that all relationships are a gift from God, provided by Him to fill a need. And yes, marriage is a need when it is a part of God’s plan. But we greatly limit need fulfillment when every relationship with the opposite sex revolves around determining whether or not that person fills the marriage need.

It is so much better to teach our children how to honor God to the best of their abilities in every single relationship. When our children approach relationships with that mentality, they will be stronger when the romantic inclinations creep in. They will naturally pray for protection, direction, and guidance to help them meet the needs of their friends. And those prayers will form a hedge of protection around their hearts.

The desire for romantic relationships probably will not go away. But, our children will know that those desires, like any other thought or desire, must be held in submission to God’s will for the relationship.

No Guarantees-Just Trust

Now, I know that the real world is still out there. Temptations are strong, and no amount of teaching will guarantee that none of my children will fall prey to those temptations. But working to ingrain these thought patterns in the minds of our children will definitely point them in the right direction.

And if that doesn’t work, we can always fall back on the arranged marriage idea.

Originally published at wellplannedgal.com. Republished with permission. 

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Posted in Family, Parenting, Reviews, Tricia Goyer

Calming Angry Kids

I love sharing books. I often have a list of books that I want to keep extras of on hand so I can loan or give them away. But, typically those books fit a targeted audience. Wives. Moms. Young women. Those who love historical fiction or fantasy or some other specific genre. Recently, though, I had the privilege of reading a book that I wanted to share with everyone.

Calming Angry Kids comes from the pen of prolific author Tricia Goyer. But, Calming Angry Kids was not just the next great book idea in a list of many. Instead, this particular endeavor was the result of tears, heartache, and pure determination. It was written with her skill as an author, but the credit goes to an entire family who chose to fight the fight and not give up. They chose to push through until they could see beauty birthed from the victory of overcoming the pure ugliness of anger. As much as I love reading everything that Tricia writes, I can honestly say that none of her books come close to the powerful message of Calming Angry Kids. And it seems others agree. Weeks before its scheduled October 1 release, Tricia shared the news that her book had already entered its third printing!

So, what is so powerful about Calming Angry Kids? Tricia doesn’t just speak from the perspective of a mom who has been there, although that would be a fitting description. She also doesn’t speak only from a clinical voice, although she has read exhaustively enough and interacted with enough professionals on the topic that she probably should be handed a degree! Instead, she combines the two concepts, delving into the psychology behind understanding anger at its very source while simultaneously offering help that is more than just clinical – it works in real life. In fact, it worked in her very real life.

The Goyers’ story is one of adoption and dealing with anger birthed from childhood trauma. It is a powerful story, and one that I know will help equip, strengthen, and encourage many adoptive parents. But, to say that Calming Angry Kids is only useful for adoptive parents – or even only for parents – is short selling the value of this book. This is about relationships. It is about understanding what causes others to behave in hurtful anger. What causes them to push away the very love they so greatly crave. My best friend regularly reminds me that “hurting people hurt people,” and that simple phrase fits beautifully with the message of Calming Angry Kids. When we find ways to work through our immediate emotional responses and choose instead to act out of truth, we can conquer the anger that plagues not only our children and others we come into contact with, but ourselves as well.

Calming Angry Kids is not a be-all, end-all solution to anger issues that plague our homes and our lives. But, it is a resource that shines a light in dark places, sharing tools and resources that will point us in the right direction. It encourages us to keep fighting even when victory seems impossible. It helps us to know that there is no shame in admitting that we need help. And it reminds us that there really is hope, even in a relationship that seems to be consumed by anger.

Yes, Calming Angry Kids is definitely a book I will readily and wholeheartedly recommend, not only to parents but to anyone struggling to find victory in a relationship haunted by anger.

Click here to read chapter one of Calming Angry Kids.