Parents are a child’s first love.
Daddy, a daughter’s perfect prince. Mommy, the woman every little boy wants to marry. Naturally that love changes. It morphs over time and typically transfers to another.
Parents set the stage for how their children view marriage and family life.
As our kids grow, we want them to develop healthy and lasting relationships. Most of us hope to be in-laws and grandparents someday. We pray for our kids’ future mates.
If I  were to be asked if I wanted to positively impact my child’s future relationships, my answer would be YES! I’m guessing yours would be too. That’s easy. But how am I really doing on a day-to-day basis?  What subtle messages am I delivering to my children about family life and marriage?
I’ll be the first to admit, my nonverbal or verbal communication can be negative, even nasty at times.
When my kids were younger, there were days I would compete with my husband for Who had the Worst Day. (Truth check: He really didn’t enter the contest, this was a solo game.)
 Why would I do this? Did I feel a bad day meant my mom job had value? Would a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day be the reason for extra me attention?  Did I want to make my husband feel guilty for working outside the home?
If I’m honest, some days, probably yes on all counts.
But…Do I want my kids to think being a mom and a wife is drudgery, hard work? (Okay there are those times, but mostly those two jobs are the BEST jobs in the world.)
As parents, if we want to make a lasting and positive impact on a child’s future relationships then we must be deliberate in romancing our spouse’s heart and a by-product will be a soften child’s heart; a heart that is open to offering and receiving love. A heart that is tender to God’s beckoning.
Here are a few subtle messages that pack a punch:
Be selfless. Focus on your husband or wife rather than yourself.
Be a servant. Do nice little things for your special person.
Be supportive. Encourage your mate.
Be sensitive. If it isn’t true or kind-don’t say it.
Be sincere. If you haven’t treated your loved one well, own it. Then change.
Be sold out for your spouse. Think of your partner as the All-Time best ever!
How a man treats his wife day after day, a son will copy. And… how a wife treats her husband, a daughter will emulate.
Our children are watching.
With faith, hope, and love, 
Lori Wildenberg 
Lori Wildenberg & Becky Danielson are licensed parent and family educators and co-founders of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting. Their book, Raising Little Kids with Big Love has just been released. If this post was a blessing to you, you can find more great faith-based and easily applicable tips and information in their books which can be found on Amazon or  B & N 

© LoriWildenberg. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator, parent coach, and co-founder of 1Corinthians13 Parenting.com. She has written 6 books including Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home; The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections; and her most recent book, Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation. Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at the MOMS Together Group on Facebook.