When I was married, I was madly in love. I knew I wanted to spend every moment with my husband, that I loved him more than I ever thought possible, and I wanted a family with him. However, I’m embarrassed to say that is about as deep as my thought process ran. Since I had a job, I wasn’t worried about finances or my future, because things were going smoothly. It never crossed my mind that we needed to know how each other wanted to parent, or whether or not I would be able to work forever, along with so many other things we should have been concerned about. There was so much more my husband and I were committing to when we were committing to one another in marriage, but we were naïve, and nothing but our love mattered, so not much else was considered.
Three children later, and at least a dozen therapists later (my children have special needs that require regular therapy), my husband and I still are not on the same page with how we should parent, even though we’ve been told by professionals exactly how to parent. This is only one small example of what we were not aware of on that day we said “I do”. When you get married and have a family, it should naturally occur to you that how you and how your spouse treat your children will have a profound effect on their lives, but it didn’t occur to me. I also neglected to think about how my unborn children would enjoy holidays with my spouse’s family, or if my husband was against our children playing specific sports. Why are we so blinded by love when we are getting married that we forget to think 5, 10, or 20 years into the future when we have teenagers and are looking at which college they should attend?
Just as these thoughts should have crossed our minds, it should also occur to us that how we parent will likely determine our children’s future. We have the ability to treat our children in such a way that they will be healthier, happier and even more educated people. How the world needs healthier and happier people in it! We must do our part as parents and be aware that our own choices will change our children’s choices. The Family: A Proclamation to the World states, “Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live.” We are blessed with a modern day prophet who teaches us in these latter days. By following this counsel, and raising our children lovingly as we teach them to love will change the world.