Prepare Teens for Marriage
When I was a young homeschool mom, a conference speaker encouraged us to not just prepare teens for college, but to prepare them for all of life including marriage and parenting.
How could I do that? I wondered.
I decided to have my children think about marriage before they fall in love. Crazy? There is an advantage to discovering God’s will for home and family before the craziness of falling in love hits.
I even have my young teens make a list of what they want in a future spouse and what kind of spouse they want to be.
Training my children for marriage and childrearing is just like the rest of my homeschooling. I use the Bible and living books.
Our Textbook for Love & Marriage
The Bible is our textbook for love and marriage, giving us beautiful examples of true love and horrible examples of love gone bad. In addition, it defines true love in I Corinthians 13 and celebrates romantic love in Song of Solomon.
We memorize passages on sexual purity (I Thessalonians 4:1-10), male leadership (I Timothy 3:1-7), and true beauty (I Peter 3:1-6). We study all of these Scriptures.
My children also talk to godly Christian men and women who are putting the Word of God into practice in their own young families.
We try to make our home and marriage a place where Jesus is honored and everyone is growing in His grace. Though flawed, our teens see us seek Him and strive to put His Word into practice. This impacts their lives.
I have chosen living books that have blessed me on marriage and family to have my children read for high school credit.
My teens have enjoyed Let Me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Eliot, Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Ted Tripp, Creative Counterpart by Linda Dillow, and The Christian Family by Larry Christensen.
Creating life skills classes for my teens allows them to get high school credit.
My husband and I are honest with our teens. We let them know that marriage isn’t a bed of roses and that parenting can be challenging.
We talk about things we’ve wished that we’d done differently, as well as successes.
We constantly remind them they can talk with us about anything. They ask the strangest questions sometimes, but we are glad they do!
When we blow it, we apologize to our kids.
How You Treat Your Family
From the time children are young, they are fed a romantic view of marriage by Hollywood. They develop this idealistic idea that marriage is only about finding the right person that makes you feel happy and act nice all the time.
Marriage isn’t like that.
It takes hard work and requires godly characters so that you are kind, forgiving, and loving even when the other person doesn’t “deserve” it.
I share honestly that you don’t always have gushy feelings, but it’s the character of Christ in us that allows us to love our spouse.
Where is that character developed?
At home in relationships, hard work, and trials of various kinds. When we don’t get our way, when we yield our rights, when we jump up to help even though we are tired, when we overlook an offense, we are in training to have a happy home one day.
How my teens treat their parents and siblings will determine how they will treat their spouse one day.
Though marriage and childrearing isn’t standard high school curriculum material, I am so grateful we made the choice in our homeschool to make it a graduation requirement.
No matter how old your children are, consider training them for their own families one day. You won’t regret it!
Until next time, Happy Homeschooling,
Meredith Curtis, homeschooling mom, writer, speaker, and publisher, loves to encourage families in their homeschooling adventure. She is the author of God’s Girls 103: Courtship, Marriage, and the Christian Family, Real Men 102: Freedom, Courtship, Marriage, & Family, God’s Girls Talk about Guys, Virtue, & Marriage Bible Study, and Real Men Talk about Freedom, Girls, & Marriage Bible Study.You can check out her books, curricula, unit studies, and Bible studies at PowerlineProd.com. Free Reading Lists for all ages are available at JSHomeschooling.com. Read her blogs at MeredithCurtis.com (http://www.meredithcurtis.com/blog ) and PowerlineProd.com and listen to her podcast at Finish Well Radio