Where did we get the idea that getting married = happily ever after? I blame Disney. All the movies end after the wedding! Ariel gets married, the end. Cinderella - married, the end. Aladdin and Jasmine tie the knot and boom - movie over. Same thing in Tangled, Sleeping Beauty, Robin Hood and even Lady and the Tramp (kind of..he gets a collar!)
The fact is, marriage is hard work sometimes. There is too much to do, and only the two of us to do it, and frequently, we have different ideas of who should do what. Huge amounts of compromise and forgiveness are needed in any successful marriage.
And I want my kids to know that. But I don't want to scare or worry them. How do you do that?
I NEVER saw my parents fight. In fact, I was in college when I first remember seeing my mom mad enough that she didn't answer my dad when he said "I love you" as he left the house. I cried all the way back to my college. I called as soon as I got there and asked my mom if she and daddy were OK. She sounded confused when she answered yes. Turns out it was a small argument of no real consequence.
I want my kids to be prepared for the fact that God uses marriage in wonderful ways to get rid of a great deal of our selfishness. I want them to know that disagreeing doesn't mean that you don't love one another. I want them to know that sometimes you may go to bed angry. Some times you might not like each other for a bit, but you can still love each other and work through it. I want them to not be as bewildered as I felt in the early years of our marriage. I want them to be better equipped.
But I don't want to try them like adults and reveal to them every discussion that gets heated in our house. I don't think it is helpful for them to know all the inner workings of our marriage. Kids need stability, so I don't ever want them to feel that our home isn't solid. There are so many things that they do have to worry about, homework, bullies and peer pressure are all things they MUST deal with now, and I don't want to add to the stress.
How do you balance educating and equipping versus scaring and stressing? I'd love to hear your thoughts!