My son, a 7th grader, informed me this week that his teacher sent homework for the parents.  I was hoping it would be something fun or interesting from literacy.  I knew it wasn’t math or he’d have given it to his father (ha ha).  Eagerly I looked at the papers he’d set before me.  My unsuspecting eyes about popped out of my head when I saw it was a vocabulary test from an in-depth male/female anatomy and reproductive course.  The instructions were for me to match definitions with words; compare my answers to those of my son’s on the back side; discuss any that we marked differently; and then discuss additional terms listed at the bottom of the page.  I won’t list the additional words and terms here, but will say this, “Can you say AWKWARD?!”   I could feel color filling my cheeks just reading the list! We didn’t learn about things like this when I was his age!  Some of it I never studied in school at all – and I certainly never discussed these things with my parents! 

After recovering from the shock of the first assignment, I apprehensively looked at the second assignment.  Ah, now this was a welcome project, and one that seemed easy, too.  We were to answer the following question: 

“If you were to give one piece of marrital advice, what would it be?”

All day I thought about this question trying to come up with something profound.  Despite my best attempts to think of my own clever bit of wisdom, my mind kept coming back to the best piece of marrital advice that had been given to me. 

The advice that’s had the greatest impact on our marriage and, in turn, on our family, was being told that God wants us to prioritize things in the following order:

1) God

2) Marriage

3) Children

4, 5, 6…  Job, extended family, friends, hobbies/activities, all other things….

This advice wasn’t given to me as marrital advice.  It was given to me to help me get right with God – to put my life in proper order.  However, it has served to be the best marriage advice I could receive. 

By the time I finished the anatomy/health science paper and the question about marrital advice, I’d gotten over my initial shock and intimidation and came to appreciate the opportunity this assignment gave me to recognize the education my child is receiving – one that I had not received, but should have.  By participating in this assignment I got to see the other work he’s been doing in class and discovered they’re not not only learning the ‘birds and the bees’ aspects of relationships, but also the human/emotional aspects, as well.  It gave me greater insight into the knowledge and character of my soon-to-be-teen son (turns 13 on April 6), and provided the opportunity for us to talk about these things in a casual, comfortable way.  Most importantly, it allowed me to share with him at an early age the importance of putting God first in all aspects of our lives, especially marriage, and to share with him the importance of keeping all priorities in proper order. 

My husband’s advice was that you should tell your spouse that you love them, unconditionally, at least once every day.  He also thought about stressing the importance of patience in a marriage….hmmmm….what did he mean by that? 

I added a miscellaneous tip:  To keep good humor – it might be needed for those husbands who need patience.    🙂

A Christian book on marriage I saw just a few days ago offered this great piece of advice:  Plan your marriage before planning your wedding.  Excellent advice!

How about you?  What advice on marriage would you give?  Please share it with us by scrolling up to the title of this post and clicking on the word ‘comments’, which appears right below the title.  I’d love to hear from you! 

 God bless you all, and may He bless your marriages, too. 

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