When you look around at all that our contemporary American lifestyle considers successful, you realize that the role models that stand out most prevalently in our children's lives are the talked-about celebrities: sports, movie and music stars Our kids are constantly bombarded with a skewed view of success. They read about the lifestyles of the rich and famous, they watch stories about who is divorcing who and remarrying who; they learn about celebs having babies out of wedlock, adopting kids in double-mommy or double-daddy homes, or finally coming out of the closet to applauding fans. They receive confirmation from the tabloids that our throw- away society has it right...if it doesn't work, throw it out and get a new one!
Then we wonder, after all the stargazing, why our children's relationships are so tumultuous and tenuous? There are divorces occurring every day because couples don't think it's worth their time or energy to try anymore. "There's got to be something better out there for me. I'm worth it!" So another marriage bites the dust, leaving two hearts bleeding, scarred and scared.
Consequently, more of America's children are coming from single-parent or broken homes. They're not receiving role modeling for healthy relationships and therefore, don't know how to secure them for themselves. Their role models lack strong family values. Then we wonder why they grow up unable to find happiness in their own homes with their spouses.
We have got to turn this around! My husband and I have been married for thirty-three years. Has it been all sunshine and roses? No. Has it been thirty plus years of all marital bliss? No. Have we had to work our tails off to stay together and to make it last? Absolutely. Have we had huge bumps and terrible potholes to deal with on this road we call marriage? No doubt about it. But has it been worth it? You bet!
And you know who the beneficiaries are of all the hard work? We are, of course, but so are our kids! And their spouses. And their children, our grandchildren. And their children's children. Because maybe they got to see us working through the issues and staying committed to each other, through thick and thin, through rich and poor, in sickness and in health...and they're stuck with us 'til death do us part!
We need to give our kids other relationships to gaze at and learn from in their lives; not the stars ~ because the pressures of fame take a heavy toll. Our children need to see successful marriages in the trenches, with all the daily grind and the nitty-gritty that life throws at us. Not only ours, but those of our married friends who are in it for the long haul. They need to see examples of solid commitment.
Furthermore, they need to be taught that while you're eating through a bowl of cherries, there are going to be pits! Deal with them and move on. And if you can't move on...do something about it!