Ninth Giveaway: Prepare Thy Work

Prepare Thy Work

“Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.” Proverbs 24:27

What does it mean for a young man to “prepare his field” before he “builds his house?” What should he be “planting” during the precious years of his youth that will prepare him for establishing a godly household? When is he ready to seek and win the heart of a young lady?

I wanted answers to these questions! With counsel from my parents and other adults, I spent several years after graduating working on this book – studying the Bible, reading books, and interviewing adults I respected to find out how a young man can best prepare himself to be a godly husband, father, and family leader.

Packed with Bible studies, evaluation questions, counsel from godly men, practical projects, and other helpful resources, Prepare Thy Work helps young men properly order their lives and goals – preparing for their callings first, and then pursuing courtship and marriage.

Topics include:

  • Faith and Doctrine
  • Godly Manhood
  • Vocation
  • Finances
  • Dowry Principles
  • Courtship
  • Family Vision

Prepare Thy Work is an invaluable tool both for young men, and also for parents who want to help their sons prepare. No matter what age your sons are now, you need to think through these issues and be prepared to prepare them! Also, if you have daughters, this book will help you evaluate the preparedness of potential suitors from a biblical perspective.

To enter today’s giveaway:

Write one comment on this post and tell us something that you want to teach your children to prepare them for marriage. Think of a specific character trait or skill that will help them be a godly husband or wife.

To qualify to win, you must also be a follower of this blog in some form (email subscription, RSS, or Google friend connect). Only one more giveaway left until we draw a winner for the final grand prize!

About Daniel

Daniel is husband to Katelyn and father to four little ones. He's been working at Doorposts since the family business started in 1990. Daniel is the the manager of Doorposts and the author of two books, "Prepare Thy Work" and "Because You Are Strong".
This entry was posted in Bible Study, Giveaways, Marriage, Raising sons and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. | Printer-friendly view

370 Comments on Ninth Giveaway: Prepare Thy Work

  1. Amanda says:

    Courageous leadership. Thanks!

  2. Tami Q says:

    I think the most needed character trait is forgiveness. An unforgiving attitude is what almost ended my marriage. So, here I am trying to teach this to my children.

  3. Lavena F says:

    I hope I can teach my children to always be grateful. Gratitude prevents complaining, coveting, etc.

  4. Elisabeth says:

    Seek to serve Christ’s Kingdom, not your own kingdom. (Idea from Paul Tripp)

  5. Susan says:

    We’re trying to teach our children to have a servant’s heart and to put the needs of others before their own.

  6. Mrs. U says:

    Selflessness. One trait needed in marriage is definitely being selfless and putting your spouse and their needs ahead of your own.

    His,
    Mrs. U

  7. Angie says:

    We pray our sons will have the ability to lead their families as scripture dictates, and not be swayed by the world’s view of “men dumbed down” that must follow their “wise wives.”

  8. Lisa says:

    Definitely thankfulness and putting their spouse above themselves. Also submission for my daughters.

  9. Jessica says:

    Put the needs of others first.

  10. Megan says:

    By God’s grace, my husband and I strive to demonstrate that we are still madly in love with eachother and committed to pursuing the other’s interests. We pray that, in a society of unhappy marriages, our kids will view marriage as a haven and the richest earthly blessing God offers.

  11. Jennifer says:

    As a husband to love your wife as Christ loves the church. As a wife to respect your husband and let him know you appreciate him.

  12. Angela Jones says:

    My husband and I have two daughters. Patience is the main trait we work hard to teach our girls. They both show enormous patience with others, however, they have a hard time showing patience with each other. The patience that they show each other will allow them the ability to continue to love a husband and children even on the worst of days.

  13. Linda says:

    I’d love to see my sons develop the trait of self-sacrifice. My husband lays down his life each day for his family and I pray that my sons will do the same for theirs!

  14. Laura says:

    We hope to teach our young men to respect women and not have a “boys will be boys” attitude about their behavior dealing with young women growing up, so that they will not developed negative habits to bring into their marriage. We also teach our daughters purity and modesty so they arnt a stumbling block to other young men who are striving for purity. We believe these are important focuses that will save their marriage unnecessary heartache.

  15. katie says:

    I definitely try to instill in my kids a servant’s heart and I want them to have joy when they work. Also though it is a huge desire of mine that I teach them to cook. I was never taught to cook and I had to figure it all out when I got married in college and I’d love to teach them everything I know as they grow.

  16. Shelly says:

    To be in love with the Lord and his Word. Marriage is about the glory and honor of God, so they need to know him and his character.

  17. Cheryl Hawkins says:

    I shared on Facebook. Hope to get this resource for my sons very soon.

  18. LaRissa says:

    I think teaching them the idea of “commitment.” That is isn’t dependent on who you marry, but that you DID marry, and you have to be committed to the idea of marriage no matter what.
    Also, forgiveness is the first and foremost characteristic that must be present in a marriage.

  19. RaShell S. says:

    If my children only learn one thing in my home I want it to be to love the Lord their God with all their heart, with all their mind, and with all their strength.

    Hmmm… I have some work to do in my own life!

    Thank you for the entry. I follow you by RSS.

  20. Elaina Marshall says:

    to love God, above all else

  21. Tia says:

    I want my children to learn unconditional love & forgiveness in marriage, as well as patience & selflessness. For my daughter to learn how to be a submissive & respectful wife, & for my sons to learn how to love their future wives “as Christ loved the church”.

  22. julie says:

    Putting others before youself.

  23. Elly says:

    1 Peter 3:7
    Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way
    I would tell my son the importance of really knowing his wife inside and out. To make sure that the woman he marries is also his best friend. And to make sure he always takes the time to rediscover her (over and over) as they age together.

  24. Tristan says:

    We’re trying to teach our children how to serve others, putting others before their own wants, and how that helps relationships.

  25. Karalee says:

    I want to teach them the value of Love and Respect and how treating eachother as God would treat his church will be what carries them through all the rough spots.

  26. Shelli says:

    Grace and selflessness.

  27. Cheryl Hawkins says:

    Sorry, I didnt read the requirements first… please ignore my first post. That said, I would encourage them to first establish and cultivate their love of Christ and a deep relationship with Him. He is our first love and we can know no other love without knowing Him first.

  28. Nataly says:

    Christ-like love. If we have Christ’s love for each other everything else tends to fall into place.

  29. Wendy says:

    Just one of the things I want my children to learn before marriage is how to be wise stewards of their finances. How to set a budget, stick to it, pay with cash, save, etc…

  30. Jessica Perea (Mom of 5) says:

    Oh, there are so many character traits I want my children to have before they marry, but I really want them to be able to have a true love for Christ, so that they would see their spouse for who they are in the Lord.

  31. Cathy D says:

    I want both my sons and daughters to learn to love the Lord with all their heart, soul and mind and love their neighbor and their selves. If they truly learn this than so many things in the marriage will take care of themselves. I want my sons to learn to be loving leaders and my daughters to learn joyful submission.

  32. I think the trait I would hope to teach most is obedience to the WORD, which includes my second most trait I would hope to teach, self-less love…
    heartsintraining(dot)loni(at)gmail(dot)com

  33. Kim says:

    Loving God with all their heart, soul, and mind will help them apply all the other character qualities that need to be present in a marriage to honor and glorify God. When they love God as they should, then loving their mate should come naturally.

  34. Arletta G says:

    Selflessness…putting their spouses needs before their own. Very important in a marriage and to be able to compromise on things that will come up.

  35. Leenie says:

    We are teaching our children to be good listeners and to have a serving heart on a daily basis for their future mates. Lack of communication is the number one road block in many marriages and if they enter marriage already knowing how to really listen with their heart and not just their ears, communication will always be open which will allow them to always serve their loved ones with happy hearts. : )

  36. Jeannie says:

    Patience would be one thing to teach my son, but there are a lot more to prepare for marriage! :) Love this new blog!!

  37. Megan Bumgardner says:

    I pray that my children will know and worship God with all of their heart as this would be the best foundation for all of the other traits that are needed.

