If you’re a personal facebook friend then you might already know the punchline to this story, but it has been a funny conversation starter this past weekend.  Our 9 year old daughter is exceptionally sweet and mild mannered but last week tensions were running high and the siblings were sent to their own corners to cool off regardless of who started it. This injustice sent our girl over the edge as she stormed off to her room.  She dug deep to express her rage. She probably knew it was below the belt, but it was just what she was looking for to hurl back at us as a payback…

“WELL, GUESS WHAT?! MARRIAGE DOESN’T MATTER!!”  bOoM–que dramatic door slam!

Normally this sassy tone would be handled much differently but since this caught us so off guard, all my husband Drew and I could do was hold our laughter until they were all out of sight. Then we laughed.  I wanted to sarcastically retort, “Oooh burn…” and Drew probably wanted to yell, “I’m rubber and you’re glue…” but we refrained and held our composure. 

The fact that she chose those words really got me thinking though.  She tried to find something that would defy the type of things we believe in and are teaching to our kids.  In a weird way, it confirms our message is getting through to our adorable yet occasionally unruly offspring. Marriage DOES matter and they know it. They pretend that they hate it when they catch mom & dad hugging in the kitchen or sneaking a kiss on the couch. Well, Grace the 4 year old actually loves it and says, “Kiss her like you’re married Daddy!” Not sure what she means by this but we will be keeping our eyes on that one when she discovers boys!

They pretend that the times mom and dad have a tense exchange of words doesn’t completely rattle them and unsettle their sense of stability.  But I see the relief on their faces when we explain that everything is fine, even when mom and dad don’t agree, we still always love each other.

I know they understand marriage matters when I hear their sad tone when they tell me about a classmate who now has to go back and forth between mom’s house and dad’s house and hates it.  “Which one is actually their house?” they ask. They tell me about a friend who used to do so well in school and now is acting out and getting bad grades. Oh by the way mom, did you know her dad moved far away and she doesn’t know when she will see him again?

Ask those kids if marriage matters.

A healthy happy marriage is the greatest gift you can give children.  Mom and dad committed to working through the tough times and celebrating the good ones is the single greatest thing you can do to increase the chance for your children to have success in life and love on their own.

We have all seen somewhere in our circle of friends and family the destructive ripple effect of divorce and unhealthy relationships.  Knowing that, doesn’t it make sense that the opposite would be true? Healthy people in healthy relationships have a PROFOUND impact on their entire circle of family and friends.  Marriage matters to the individuals, their children, extended family, friends, even co-workers and aquaintences.  See the ripples?

I’m thinking of a new t-shirt I might make for our staff… Marriage Matters Jackson on the front and YES IT DOES!! on the back. 

Oh it matters…

Share with us how marriage matters to you…