Raising Future Husbands and Wives

As parents of future husbands and future wives, perhaps we should think less about training up gifted standouts and focus more on training up men and women who will be prepared to succeed where Tiger Woods fell short.

There’s a myth out there that is ruining marriages and probably reducing the number of marriages as well. It’s the myth that we can spend our childhood and adolescence putting our personal success before our need of personal character development and the needs of our future families. A selfless habit of mind will not suddenly appear in marriage. There’s a myth that if we meet Mr. Right or Ms. Perfect and exchange vows at the altar, magic marriage dust will fall upon us both, and we will walk out of that service transformed into selfless people, ready for the real-life demands of marriage.

 

In 1997, Earl Woods coauthored a book with his son, Tiger, titled Training a Tiger: A Father’s Guide to Raising a Winner in Both Golf and Life. Avid readers wanted to know the secret of how to turn their little ones into sports champions, just as Tiger Woods’ father had done.

We have since learned that Tiger Woods grew up to be a winner in golf, but his life is a different story. He failed miserably in an area where, as the statistics show and pastors know, most Americans now struggle greatly—marriage. But Earl Woods’ book is right in its basic premise—we should raise children with an eye toward what we hope they will grow up to be.

We can’t help but dream of seeing our children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews grow up to become outstanding athletes, artists, or achievers of various kinds. We see their gifts surface at a young age and wonder to what heights those gifts might carry them. Perhaps to the big stage or to the Olympic Games or at least to a college scholarship? These prospects lure many parents into making endless sacrifices in the pursuit of the child’s “full potential.”

But when is the last time you looked at a little face and thought, “I would love to see him grow up to be a great husband or to see her grow up to be a great wife”?

There is no Magic Marriage Dust

There’s a myth out there that is ruining marriages and probably reducing the number of marriages as well. It’s the myth that we can spend our childhood and adolescence putting our personal success before our need of personal character development and the needs of our future families. A selfless habit of mind will not suddenly appear in marriage. There’s a myth that if we meet Mr. Right or Ms. Perfect and exchange vows at the altar, magic marriage dust will fall upon us both, and we will walk out of that service transformed into selfless people, ready for the real-life demands of marriage.

There is no magic marriage dust. We walk out of the service with the same deeply entrenched habits and dispositions that were rooted in our heart when we walked in. Only now, we have so much more responsibility.

As parents of future husbands and future wives, perhaps we should think less about training up gifted standouts and focus more on training up men and women who will be prepared to succeed where Tiger Woods fell short.

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