  38. Kristyne says:

    With my daughters to be a godly wife and have a serving heart toward their husbands and family. Also to seek God first. I want for them to know how to let their husbands be the head of the household and leader of the family.

  39. Vicki says:

    I want to teach my daughters to respect their husbands and my sons to love their wives. Also to put each others needs before their own.

  40. Amber says:

    I want to teach my daughter to respect her husband both privately and publicly. This is something I’m currently having to teach myself, so I think that she will be better able to succeed in her relationship if I first succeed in mine and give her a model worth following.

  41. Jean Deschenes says:

    To love Christ above all.

  42. Carol S. says:

    With regards to marriage, we need to teach our children that love is a verb–an action-word. It’s not a feeling, but a choice we must make ourselves each and every day of our lives. There will be many highs and lows of being married and raising children. There will be frustrations, disappointments, struggles, and sacrifices. But true Biblical love must be our goal no matter what season we’re in. It will keep us on the straight and narrow road. Truth is, none of this is easy and you won’t find these sentiments on too many greeting cards! We are called to crucify the flesh and our sinful desires. We have to choose to put on love.

  43. Tracie says:

    I would like my children to learn to patiently listen, among many other things.

  44. Anna says:

    To love the LORD with all their heart & to love their neighbor as themselves -including their siblings. I’ve tried to incorporate the idea that learning to get along with siblings (& others) is great preparation for marriage since your spouse will one day be a “neighbor” as well! Put these 2 greatest commandments first & most others encompass them.

  45. I don’t know that I can choose just one thing. Diligence and perseverance, to complete one’s work when it should be done and even when the going gets tough. Self-sacrifice, so that his wife is not crushed and his children frustrated by neglect of their needs and wants in favour of his own. Love and mercy, so that he does not judge others too harshly, but learns to lead others gently and with compassion.

  46. We already talk to our three girls (5,3, and 1) about how God wants them to marry someone who follows God. I also try to teach them by example to love their husbands by respecting him and allowing Him to lead our home spiritually.

  47. Brooke says:

    To do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in everything consider others better than yourself. This is something I pray for myself as well!!! To have an attitude like Christ Jesus!

  48. Jeanette says:

    I heard a quote once, don’t remember who said it, but it went something like this: A young girl told her professor that she was getting married and he said, “Ah, your time of preparation is over, and now begins your season of service”.

    We’re striving to teach our children to do all things “as unto the Lord”.

    Having a servant’s heart, unconditional love, and selflessness are so important to a happy marriage and a happy home. But those characteristics only come through a relationship with the Lord, Jesus Christ and through the refining of our souls by the power of the Holy Spirit.

  49. Dianne says:

    I would like to teach them to forgive completely. Not to hold a grudge or bring up an incident long after it was supposedly forgiven.

  50. BaLong says:

    I would like to teach my sons the importance of seeking Christ in choosing whom they court and marry. That they pay close attention to the character traits God will have put in the heat and actions of a young woman, and like wise have the knowledge and discipline to be seeking the traits God wants in a man and husband, so he has the ability to lead him family. In that way they can both seek Christ together in their life together and raising a family.I believe it is essential that you build the house of marriage on solid ground and in this way you will avoid much strife and heartache .

  51. Christina says:

    Serving! Putting others needs before your own and with a meek and humble heart like Christ has done for us.

  52. Deb says:

    I’d have to say forgiveness. If we are continually unforgiving it can destroy our relationship with our spouse.

  53. Dawn says:

    The following are four traits I’d like my children to learn for marriage: forgiveness, patience and dying of self and love.

    We also are teaching our son to be a provider and we are teaching our daughter how to be a helpmeet.

  54. Beth Cook says:

    Strong servant-leadership for our sons. Servant hearts are so important for both our daughters and sons. It is the example of Christ.

  55. Billie says:

    Putting Christ first, loving Him and obedience to His word. That will be a marriage built on the rock(Jesus).

  56. melissa says:

    Lots of things to teach! One thing we are working on right now is to be content with what we have, content with our circumstances, and content where we are.

  57. Christiane says:

    I try to teach them about how loving and respecting your brother and/or sister teaches them the important skills of loving/respecting your spouse. (I read this in a book by BobSchulz)

  58. Alesha Spindler says:

    I hope to teach my children to be forgiving and patient, with the ability to overlook others faults and shortcomings and be able to offer grace.

  59. LAFrank says:

    Teaching children to put the Lord first, to commit all their ways to Him, seek His will for their lives decisions. When the Lord is that firm foundation of your home and you are humbled and submitted to His will in your life, He is leading your home – who could be better! :)

  60. Tracie B says:

    There are so many things that my generation wasn’t taught in preperation for a Godly marriage. I want to make sure to teach that to my kids. The boys need to learn how to lead a Christian home & the girls how to be submissive to their husbands,

  61. Mrs. Q says:

    My main concern is that they remain pure (in thought as well), and also to seek the Lord and HIS will for finding their spouse, so that they are wise in their decisions.

  62. Sharon says:

    My heart’s desire for my children is that they would love God with all their hearts, and to love others as themselves. This WILL lead to serving God and serving others with pure hearts.

  63. I want to have my girls understand that their husbands will crave their respect in the same manner that they crave their husband’s love and care.

  64. Dana Atticks says:

    I shared on Facebook!
    I have a son who would benefit greatly from this!

  65. Bethany says:

    Respect and forgiveness are two traits I want to instill in my children.

  66. Melissa L says:

    We have three boys who are very young now (3, 2, 8 mo.), and the gravity of our responsibility to train them is growing. I would like each of them to be strong in the faith, and unashamed to share the gospel- something I admire very much about my husband.

  67. Mardi says:

    I want to teach my boys to love their wives with their whole being.

  68. Silena says:

    With 4 boys to raise into godly men the task ahead seems daunting I would love for us to have this resource!

  69. Terri says:

    I hope to teach my boys how to serve their spouse as Christ has become their servant for their salvation.

  70. Karla says:

    To put the needs of their spouse before their own and to put God first in their own lives and in their family seeking God’s guidance in all they do including selecting a partner to spend the rest of their lives with.

  71. Melissa F. says:

    I’m working on teaching them to love the Lord with their all (heart, mind, strength, etc…)

  72. Heather says:

    One specific skill we want to train our children is budgetting & meal planning. We plan on having our older children do tgese things for our home so they can learn in a real settting.

  73. Jaybird says:

    Would love to teach these three boys how to walk in selflessness….

  74. Erica Ferguson says:

    I am currently doing a study with my kids on Growing the heart of a servant. I feel it is so important to teach them how to be selfless so that God’s will will be first in their lives. Also an area that needs work in my own life. :-)

  75. Christy P. says:

    Humble and loving! Self-less.

    This looks like a great resource for our sons. Thank you!

  76. colleen hoenicke says:

    how to be compassionate and listen and not always talk. communitation

  77. Rachel says:

    We desire to have our children to love the Lord with all their heart. To have their deepest desire be to bring glory and honor to Him in all that they do. To have the Bible as their final authority. To be willing and able to share the gospel boldly and sincerely. To not only know these things in their head but to live them from their heart.

    To go into marriage prepared to honor Christ in all that they say in do and knowing that scripture is the final authority on everything will help them to be so much further ahead in their marriages then we were when we got married.

  78. Susan says:

    I want to teach my children to complete each task cheerfully, even when it is a job they would rather not do. As an adult, there are always things I would rather not do, but if I do it cheerfully, without putting it off or grumbling about it, my day goes much more smoothly.

  79. Erica Miller says:

    There are many but patience and gratitude come to mind today

  80. nancy b says:

    To honestly prepare with your prospective spouse.

  81. Vania says:

    I would like to teach my children to be forgiving. We all have faults, even as believers, and when we can forgive, as Christ forgave us, it makes a marriage relationship so much stronger.

    I have also shared again on Facebook. =)

  82. Stacy Meece says:

    My husband and I pray that our children will seek to have the heart of God when they do this they will be able to love their husband and children,they will then be able to be see children as God does, to love through mistakes, to submit or lead even when it is not easy.

