THERE HAS TO BE A WAY TO GET THIS DONE!
Suppose you had 8 children…just suppose. Which two or three of them would you pick out to be divorced by the the time they are in their early 30s? You wouldn’t do that, would you?
Except according to the well regarded FORBES research, even the best children have the statistical probability of being divorced 8-10 years after they marry. So, which of yours will you pick to fall into this category?
Let me ask you another way. If you knew 24-38% of your children would likely be afflicted with a life altering medical condition by their early 30s would you do everything within your power to ensure their continued good health? Would you learn everything you could about the medical condition and then do what it took to keep them safe from it?
When I asked for a show of hands to a group recently, there was not an unraised hand in the crowd.
…and yet, in one of the most important areas of their lives, neither parents nor public schools nor churches nor universities bother to teach research-backed skills-based relationship education. We, as a society, just leave it to chance, hoping our children will figure out how to avoid broken families on their own.
From my perspective, this borders on the criminal. I am not just pointing a finger at you, it is and has been my failure also.
I am fortunate enough to have finally sought out people who know how to get relationships, dating, marriage, and family right. However, it took me to nearly 48 years of age to do so.
It just might make all the difference to your children if we taught them:
· Why do you choose the person you do to be in relationship?
· What does your family of origin have to do with your choices?
· What are childhood wounds and why are they important?
· What stages do relationships go through and what to expect?
· How does behavior modification work?
· Why is learning how to maintain good boundaries essential?
· How do you learn to listen without criticism and speak without judgment in relationships?
· Why and when does the “new” in relationships wear off…and then what?
· How can you learn to communicate so you can hear, be heard and understood, and get meaningful behavior changes?
· What is a ’servant’s heart’ and why is it essential to relationships?
· Value of traditions, celebrations, and dates
· …and a bunch more stuff
The sad truth is we won’t do this. Parents were never taught how. Schools are too consumed with regulations. Churches generally believe their premarital coaching and counseling will do the trick. Colleges and universities are by and large sold out to Not-Invented-Here.
A poignant Scripture passage applies. In Deuteronomy 5 the writer records that the sins of the father will be visited on their children, grandchildren, and even their grandchildren. Make no mistake, though, our children and theirs will not be punished for our bad deeds, but the Law of Unintended Consequences applies. Examples cascade down the generations.
Sadly, by the time your failure to teach your children these basic skills becomes apparent, it will be too late for you to do anything about it. Two of our own three children have experienced the agonies of broken families even as my bride and I have. I wish I had done better in teaching them what I know now.
We are doing everything we can to both model and teach good relationship skills and mindsets to our grandchildren. We pray we can break the cycle.
What are you doing to break the cycle in your family?
We can help you…just give us a chance. Please pray for ways to change our practices as an entire society
Dick Ivey, PhD • Executive Director