Today Jeff and I celebrate our 24th anniversary! It’s great timing for a Marriage Monday post, especially since I’m wrapping up a month of listening to the Next Gen share their thoughts on a range of topics from womanhood to family to relationships and mentoring. I’ve loved hearing their hearts and hopes in Next Gen June. The window into their thoughts has given me fresh inspiration to pray for them and to model for them.
Model, did she say? Not as in a runway or as in swimsuits or as in a catwalk or as in a touched up photo for a magazine. “Model” as in showing and sharing what it is to run in the path of God’s commands (Psalm 119:32) when it comes to the things women always have and always will care about. And when it comes to relationships, modeling marriage by God’s design.
The next gen guest writers reminded me:
- Women are wired to to value relationships & seek them
- Women long to know their Heavenly Father
- Women who love God live in a world that doesn’t
- Women who want to be godly will face opposition & discouragement
- Women know it takes work to nurture relationships with men
- Women can understand & respond to God’s truth in their lives
- Women have a calling & opportunity to influence other women
- Women determine so much of the quality of family life
- Women need to be whole & healthy from the inside out
- Women honor God when they live His way
The next gen of women have so much to offer; they see options and potential when it comes to choosing their future paths. They want to contribute, and they’re not afraid. They’re also pretty honest and realistic about the kind of world they’re stepping into. They understand it’s not going to be easy to be a woman, have healthy relationships, and potentially nurture a family. They need for us to listen to them, encourage them, invite their involvement, and be patient with them while they learn.
And as for that “potential” family, today’s young women are less likely to assume they’ll get married; fewer adults today marry than when Jeff and I tied the knot 24 years ago. The next gen of today is pretty cautious about making covenants in a world of online personas, identity theft, and sex changes. Many of them have learned relational principles from broken homes and twisted sitcoms. They don’t want to start something doomed to failure.
Modeling marriage for the next gen
No, today’s next gen doesn’t need to follow my big hair, but today’s next gen needs access to older women who run after God’s commands. We don’t have to perfect (aren’t you glad?), but we need to be modeling marriage as growing followers of Christ. Young women need to see God’s truths lived out, up close and personal. Start with the younger people in your own home, your own family, and your own church. From there, ask God to give you opportunities. A godly marriage isn’t only for the benefit of the husband and wife, but for the benefit of all those around them.
If older women step away from today’s next gen, we leave them without valued experience and encouragement they need to navigate their world.
“I hate marriage. Marriage is bad,” a six year old told our JoHanna this summer. He went on to say, “Marriage means arguing and fighting and not getting along. I don’t ever want to be married.” Someone has shown this little one a twisted view of God’s gift of marriage, planting seeds in his young heart and mind that will bear fruit in years to come. Let’s invite the next gen up close and personal to see our marriages. Show them that, while it’s hard, there’s happiness and hope to be found when we run in the path of God’s commands through our journey as husband and wife.
Thank you to all of the awesome guest writers in Next Gen June! I think the future for women of faith looks bright!
Look at this other marriage encouragement for you from June!
I found this post by Kathy Howard really interesting, where she shares 5 tips to help wives speak the language their husbands will understand. She interviewed author Pam Farrell to get these great keys to successful communication.
Heather Riggleman shared 15 ways to encourage your man in this post that came out just in time for my anniversary! I think it would inspire you too!
Click to TWEET > Let’s invite the #NextGen up close and personal to see our marriages http://wp.me/p2H4E4-1Ev #MarriageMonday