    As far as a skill..I think budgeting and being frugal, and for my young men learning to work hard and he selfless..if they can work hard they can find work anywhere.

  83. suzette says:

    This is a huge concern for me as a single mom of two boys. I want them to grow up to be Godly young men. They see an alternate value system when they are with their dad. Its glossy and fun. I so wish that our world was a community, with other Godly dads mentoring boys that need solid role models. But everybody is so busy with their own lives. My heart aches so, I know that God is in charge and has a plan, but I love them so much, and want their lives to be whole.

  84. Kari says:

    I want all my boys to be good providers and dependable!

  85. Heidi says:

    Communication! Our kiddos are still little but we work daily on teaching them how to communicate clearly, from letting us know what they need/want to conflict resolution with each other. Many marriage problems can be avoided altogether if husband and wife know how to speak and listen to each other!

  86. Jan says:

    Covenant relationships & integrity are two of many essential elements in a Christian home. If we possess the commitment to these qualities, it makes working on the other traits easier.

  87. Sarah Jane says:

    I want most to teach my daughter to experience the joy found only in the Lord. I pray that I can be an example of having joy in all circumstances. What a wonderful gift to her future husband! May she do good to her husband all the days of her life!

  88. Tauna says:

    Submitting to one another.

  89. Christy Stanton says:

    Definitely humility. To understand we ourselves are sinners and in desperate need of our Savior opens the door for forgiveness, understanding, compassion, love, etc. This goes a long way in marriage!

  90. amanda richard says:

    Something that I would pass on to my daughter is biblical submissiveness will truly give you freedom. You marriage will blossom into the beautiful picture it is suppose to represent. And to my Son Love your wife and do not misuse this submissiveness.

  91. Melissa N. says:

    Forgiveness. It is so important to be able to forgive your spouse. Moving in with someone brings out a whole lot of things you didn’t see when you were dating. Building a relationship of forgiveness from the beginning will help for years to come. I think along with this goes being humble. It is so easy to let our pride get in the way during an argument and make things turn into something so much more.

  92. One of the important traits would be submissiveness that I would teach to my kids. It doesn’t mean you are a week person, it shows obedience to God and His blessings will follow.

  93. Michelle G says:

    A Godly leader of his home.

  94. Mrs. White says:

    Thank you for the opportunity to win! An important trait I want my children to learn is to properly handle their finances.

    Blessings
    Mrs. White

  95. Laura Cruse says:

    Memorizing scripture has been a great foundation for us in building Godly character! As it turns out, my 5 yr old is the best it!

  96. Mama_KK says:

    I have so many things I desire for our 4 sons but this is one that came to mind this morning… Faithfulness – 1st & foremost, to the Lord (in prayer, in following Christ’s example, in spending time in His word, etc.) and then to whatever they’ve been called to, at any given point in their lives. Faithful Christ follower, student, son, brother, husband, father, employee, etc…

  97. Brandi says:

    I want to teach my children to keep priorities in the family….God, spouse, children.

  98. Abbey says:

    I hope to teach my boys and my girls to be selfless in the things they do for their spouse and for others. And to love God with all their hearts and seek after his will first and above anything else.

  99. deanna says:

    I so much want my sons to stand up and be the leaders of their families and love their wives like Christ loves the church and I want my daughters to be godly women respectful and biblically submissive to their husbands.

  100. Tina Kincaid says:

    I would say selflessness. To have a servant heart:)

  101. Misty says:

    We want to teach our children to have a servant’s heart and to consider others first.

  102. Becca says:

    We want to teach our kids to give sacrificially to their family…something my husband and I had no inkling of growing up and have had to learn as parents.

  103. Lady Why says:

    I want to teach my children integrity in all things.

  104. Jessica says:

    I hope to instill in my daughter a love for God and His word, so that she may be a woman after His own heart and seek first the kingdom.

  105. Melissa Ferguson says:

    Honor would be high on my list.

  106. Cathy says:

    “A marriage of unity, understanding and love is not rooted in romance but in worship. It is only when I worship God as Creator, Sovereign, and Savior that I will ever love as I should. Have you ever wondered why some couples reach a place of unity, love, and understanding in their marriages while other couples seem trapped in the same struggles year, after year, after year? The surrounding culture would lead us to believe that a marriage of unity, love, and understanding is rooted in romance. Scripture would rather say that a good marriage is the result of worship.” Paul Tripp _What Did You Expect: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage_

  107. Michelle Skogen says:

    I am teaching my boys to pick up after themselves, cook, do laundry, dishes and anything else to be helpful around the house.

  108. Stephanie H says:

    I would pray that all my children love the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul and strength. To always seek the Lord first.

  109. Erin M. says:

    Spiritual leadership – the mantle God places on each husband!

  110. Stacey says:

    I would like to teach my children to strive to follow the Lord’s design for marriage. A wife’s submission to her husband is terribly misunderstood today. It can be such a wonderful experience when a husband truly loves his wife as he loves Christ. I hope to teach them how to follow the Lord above all else.

  111. Amy Wiltfong says:

    We are teaching our son to have a servant’s heart like Jesus.

  112. God 1st! Spouse 2nd
    Communication – trying to understand other person’s viewpoint

  113. Cindy says:

    Forgiveness and each giving 100%.

  114. prairie gentian says:

    We want to teach our sons how to love as Christ loved.

  115. Sarah says:

    I want my sons to learn to be the head of the household and the spiritual leader of their families.

  116. MICHELLE BOWLING says:

    PATIENCE & FORGIVENESS

  117. Michele says:

    I would love for my 3 boys to leave our home prepared to listen and understand their future wives, not just find the solution to the problem.

  118. Jessica S. says:

    As we have four boys, we want them to know that when they find their bride…it is better to look for a Christian bride. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” ~ 2 Cr 6:14

    With both my husband and I be raising NOT in a Christian home and not having the same faith (at first), our marriage was rocky to say the least…after both us were Saved, our life and marriage was and is great. We thank God everyday for our Salvation and the Grace to save our marriage.

    I don’t want our children to have to go through that hardship. Marriage is the foundation of a Godly home, and we are trying to instill that trait (Godly) image of the marriage. So, we want them to know it’s better to find a like-minded Christian girl for the seriousness of marriage.

  119. Ticia says:

    How to be a partner in their marriage, not just someone who sits there, so all of my children, male and female will know how to: wash their clothes, do their dishes, clean, cook at least a couple of meals, check the oil in their car and basic car care. I think it’s part of being responsible and being both the helpmate a woman is called to be and the leader the man is called to be.
    They’re not great spiritual truths, but it’s all too easy to focus on the spiritual truths and forget the little things, so I’m trying to find a happy balance.

  120. Sheri Hawn says:

    With four boys and a girl, I need this book!

  121. Diligence in all things… How I wish I would have learned this early. I want to example this for my children and instill in them to value and desire to be diligent for God’s glory.

  122. Latoshia says:

    To be good communicators, as well as the knowledge that prayer will do more for their marriage than anything else.

  123. Cheryl Powell says:

    my kids are young still: 7 1/2, 6, 2 1/2, and 5mo so this may seem short sighted or funny to some of you- but selflessness would be nice! Thinking of others before themselves, doing something without being asked just to be kind, helpful or generous, etc.

  124. Katie Byrne says:

    I would love to be a good example of cheerful submission as a wife for my daughter and would love for my son to learn how to be a leader like a servant-king.

  125. Rhonda L says:

    I want to teach my girls what an honor it is to have a Godly husband to submit to and that submission isn’t something to look down upon.

  126. Tina E. says:

    To be totally committed to God. Everything else will fall into place. I am a follower of this blog.

  127. Lately we’ve been focusing on praying for future spouses. I think is an important way to prepare for marriage! Thanks for the giveaway!

  128. Katie Willey says:

    To never forget what mans primary purpose is. To glorify God and to enjoy Him forever!

