What our culture says about marriage is far different from what God says. Josh Mulvihill reminds us that we need to teach our children biblical truths so they’ll be able to detect what’s true, and what’s not true, as they test cultural ideas against Scripture.
Josh reviews four critical truths to communicate to our children as we teach them how to view marriage through a biblical lens.
Marriage is created by God.
Today’s culture has done everything in its power to redefine marriage, so it’s important for us to point our kids towards God’s definition.
“God designed marriage and therefore God gets to define marriage. We need our children to know what that definition is, and young children, all the way up to teenagers, can understand that definition.”
“With my own kids, we say marriage is just one man and one woman for life. That gets at that biblical definition found in Genesis 2, and it’s a really easy discussion point.”
Marriage is created for a purpose.
Our kids need to know that marriage was created for a greater purpose, not just for our own happiness. Josh expands,
“Anybody that’s married knows that there’s a great benefit of companionship and joy that comes from it. But that’s not the end in and of itself. Marriage exists by God for a greater purpose.”
“I think of Colossians 1:16 which says, ‘everything that God created was created by him and for him,’ and that of course includes marriage.”
Marriage is good.
“We need to enthusiastically champion marriage. We see culturally that a lot of kids are delaying marriage; they look at failed marriages, struggling marriages, divorce rates are obviously really high, etc. If that’s been a part of your home, your children might be thinking, ‘Why get married if it’s going to be painful and it’s going to hurt? Maybe I should try to get the benefits of marriage without the commitment of marriage.’”
“God’s view of marriage is that it is good, we see this in 1 Timothy 4, and our kids need to hear that loud and clear.”
Marriage is the expected norm.
Josh draws us back to God’s design for marriage in the book of Genesis.
“Genesis 2:18 talks about, ‘It’s not good for man to be alone,’ and I think that our kids’ names can be inserted into that.”
While marriage is a gift from God, we also want to remind our children that marriage isn’t necessarily the end-goal.
“God has gifted many for singleness and they need to be satisfied in that and find their satisfaction in God, not in marriage. But whatever God calls them to, whether that’s singleness or marriage, we want to prepare them for that day so they can live in a way that honors the Lord.”
Josh Mulvihill is the Executive Director of Church and Family Ministry at Renewanation, which trains children to develop a biblical worldview. Josh has served as a pastor for nearly 20 years, is a founding member of the Legacy Coalition and Roots Kids Worship, and has a PhD from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of several books including Preparing Children for Marriage: How to Teach God's Good Design for Marriage, Sex, Purity, and Dating.Teaching our kids about marriage