Just recently, I overheard my son having a conversation with my ten-year-old niece. He was asking her about her basketball game and if her team won. When she replied “no, we lost”, he replied back, “Well you need to come up with a plan!” Needless to say, we all had a good laugh at that one. But it got me thinking about what we’re teaching our kids and how they are processing what we teach them at such an early age. Coming up with a plan is a life lesson in general. But it also applies so well to marriage specifically. Did you come up with a plan before you were married?
Chances are, you had a plan and even some learned lessons about marriage long before you ever walked down the aisle. Chances are, you learned a lot of lessons about marriage when you were in pre-school.
Here are 10 lessons you probably learned in pre-school about marriage.
1. Have patience. You can’t always get what you want, whenever you want it. Sometimes you have to wait your turn. In marriage, your patience is strengthened because it’s no longer just about you. It can’t always be your way or the highway. Marriage will test your patience over and over again.
In marriage, you have to embrace imperfection. There will be plenty of messes along the way, but it can always be cleaned up when working together as a team.
2. You Don’t Have to Be Perfect. In pre-school, we learn that it’s ok to color outside of the lines, and that it’s okay to make a mess as long as we clean it up. In marriage, you have to embrace imperfection. There will be plenty of messes along the way, but it can always be cleaned up when working together as a team.
3. Be truthful. In pre-school, we are taught the importance of telling the truth. Lying can hurt other people. In marriage, being honest with each other is the only way to grow. Being truthful allows for a level of vulnerability that is key in any marriage.
4. Unconditional love is everything. In pre-school we are taught not to judge, and to love others even when they are being unlovable. In marriage, we learn the true meaning of unconditional love because we know we are in it for the long haul. We know that we love our spouse in spite of (fill in the blank)…
5. Understanding. In pre-school, we are taught to learn and understand that people are different and that’s okay. In marriage, we learn to understand and accept our differences with our spouse. Rather than trying to change the other person, we come to an understanding of why they are who they are…and then we embrace it.
6. Have fun. Life is all about having fun in pre-school. Every day is approached with new excitement and possibility. Having fun is a non-negotiable when it comes to marriage. You can’t take yourself too seriously. Marriage is an exciting adventure.
7. Be kind. In pre-school we are taught to be kind to others. Being mean is not acceptable behavior. The same holds true in marriage. Even during disagreements, being kind is a must. It is essential to also having mutual respect for each other.
8. Have trust. Pre-school aged children have no doubt that their needs will be met. They don’t have a reason not to believe their parents when they say they’ll do something. Trust is an integral part of marriage. We have to learn to trust our spouse like our children trust us.
9. Ask for help. Pre-school children understand (for the most part) when they need help, and they ask for it when they are challenged. The great thing about marriage is that we have a partner to share our challenges with. We just have to remember to ask them for help when we need it.
10. Live in the present. Pre-school children live in the moment and are quick to forgive. They have no concept of past hurts or future anxiety. In marriage, we have to learn to forgive over and over again…like we’re back in pre-school. We can’t dwell on past hurts or mistakes. Instead, we have to enjoy the here and now.
Proverbs 22:6 – “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
BMWK: What marriage lessons do you live by now that you learned at an early age?