  129. Michel says:

    Selfless service through humility with an unwavering eye toward God’s provision

  130. Cat says:

    To truly put God first, each and every day. To be selfless, have a thankful heart, and communicate well.

  131. Rachel R. says:

    I haven’t a clue what Google Friend Connect is ..???
    I tried to follow in a RSS – Google Reader – but you have it set to blast only a few lines instead of the article, and while I might click through after reading an article – I don’t want to HAVE to click through just to see if I want to read it. I generally just sit and read in Google Reader, and only click through if I want to comment or copy it for my BF who doesn’t have internet at her house.
    My email is so full, that I miss 80% and just delete without reading it.

    But I do follow you on Facebook and this blog does feed into that … and if it sounds interesting, I can click through from there. … So if that counts …

    I have 4 children of my own that I am raising, and hopefully temp custody of my niece. One boy in the mix is almost 5. Two older girls (16 and 13, and the two little ones 4, 1)

    One thing I try to emphasize in showing LOVE by being willing to serve others in whatever form it appears in front of them – whether it’s picking up the toys outside, or washing dishes – or any other form, be it fun or “unfair” … and to do so without disappearing or whining. We talk about Love Languages and personality – and how we should go out of our way to show love to others in a way that says, “I love YOU, and not just “I love ME.”

  132. Kristi says:

    I hope to teach my children to always put others before themselves. That one little thing would avoid so many conflicts in marriage!!!

  133. Sandy Christian says:

    I think a very important character trait needed for sustaining marriages during this time in America is faithfulness, to God and to their families. Mirroring God’s faithfulness to us in our own lives to every area of our lives. We desperately need strong, faithful, Christian men to lead our families and stand firm in the tempest!!

  134. to fear God, to love, and to serve, okay, that’s more than one, but they need them all!

  135. kelly says:

    honor- to honor the authority figures in his life and really listen to the multitude of counselors gods provided him with- which will serve him long into marriage and cause him to make thoughtful,wise choices that bring honor and glory to god !

  136. Annie Crosson says:

    To have a servant’s heart! Thank you!

  137. Leigh Ann says:

    I am trying to instill in my boys how important it is to love one another and put others first. Their dad has such a loving and sacrificing heart. I want my boys to be the same kind of husband and dad that he is!

  138. Holly Gordon says:

    I would like my son to learn how to be a servant-leader.

  139. Jody says:

    We have been praying for our children’s spouses!

  140. Heather Babich says:

    Mercy. To put themselves in the other persons shoes. It makes you stop and think and better able to minister to their needs.

  141. Lesley says:

    to consider others better than themselves and know how to serve others with a giving heart rather than grudgingly.

  142. Bethany says:

    I am striving for my children to have gratefulness, loyalty, and forgiveness….these are essential to having a good relationship with your spouse. I want them to have a servant’s heart.

  143. Rebecca says:

    I subscribe via google reader.
    I want my daughter to have a heart for her husband (not just be in love with love) and to have a teachable spirit. Those are the same qualities I’ll look for in daughters in law as well :-)

  144. leslie b says:

    Definitely preferring the other to themselves!

  145. Ann Marie says:

    I hope to teach my children to be selfless, considerate and patient with one another, to prepare them for how to treat a spouse someday.

  146. Kami Teramura says:

    I have found the character trait of humility to be a very needed element in marriage…(Philippians 2:1-11).

  147. Amy says:

    There is so much to teach our children!

    I want them to love the Lord with all of their hearts, souls, and minds. And to serve others, and persevere. As husbands, wives and parents, they will need to be servant minded and to persevere when it gets a little rough.

    I am signed up to receive emails.

  148. Melodye says:

    To be slow to speak, quick to listen and slow to become angry. God has REALLY highlighted this scripture to our family lately. I’ve seen that living life by this scripture alone can transform us all. Most of the arguments in our home are due to someone not listening to the other person but quickly speaking a harsh word and becoming angry in a blink. Such a powerful word to live by and yet we fail at it daily. My hope is that by having it in mind, we will slip in this area less and less – and they can then build future relationships on this foundation. To God be the glory if we see fruit in this area! Oh how I long to see us live this out!

  149. Jenny Anderson says:

    unconditional love for one’s family

  150. Kelley Wallace says:

    I want my children to know that marriage requires joyful selflessness. Giving ourselves away for each other’s good and God’s glory is a joy!

  151. Regina says:

    I think of all the Godly christian character traits I would like my children to have, it would be how to earnestly and sincerely seek and ask for forgiveness. In my opinion, this is the utmost in training of humility for our children.

  152. I want my boys to be the “least of all” in their homes with a content heart. My husband is an amazing example of this level of a servants heart…

  153. Christa says:

    Oh my, there are so many. I have 2 young men and I want both of them to learn to lead and love their families like Christ does the Church. :)

  154. Stephanie H. says:

    That my children learn to love the Lord with all theier heart mind souls and strength. I would also really stress the imprtance of living debt free and forgiveness! Thank you!

  155. Amy DB says:

    Kindness. I think we’ve forgotten as a society how to just plain be kind to each other.

  156. Rachel S. says:

    Marriage is work. Continue to date your spouse and learn who they are. Pray and worship God together.

  157. Stephenie M says:

    One thing that I would like to do to prepare my kids for marriage is to encourage them to live on one income when they marry so that they have the option of having a parent home when that first child comes.

  158. Sara says:

    Love and respect.

  159. Michelle says:

    I have two daughter and the hardest thing for me to grasp as a new wife was submission. I want my daughter to pick a godly man for their husband and follow him. There are several things that my girls need to learn, this is only one.

  160. Julie N. says:

    Patience, and having a servant’s heart

  161. Ashley says:

    I want to teach them to be great godly men who love and respect their wives.

  162. Jennifer says:

    We seek to teach our children submission to authority and ultimately to God. This will also help them build strong marriages. What a wonderful resource you are giving away. Thankyou.

  163. Bethany M says:

    We want to train our daughters up to joyfully submit to their husbands and appreciate them as God’s provision for them. We want to train our sons up to be loving, selfless leaders of their homes.

  164. Andrea says:

    I want my boys to live Proverbs 3:5-6 I want them to trust in the Lord with all their heart; not depend on their own understanding. Seeking His will in all they do, then.. God promises He will show them which path to take, He will make it smooth. This way whether they marry or not, they will know they are on the right path.

  165. Lisa says:

    For our boys to be the spiritual leaders in their homes, and for our girls to learn to be godly wives and mothers.

  166. Leeanne says:

    A triplebraided cord is not easily broken. Ecc 4:12 – Keep Christ at the center!

  167. Tanya Miller says:

    To follow God even when they don’t understand.

  168. Phebe Whetzel says:

    Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. A husband and wife’s individual relationships with the Lord are key to making the marriage work.

  169. Charity says:

    To be thankful for what their spouse does for them.

  170. Nathan says:

    Transparency even though it makes you vulnerable but not to be afraid of that.

  171. sharion says:

    Saying I’m sorry and I forgive and to never go to bed angry

  172. Servanthood. Among many other character traits.

  173. Dee says:

    I want to teach my children that the husband is to be the center of the home and the wives are to follow their husbands. It was something I was never taught as a child and it has caused struggles in my own marriage as we learn to do this.

  174. Diana says:

    To love God first and foremost! To have a servants heart and forgiving attitude.

  175. Heather says:

    To make Christ the core of your marriage.

  176. andrea walker says:

    There are so many things my boys have yet to learn but being a servant leader and not a dictator is something that I think is super important in leading a family :) Thank you for offering this resource!

  177. Shelby says:

    Selflessness, forgiveness and humility!

  178. Laura Warrick says:

    Gentleness. Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

  179. Melinda says:

    We would love our children to put God above all else, to abide in Him as they let Him abide in them, for without Him we can do nothing.

  180. Shanna says:

    Selflessness – to learn to serve others and not expect anything in return.

  181. Barbara Toman says:

    To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

    Thankful this has come true for our family.

