I’ve been wanting to do this for some time and haven’t. Partly because I thought about it when I didn’t have time and when I did have time I didn’t think about it and partly because I honestly just didn’t want to know what the outcome would be.
I sat my kids down and asked them what they thought was the most important ingredient to a strong marriage.
I had trepidation about this because I wondered if they’d notice the flaws in my own marriage. This is what’s important and, Mom and Dad, you aren’t doing it. I didn’t want to be convicted; I didn’t want to face the fact that my children saw the chinks in our armor and had figured out that our marriage has weaknesses, that we may be missing the boat on what they think is important.
Well, despite my apprehension, I asked them. What is the single most important ingredient for a good marriage?
My three older daughters (ages 13, 11, and 10) gave three different but similar responses:
- Spend quality time with each other. Not sitting in front of the TV or interrupted by kids. Go out on a date and really talk to each other.
- Be each other’s best friend. Talk about everything and pray together.
- Really care about the other person. Show an interest in his/her life. Care enough to make God the center of your relationship.
Then, of course, there was the baby’s response which may be the most convicting of all: Da-da!
Okay, so this experiment shows me we (I) have some things to work on. It also shows me my girls are pretty thoughtful about relationships . . . a good thing!
Your turn: What do you think is the most important ingredient to a healthy marriage?