I’m on vacation with my family, and today’s post is a guest post from Doug Fields.
Doug is one of the leaders who has set the pace for student ministry leaders over the last number of years, and he’s weathered the tensions that inevitably arise between leaders and ministry only to come out strong in both areas. Doug recently coauthored the book Married People with Ted Lowe.
By Doug Fields
When I speak on marriage, I’m always asked if I intentionally taught my kids about marriage.
The answer is yes… and, no.
Yes, there are times when we’ve talked specifically about marriage (either ours or ones that our kids have observed). But, for the most part, Cathy and I have been wise enough to know that our kids are constantly watching and learning from us without us having to do a lot of talking.
Our actions (both good and bad) are always teaching them about marriage.
I would be thrilled if my kids had a similar type of marriage that Cathy and I share… it’s definitely not perfect, but we’re both very proud of what we’ve developed over 27+ years.
10 Actions My Kids Have Caught Over the Years
Here are 10 actions that I know my kids have observed from us over the years:
Cathy & I are very affectionate and I like having my kids see me holding their mom’s hand, hugging, kissing, cuddling, etc… as often as I can.
2. Saying “I’m sorry”
I want to be quick to use this phrase and I want my kids to hear me say it (and I have to say it a lot more than Cathy).
This is my primary love language so it’s easy for me to dish out encouraging words.
My kids get a lot of verbal affirmation, but they also hear me directing it toward my wife (which is really easy).
I think Cathy is hot… and, I make it known around our family. I’ll regularly say, “Isn’t your mom beautiful?”
Our kids know that we like to spend time together. When they see us steal time away to sit in the backyard and talk, or go in the hot tub, or go on a date night, or sneak away for the weekend…that’s a good message I want them to see.
We laugh a lot in our house and my wife’s cute sense of humor cracks me up. I like having my kids see that my wife makes me laugh.
Opening the door for Cathy, saying “thank you” and “please” and showing her simple signs of respect.
8. Faith conversations
We’re not always praying in front of our kids, but they hear and see our faith conversations and know that we’re always talking about Jesus and what it means to be a follower.
9. The value of friends
Our house is well worn from the traffic of friends in/out of our house.
We love having people over and the Fields’ house is a regular hangout for some incredible friends.
I know my kids have had a better example in Cathy than with me because she’s the ultimate servant. Always asking, “How can I help? What do you need to make life better?” Serving one another is seen in the daily, little things and there’s many opportunities to serve.
Kids are always watching their parent’s marriage and yet too many marriages underestimate the power of modeling!
Children are taking daily recordings of what a marriage looks like and those recordings are definitely influencing and shaping their view of marriage.
Question: Do you have intentional actions that you’re modeling to your kids? Do you have some actions that are different from the ones I’ve listed?
If you do…leave a comment!
Special Offer This Week
My friends over at Orange Books are offering some great deals this week.
You can get any of the deals, any day this week, but, as a leader who’s passionate about people’s marriages, I wanted to highlight today’s featured deal:
Buy one copy of the book Married People, and get all of this:
• “Why Marriage Ministry Is Doable for Every Church” (Orange Conference 2014 breakout by Ted Lowe, audio file)
• “Married and in Ministry” (Orange Conference 2014 breakout by Ted Lowe and Doug Fields, audio file)
• an annual subscription to MarriedPeople E-ZINE
Plus, when you tweet or share any of the deals on Facebook, you’ll be entered to win a prize.
Just go to to orangebooks.com, click on the Married People book and place your order.
So…what are some things your kids are picking up…for better or for worse? Leave a comment.