  182. Greta says:

    We’ve been blessed with 3 boys and a girl. We share with our boys the importance of being leaders who do what is right. We are memorizing scripture as a family and pray they grow up hiding Gods word in their heart and as situations rise they can cling to Gods word and know how to handle the situation.

  183. Tracy Streiff says:

    We are trying to teach our children to pray diligently for the spouse God has for them. Their relationship to the Lord is first and foremost. It will guide them in all other relationships.

  184. Rita L says:

    Honesty… Many view honesty as being a blunt opinion and sharp words, but that isn’t true. I think you can be honest and still talk to your spouse in love.

  185. Angela says:

    I was taught the wrong trait growing up…to run away when things got hard. I will not teach that to my children. Right now we have 2 girls and 1 boy. I want them to know that even though life is hard at times, God is always there and will help you get through anything this life brings us. He hears our cries and our prayers and He will lift us when we fall.
    I learned all this the hard/long way, but my children won’t.

  186. Katrina says:

    Self control – how to “get a grip”, not act out in anger, take time to simmer down before speaking…. things that would have made the earlier years of my marriage just a bit easier, LOL!

  187. Cindy E. says:

    Obeying God’s Word in all areas of their lives.

  188. Kendra says:

    I want to teach my girls to choose well! Take time to find a husband who truly loves God more than anyone or anything in this world; who will love her like Christ loves the church, And then commit herself to be fully submissive to him as he submits to God.

  189. Shonda says:

    I want to teach my son to be a servant-leader.

  190. Chasity says:

    Servant leadership is a trait that I want my children to understand and possess in their marriage and all of life. It is also important that they cherish and save their heart for that special person that God has chosen especially for them. I want them to understand that each time they invest themselves physically and emotionally in someone who is not meant to be their future spouse, they are giving away a bit of their heart to the wrong person. Their purity is an important gift to save for their spouse.

  191. Erin T says:

    What a fantastic book! I can’t wait to get one – one way or another. ;) Our goal is to teach our sons servant leadership such as Christ displayed.

  192. Brandy Hicks says:

    To be so wrapped up in Jesus that a mate would have to know Him to know them. If the two are continually seeking His face and presence, they too will be drawn closer together.

  193. Niki S. says:

    Selflessness and Patience. They go hand in hand.

  194. VC says:

    I want my kids to know their roles, as described by God, in their relationships. Knowing that the husband is head of the household and submitting to that headship is something I had to learn much later in my life and it was hard! It is also just as important for my son to know that he is to be the SPIRITUAL leader of his family and in order for him to be prepared for that role, he needs to be working on his relationship with God NOW! BOTH roles are so dependent upon them trusting God and their relationship with Him! (And that is just the surface-it goes so much deeper!)
    I, also, want to teach my kids how, through dating and trying to find my husband by my own strength, I put myself in situations where I ended up bringing ALOT of baggage into my marriage. And the same holds true for my husband. Whereas, if we had just waited for God to bring us to each other, we may not have had so much baggage that our marriage had to withstand. Two topics very important that my kids learn sooner rather than later!

  195. Megan F. says:

    This book looks great since we have 3 young boys and a 4th on the way! Above all we want the boys to love the Lord their God with all their hearts, soul, minds, and strength, and as they do that, they would be humble, servant leaders!

  196. Jyl says:

    The first word that came to mind was respect.

  197. Rhonda says:

    I would want to instill in them the seriousness of COMMITMENT. When the tough times come (and they WILL come!!!), you hold on to the commitment. Eventually, the good times come too if you hold on and work through those hard times, but if you are not committed, then you will fold under the pressure.

  198. Ange says:

    I think that a very important thing in marriage and one that I hope to install in my children is HONOR…and along with that is forgiveness.

  199. Carrie Ayars says:

    We have always felt that for our sons, it is important for them to have a job in which they can sustain their household on one income. That way, when children come along, Mom can stay home and raise them.

  200. Amber V. says:

    To train them up to keep their way pure by living according to His word!

  201. Audra Marie says:

    So much I want to teach them, but my biggest goal is to teach them to have a heart for the Lord, to listen to the Holy Spirit in all things. To learn to serve others as Jesus did – this will help them in their marriage.

    I follow you on Google Friend and Facebook. :)

  202. Jewel Most says:

    One of the most important character traits I would like my children to learn is humility as Christ humbled Himself even to death on a cross.

  203. Michelle says:

    Cheerfully doing required chores and tasks.

  204. Jessica says:

    I want to teach them to put God first in thought, deed and action and to follow him courageously no matter what it costs!

  205. laura says:

    Patience, good listening skills. truthfulness, follow God’s Word & lots and lots of PRAYER!

  206. We would like to teach our boys to be servant leaders in preparation for marriage and life.

  207. Bethany says:

    Our kids are still super little, but we are trying to help them develop others-centeredness (or selflessness). Phil 2. I think that is one trait that will provide the fertile soil for the other important qualities for life and marriage to develop.

  208. robin wiggins says:

    making God the center of the marriage relationship.

  209. Shanna Hinrichs says:

    Selflessnes is one of the most important traits I hope to pass onto my children before they marry.

  210. Lauren says:

    We are trying to teach our little boys to “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your mind, with all of your soul, and with all of your strength.” (Mark 12:30) This is the foundation to any relationship, especially marriage. Beyond this, we are trying to instruct our boys to have a servant’s heart- to follow Christ’s example in Phillipians 2:3-5.

  211. Becki says:

    Just teaching my little boys how to love, how to do chores, that work in honorable, and that they should NEVER date someone they couldn’t marry.

  212. Roxane says:

    Forgiveness is the first one that comes to mind. Unforgiveness can ruin a relationship. The next is an attitude of gratitude.

  213. Christina says:

    submission to authority. SO vital in both boys & girls; good leaders (boys) are submitted to the Lord, and good helpers (girls) are submitted to their leaders as a way of submitting to the Lord.

  214. Karen Gemin says:

    To love God first, your spouse second (boys-love as christ for church, girls submitting as church to christ), love children third, family and church fourth and the world fifth. Put your relations in order so that God gets the glory and your family is taken care of.
    thanks

  215. Dominique Culver says:

    I have 3 boys and this book looks like such a blessing. I think one of the biggest things I want my boys to learn is grace. I want my boys to understand extending grace and showing humility to each other. Alot of times we don’t extend our spouses the same thing would extend strangers!

  216. Martha K says:

    I want to teach my daughters to respect their husbands. I believe this is key to a successful and Godly marriage.

  217. Kim W. says:

    I want to teach them about commitment……to the Lord and to their spouse.

  218. Natasha says:

    I want my children to know how to be a godly spouse.

  219. Kari-Lynn Knight says:

    that marriage is meant to make us holy not necessarily happy and that our spouse is our team mate not our enemy!

  220. Audra says:

    I pray that my kids would know the Lord and through that would first have wisdom over choosing their mate. I also pray that they would be thoughtful of their spouse, remembering life is not all about them. Showing humility and love.

  221. LadySnow says:

    Besides putting the Lord first in the relationship I am teaching my children basic skills that would be a help to their spouse. For example- laundry, cooking, cleaning, sewing, etc.

  222. Sara E Killian says:

    Teach them how to work for their family and to work as unto the Lord. To also teach all my children that God is truth, His word is truth. And to be able to tell the truth! Truth is a character trait we do not see almost anymore.

  223. BlessedMama says:

    My desire is for them to have a servant’s heart and to be willing to boldly stand alone if necessary…standing for the truth of God’s Word!

  224. I want all of my children to understand that love is an action, not an emotion. We choose love, choose to show love, and choose whether we feel love by the actions we choose.

  225. Amy says:

    I had just written my husband a note this morning, thanking him for his Christ-likeness towards myself and my daughter. He certainly displays the heart attitude of a servant leader and this is what I desire for our son… that he’d be a servant leader.

  226. Amy D says:

    Selflessness, and compassion.

  227. Bree says:

    I have 3 boys man do I need this. Teach them to run to Jesus and not try to be good in their flesh!

