The most important thing about parenting has nothing to do with parenting.
The primary component of raising our kids is how Mom and Dad love and respect each other.
The husband and wife’s relationship is key to allowing a child to mature with security and provides a solid platform to form personal faith and values. A marriage done God’s way allows children to see faith in action and sets the example of a loving relationship that has a really good chance of being replicated when it’s time for our children to experience love and marriage for themselves.
And a godly marriage is not just important when the kids are young; it’s just as important when our kids have kids of their own.
Robert McQuilkin exemplified this Parenting 101 love for his wife, even when she suffered from the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s. McQuilkin, who at the time was president of a Christian college, resigned to take care of his wife. Here’s what he wrote in his resignation letter.
My dear wife, Muriel, has been in failing mental health for about eight years. So far, I have been able to carry both her ever-growing needs and my leadership responsibilities…. But recently it has become apparent that Muriel is contented most of the time she is with me and almost none of the time I am away from her. It is not just “discontent.” She is filled with fear—even terror—that she has lost me and always goes in search of me when I leave home. Then she may be full of anger when she cannot get to me. So it is clear to me that she needs me now, full-time.
[This] decision was made, in a way, 42 years ago when I promised to care for Muriel “in sickness and in health . . . til death do us part.” So . . . as a man of my word, integrity has something to do with it. But so does fairness. She has cared for me fully and sacrificially all these years; if I cared for her for the next 40 years, I would not be out of debt. Duty, however, can be grim and stoic. But there is more; I love Muriel. She is a delight to me—her childlike dependence and confidence in me, her warm love, occasional flashes of that wit I used to relish so, her happy spirit and tough resistance in the face of her continued distressing frustration. I do not have to care for her; I get to! It is a high honor to care for so wonderful a person.
“Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25). Wives should love and respect their husbands (Ephesians 5:33). Read all the great books on parenting after you have read the Bible—THE Book on parenting – that reminds us the most important thing about raising our kids is not about our kids, it’s about doing marriage God’s way.
Fresh Faith Podcasts:
- Parenting – Part 1
- Parenting – Part 2
- God’s Design for Parenting – Part 1
- God’s Design for Parenting – Part 2
- The Bible Chapel Parenting Blog Posts
- The Journey Parenting Posts
- Nine Things to Pray for Children and Grandchildren
- Six Ways to Mentor Respect
- Family Devotions
- Three Things Parents Need to do Daily
- Love’s Three Ingredients
- Teaching Children Biblical Money Principles
- Characteristics of a Godly Parent
- Using MATE for Your Future Mate
- These Are the Best of Times
- A Personal Blind Spot Confession