  228. holly says:

    I want to teach my son to be the head of the home, but to be gentle, and forgiving, too. I want to teach my daughter to be a Proverbs 31 woman!

  229. Amanda K. says:

    Knowing that finances cause many arguments and are a leading cause of divorce, my husband and I are striving to teach are childrn how to be good stewards of all God has given us. We struggle with this ourselves so we want to teach our children not to make our mistakes. We are trying to teach that God will provide all that is needed and that this does not always mean all that we want! We feel that this is something our children should be able to bring to a marriage and look for in a spouse.

  230. Teresa says:

    I am trying to teach my daughters to be meek and soft spoken because their husbands will not want a loud, bossy wife.

  231. Meagan says:

    I want my children to have patience, kindness, and an understanding that God made men and women different for a reason.

  232. Nicole says:

    I hope to teach my young men to “love the Lord with all their heart, all their soul and all their strength.”

  233. SaraA says:

    I will make sure my daughter understands her role to submit cheerfully, and I want all my sons to know their responsibility to lead, provide, and protect.

  234. kelly cooper says:

    to prepare our kids for marriage, we are trying to show “having a servants heart” and putting others before yourself. Every morning they see us having a coffee time together: just Mom and Dad. I pray that they take that example to put the Lord first, then your spouse. =0)

  235. Ann Marie says:

    I will teach my children that Satan brings out the flaws in people and tries to make you resentful of your spouse because of those flaws. I will remind them of Proverbs 17:9 how we need to be patient with our spouses and remind them of how God is patient with us!!! I had to learn this well into the marriage instead of knowing it beforehand. i expected marriage to be some sort of fairytale :)

  236. Beth says:

    We want to teach what the bible says. Not what the world says. Forgiveness is a big one, thankfulness, respect for your spouse and thinking of their needs first. Godly views on having children, staying pure until marriage, etc.

  237. rachel says:

    that would be commitment. unless one is committed to their marriage, to their partner, to their vows, to God’s guidance and design for their marriage and their life, they have little chance. troubles will come. people fall out ‘of love’. but taking seriously the vow to remain bound to your spouse until death, as well as to have, hold, love, honor, etc. and also to allow God to work in your heart and your relationship, that is the makings of a successful marriage.

  238. Kari says:

    To be a cord of 3 strands! (Ecc. 4:12) It will keep you bonded and strong if you trust in the Lord with every situation.

  239. Christian says:

    I don’t want my daughters to think of submission as an ugly thing, but God’s best plan for women.

  240. David says:

    I want to teach my teenage son to be a godly husband and father and the solo provider in his future family. I also want to teach my daughter to be committed to fulfill her future husband’s vision. Diligence is a key character quality in my teenager’s lives.

  241. Julie says:

    I want to teach my daughters submission and my sons to love their wives like Christ loved the church.

  242. Sandy Thompson says:

    I’m teaching my daughters to be keepers of their homes, and we’re all learning submission. I pray I will model it well for them.

  243. Tina says:

    I’m sorry but I cannot think of only one trait. They are very young right now and although we think about the future and plan, right now we (family) are daily working on memorizing scripture and trying to apply it to ours and their lives. We talk about things as they arise and study what each of the character traits of a godly person are and how to apply them but as a very young child does. At times we talk about how this might look when they are an adult or married.

  244. Candy says:

    I want to teach my sons to love their wives as Christ loved the church.

  245. Laura Patterson says:

    “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve”

    I want to teach my sons to serve their wives with joy through the love of Christ Jesus!

  246. Beth Hall says:

    Forgiveness!

  247. Maria says:

    To prepare my children for marriage I am teaching them to have a servant’s heart.

  248. Becky says:

    “Let nothing be done through selfish ambiton or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,….” Philippians 2:3-16

  249. Cari says:

    I’ve got 3 boys and the one thing we have stressed from the time they were little is they are to not even consider marriage until they can support their family. Their father shows them (and often tells them) the proper way to treat a wife and does not tolerate them treating his wife disrespectfully.

  250. Curri says:

    Purity and reverence for the marriage bed.

  251. Michaela says:

    I pray that all ourquick to list 4 Blessings will throughly live for God and we need Gods help to teach them the strength of being a humbled leader and quick to listen and slow to talk. May God help us to discover His plan for His children.

  252. Chelese says:

    Patience. We live in a “now” world and it just isn’t conducive to a fruitfull marriage.

  253. Linda Bossle says:

    There are many, many things we teach our children about marriage but I guess if I had to say one right now, I would like each of them not to expect their spouse to satisfy their needs, that needs to come from God. God first, family second.

  254. Tammy says:

    No marriage is perfect, because we are sinful. In today’s culture people trade mates in like old clothes, when their tired of it they discard it for something new. God’s word talks about the covenant He makes with us. This is our standard for covenant with God and with the mate we marry from the first day forward. When days are hard, look to God and His word, not to our culture. God has called us to be different, and it is hard in this culture, but that is what He has called us to. God will be our strength, we need to ask. He will supply us with what we need. Even with what seems impossible do not give up, with God all things are possible. God does not give up on us, never. With God’s strength we do not have to give up on our covenant that we made before man and God. Do not let the world influence your marriage and life, but let God’s word influence you.

  255. Meredith McG says:

    wow – how do I sum it up ?? There are so many things we want to teach our children to help them prepare for marraige. – but our main focus will be loving and fearing God. We dont want “good children “, we want godly children :) !

  256. Laura Cheek says:

    To put God first, and their spouses second, then to think of themselves last of all. To be loving and supportive, Forgiving, merciful, and gracious.

  257. Leslie says:

    Discipline and self-control. Doing what needs to be done not because it feels good but because it is necessary and right.

  258. Lisa says:

    I want to teach them that the affects of their choices today(before marriage) do not go away once you are married. We are in constant need of God’s grace to keep us from sin and momentary “pleasure”; but oh the blessings we can have in following Him!
    Thanks,
    Lisa

  259. Sandra Jaeger says:

    Devotion, soft words, kind heart, a listening ear and forgiveness. Each and every day Christ forgives us of our sins. We in turn must forgive those we love, daily, with the same love that Christ gives to us.

  260. Jennifer S says:

    Knowing how my body image has changed multiple times since first meeting my husband, I want my boys to learn to appreciate and love the woman on the inside. I want them to know that what is inside is where the important “package” is, not the “wrapping.”

  261. Gini Walker says:

    For my daughters we are trying to teach them to have a submissive heart toward the Lord, then to their father to prepare them for their husband. We want our son to be able to have a biblical leadership quality, to lead the next generation. We want them all the walk the walk not just talk the talk.

  262. Jessie says:

    How to love with all their heart, soul, mind and strength and how to speak all the love languages – so they love God and their spouse and children the way they should be loved!

    Thank you for your emails!

  263. Denise says:

    We have two boys, and training them up to be godly men is our hearts desire. While all of the areas that are covered in this resource are so very important, finances is a very important topic for us. One reason is because we experienced bad financial stewardship when we were first married, and it took us 3 1/2 years to get our of debt. I would like to spare my boys the pain of this mistake and train them to be financially stable before they get married. Your resources have been so very important this year, as I finally began to use the Plants Grown Up with my son. We were working on the study of proverbs last night with my 12 year old. It is great to have a resource like yours during this difficult time when our culture (even in the church) teaches them something different. Blessings on your family!

  264. Laura A says:

    We are teaching our son to be diligent but to put family above work–too many dads get the diligent part but are never home for their wives or children

  265. Sheryl says:

    I want to teach my children the art of discussing without arguing.

  266. Emily Wood says:

    humility

  267. I think self-control is a very important character trait that I want (and have started to teach) my son to learn and apply to his life and walk with the Lord. How important it is to have self-control over the body (especially for young men), the tongue (what we say to others), and finances.

  268. Ilka Jones says:

    My oldest son is almost 5 years; the younger one seven months. I hope they will grow up to be godly men, and love their respective wives as Christ loves the church. A good leader who watches out for his family and nurtures and loves them.

  269. Ilka Jones says:

    Following you via e-mail subscription! :-)

  270. Kristina Peterson says:

    Humility

  271. Michelle says:

    A meek and quiet spirit

  272. Diane says:

    Selfless service, no matter how you’re feeling, because you chose to commit to your spouse and you love them, but more importantly because you’re committed to God and love Him.

  273. Michelle Jones says:

    We are working to make God’s Word the only truth in our family and what we live by so that they will learn that we are in the world not of the world and that God’s word is our measure.

  274. sofb says:

    I pray that my marriage would be an excellent example for both my children as they see their father lay his life down for his bride as Christ loved the Church and see their mother in turn love, respect and honor her husband. By God’s grace!!

  275. Stephanie Todd says:

    I think the one thing I want to teach my children about marriage is listening. In order to get, you must give. You must always listen for way to give to your spouse. If you do this, you will receive back much more than you could ever give.

  276. Dorothy says:

    The most important thing we can teach our children as they prepare for adult life:

    “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40).

    If we teach our children to love God and others, they will be preparing for their adult life – whether it includes marriage and family or not.

    And it is a preparation that is ongoing: I’ve been married 38 years and a Christian for 42 years I’m still working on loving God with all my heart, soul and mind and loving my family (and others God brings into my life) as myself.

  277. LuAnn says:

    Marriage preparation begins long before the first meeting. I have encouraged my children to prepare their hearts for THE one God has for them. Change those things about yourself that can be changed instead of finding that person and thinking that you will change them to match your requirements.

  278. Shree says:

    Oh, so many things to teach our children!!! I think for us, it boils down to what others have shared on here: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. If you’ll love Him, you’ll love His Word and want to obey it. And His Word has all they need to have good success in marriage and in everything else in life. His Word teaches them how to be faithful, how to love, how to submit, how to prefer, how to serve, etc.

  279. Lori Friedman says:

    I want them to know that marriage is forever, divorce is not an option, even though many today think it is.

  280. Andrea says:

    I would teach my children that sacrifice on both sides is necessary. And not unwilling, grudging sacrifice, but humble sacrifice that desires God’s interests in their marriage not their own. Be willing to be the first one to admit fault and ask forgiveness. What a tough pill to swallow!! :) But so worth it. It opens the door to reconciliation. Because even if your spouse is the one who is “wrong,” how often do we respond in a “right” manner? Don’t we usually sin right back? Through our resentful actions and words, we can inflict just as much hurt as the person who wronged us. So, to be willing to say, “I am sorry I hurt you when we disagreed” will open a doorway for the other spouse to say they are sorry, too. And isn’t it God’s kindness that woos us? How much of an example should that be to us? That our kindness will woo our spouse in the day to day living.

  281. Tonja says:

    To teach my sons how to be godly leaders, and my daughters how to be godly homemakers.

  282. Kimery says:

    I want for my children to humbly always seek after God’s purposes for every aspect of their lives in MUCH prayer, Bible searching, and godly mentoring counsel.

  283. Leigh O. says:

    Choosing a good wife. I follow with GFC, FB, and email!

  284. Heather says:

    I want my children to learn to put Christ first in everything! And, to look for that quality when seeking a mate.

  285. Kristen says:

    There are so many things I want my kids to learn and understand when it comes to marriage. How to choose only one?! Service and serving others as unto the Lord is a big one I think that covers a lot of areas. How to keep God at the center of your life/lives will help in a multitude of ways.

  286. Sarah Everett says:

    I desire to teach my 3 boys to truly love the Lord and His Word above all else and to put others before themselves. If they love the Lord and treasure His Word they will be the godly leaders of their homes and love their wives more than themselves.

  287. Jen says:

    I want my sons to trust in the Lord with all their heart and seek His will for their lives, and not be unequally yoked in marriage.

  288. Audy says:

    The boys how to work hard and the girls how to keep a home.

  289. Gwen says:

    I want to teach my children to treat each other as more important than themselves, and that our daily duties are actually a way of expressing love to one another.

  290. Roberta Cross says:

    When my sons become husbands, I would like to see them be the spiritual leaders of their homes. Praying with and for their wives, teaching their children, making godly decisions for their families. This is most important to a godly marriage.

  291. April says:

    I would like to give them a “real” look at finances before they are out on their own. My husband and I didn’t have any idea how to live within our means and how much it costs to live when we got married.

  292. Elisabeth says:

    There are many things that I hope to teach my children; but above all I think I want to help them learn to always forgive. In marriage, this is absolutely crucial; unforgiveness leads to bitterness and resentment and you just can’t build a marriage with that in the way.

  293. Jessica says:

    We want to teach our son that he will be the provider, protector, and teacher of his family.

  294. Katherine Rhodes says:

    I want to teach my children the importance of trusting your spouse and honesty.

  295. Cathy Kotiadis says:

    For our sons to be servant leader with a heart surrendered to our Lord. And for our daughters to have a heart surrender to our Lord and a heart filled with joy as she serves her family.

  296. Kellie says:

    Thank you for the wonderful reminder today! It is great timing and is a blessing to me! As for the contest, thank you for allowing my entry! Our oldest son desperately wants to learn about courtship. We would also like to teach all of our boys Godly leadership, leading by example. God help us and praise Him for his grace and mercy! Thank you for today’s post! :-)

  297. Laura says:

    My greatest burden for my children is that they have a strong stand on purity. This comes from a firm decision to love and obey God, and it will only get harder as our culture continues on its path away from God.
    I receive your emails.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  298. Kylee says:

    Of course I want my girls to love the Lord wholeheartedly. That carries into every aspect of life. In addition to that, and in regards to marriage, I want our girls to learn to guard their hearts, so that their marriage is one of joy, with as few scars as they enter into that union.

  299. Kelly says:

    I think the most important things I can teach is forgiveness and not blaming someone else. Look at yourself first and let God deal with the other person.

  300. Kristy says:

    Teaching them to have a servants heart and submission for our daughter.

  301. Stephanie says:

    Humility

  302. Stitching Queen says:

    Right now we are working on patience/forgiveness – I have a quote that says something along the lines of a good marriage is made up of two good forgivers. Beyond that, submission along with serving love for the girls, and serving love/leadership for the boys. Godly character is something I always wanted to teach our children. Only recently have I started learning how to do it EFFECTIVELY. Still have a lot to learn and feel I need to learn it quickly as our oldest is going on 12.

  303. Loving your wife as Christ loves His bride means saying “No”, fairly often & my son has gotten that lesson pretty well from daddy. I’d like him to learn more humility & consideration; daddy models that lesson as well but he’s not picked up on it so well.

  304. For my daughters, how to have a gentle and submissive attitude towards their husband. To be playful and yet respectful at all times.
    For my son, I want him to be a hard worker, to lead his family in all ways and to learn about how a woman needs tenderness and her love language spoken.

    Blessings!

  305. Katie says:

    Selflessness, patience and strong leadership. Our boys will need all of those to be the leaders of their families.

  306. Katey says:

    I want them to learn that their spouses will let them down at some point and they will let their spouses down but by holding fast to God who will never forsake them, they can endure just about anything. Thanks!

  307. Vanessa says:

    Selflessness. Without a doubt I wish it was the one thing I learned before I got married!

  308. Diane says:

    How to love and respect others. These are key elements to a Godly home.

  309. Tabs says:

    I want my daughter to learn that submission isn’t servitude but a glorious way that a wife can honor her husband. I want my son to learn to love his wife as Christ loved the church and to cherish her always. I believe that the first step to having this foundation for each is through the actions they see in my marriage

  310. Katherine says:

    Have an attitude of gratitude and of servanthood!!!!

  311. Andi says:

    How to die to self, daily….and to accept the roles God gave us with a joyful heart!

  312. Julianne Smith says:

    I would have to say to put God first, because then everything will fall into place- the Christian leadership, the unselfishness, the hard work, etc.
    Looks like a wonderful book, full of insight and wisdom!
    Julianne :)

  313. Vickie says:

    I have 4 children and we pray each night for thier future husband’s and wive’s. I think our example in marriage as parents is the most prominent lesson they will see.

  314. Karen Clowe says:

    I want my kids to know how to listen to their spouse; to realize that that person was raised in a totally different house and has other views. There is no room for “my way or the highway” attitudes in marriage you are a team. Listen and pray together.

  315. Karen says:

    Diligence! Without a doubt has been our main focus so far. Seeing a task through to completion and doing out best as unto the Lord while working on it.

  316. Aaron says:

    COMMUNICATION- I want to teach my son to serve the Lord and lead his family, but also make communication a daily part of his marriage.

  317. Renata says:

    I want my children to be hard workers in all they do, to be skilled to do all that is asked of them, but most importantly to Love the Lord with all their hearts & serve Him! And to find mates that are equally as dedicated to the Lord!

    I get your blog updates by email!

  318. Andi says:

    To die to self daily….and to embrace the God given roles He has given us!

  319. Becki says:

    Putting needs of spouse before self.

  320. KellyinPA says:

    There are so many character qualities to teach our sons in order to prepare them for marriage but the one we are currently working on with our 9yo twin boys is to put others before yourselves. We see the need for them to master this now and it will, no doubt, be very helpful in their married lives.
    Thank you for the offer!

  321. Barbara says:

    For our son we are trying to teach him to be a godly leader; one who humbly and selflessly serves those under his leadership, and around him. For our daughter, we pray that God will grow in her a heart of submission and grace, that she might one day be a godly helpmate who supports and encourages her husband.

  322. Jessica VM says:

    I’d say that I want to tell my (some day) young lady that she has a choice of who she will be submissive to. :) I want to make sure that she is aware of that when she is dating: Can I respect this guy? Do I trust him to lead me? Can I be submissive and serve this guy with love? Will this guy love me, value me (and my opinion)? Is this guy striving to become more like Christ?

  323. Brianna says:

    Servanthood: to think of others before themselves. To see what things they can do to help those around them & then to do them.

  324. Susan says:

    For our daughters, we’re working on the domestic skills that I WISH I had been taught growing up. This certainly would have made my transition to being a helpmeet/home manager much smoother. Beyond just these “skills”, though, we are trying to instill the importance of attitude as well – Colossians 3:23 “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” Just today, one of my girls and I were scrubbing out the tub and discussing how much “fun” we were having. We don’t want all of these chores to be drudgery. :) For our sons, we are trying to teach the importance of hard physical labor…and working to instill independence and leadership skills, as is age appropriate (both of our boys are still quite young). Most of all, we want all of our children to come to understand that Christ needs to be the primary focus in their lives – not their future mate, work, children, etc.

  325. Jamie says:

    I desire for my husband and I to teach our son what it means to be a man based on God’s standards, not the world’s.

  326. Narita says:

    My children are raised but we taught them that having at the center of their lives and them having a close relationship is Him is the key to a sucessful marriage. We also taught them you never give up no matter how rough the road gets.

  327. Dawn Clark says:

    I would like for him (my 13 yo son) to have a good work ethic and to do his best as unto the Lord.

  328. CarrieAnn says:

    I pray our children learn to love their spouse with action, word and deed- with a laying down of their life, their desires and fully serving their spouse and children.

  329. Judith says:

    I have 2 homemakers-in-training that are preparing themselves for the time when they are married. I want them to continue to cultivate their spiritual muscles and learn how to discern a godly man from a good man so they will know God’s choice when the Lord sends him.

  330. Lyndy says:

    I would love for our children to truly understand how to extend grace. Thanks!

  331. karen says:

    i want my sons to learn what God says about marriage.

  332. Jennifer S. says:

    I want to tell them that marriage is not happily ever after, although there is much happiness and joy in marriage, there are also trials and situations that bring hardship and testing. Helping them to establish a good, strong foundation in the word of God will help them as they realize that marriage is more about holiness than happiness.

  333. Abi Craig says:

    I want all my kids to learn to serve selflessly.

  334. Rebecca H. says:

    to know that the Bible holds all the answers to all the questions in marriage and in life.

  335. Sunshine says:

    We talk with our children about keeping their hearts and minds pure, for christ and their future spouse. We are so glad that God is faithful. Without Him, even this grand goal would be impossible.

  336. Leigh says:

    I think teaching my boys to seek God in all they do will be indispensable for marriage… now, if they will only do it…

  337. Melanie from Australia says:

    We are 1st generation Christians & did most things completely ‘wrong’ in this area – We are trying to teach our sons to WAIT! Secondly to look for someone who’s beauty is not fading or charm not fleeting, but to look for one who has the ornament of a Meek & Quiet Spirit & to listen to the counsel of us, their wiser & more experienced parents who love them & want to guide them to what will be a blessing & not a cursing in the partner they choose for life.

  338. Tammy Kindig says:

    We have 3 daughters and have tried to tell them that it is best to date Christian men, so they are equally yoked. That God knows the one they are to be with, even if they do not. To be patient and trust God’s timing.

  339. Kari says:

    I have two boys and pray for them (they are almost 7 and 4) and their future spouses constantly. I want them to be just like their Daddy only learn from his mistakes instead of repeat them. I want them to be so grounded in their belief of God that no beautiful woman will distract or take them away from that, but she will compliment them in areas of weakness.

  340. Tiffany Goodyk says:

    With two little boys to raise I often ponder what thier futures hold. I pray they will make Godly husbands. My prayers also include them first being best friends with thier future wives. I believe anything can be overcome with help from our Lord and your best friend at your side.

  341. Gen says:

    Sincerely God fearing christian will help our children (3girls & a son) be a godly husband or wife.

  342. Angela says:

    Girls – to be a helpmeet
    Boys – responsibility

  343. Stefani says:

    The character quality of loyalty is so important. It’s not just obvious things like staying true to your partner, but also being loyal in your conversations, with your eyes, your thoughts, etc.

  344. Martha Searcy says:

    Wow! Lot’s of great comments. It is difficult to focus on one thing, but I pray that my son learns to listen well, but also to speak/communicate well (as related to the marriage relationship.)

  345. Lily says:

    I pray that I’ll be able to teach my boys how to properly order their lives and goals – preparing for their callings first, and then pursuing courtship and marriage-just as you have said.

    So many young people nowadays do not know how to prepare themselves for marriage because we as parents do have not show them how! Prepare Thy Work would come in really handy!

  346. Sharon W. says:

    Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. -Ecclesiastes 12:13

  347. Janel says:

    to be humble and loving…

  348. Jessica says:

    Unconditional love and unconditional respect – the making of a great marriage and God’s way!

  349. Michelle says:

    I spend a lot of time teaching my son about being responsible and what it takes to care for a family. I also teach him about being a supportive husband.

  350. Michelle says:

    Yes, I have four children ( 3 boys and 1 girl). I want the boys to be humble and responsible with an excellent work ethic but sensative to peoples feeling.

  351. Christy N. says:

    I want my girls to look for a Godly man they respect and to choose respect even when he’s less than perfect. I want my son to know how critical his love and faithfulness are to his wife’s life. Both will be honoring God and heaping blessings on their spouse and marriage.

  352. Misty Wood says:

    Goodwill towards others is needed to be taught to our children. This is love=goodwill humbly considering others better than themselves that will help them be a godly husband or wife.

  353. Shawna says:

    Forgiveness, wisdom in finances, gentleness, diligence, loyalty, self-lessness are just a few of the many that come to mind as being very important (I know that you only wanted one trait!) but marriage is a commitment . This resource looks very helpful. I especially want to look at working cheerfully (I need to model this better!).

  354. Claire says:

    We want to teach our children to seek and follow God’s Word in all ways – marriage, parenting, work, ministry.

  355. Becky De Valle says:

    We have 6 children w/ another baby on the way…(5 boys, 1 girl, and our new baby is another little boy). We want our children to exemplify the character of Christ in all areas of life (including marriage, if the Lord so chooses), so to pick one is difficult. Humility is what comes to my mind at the moment.
    Pride is so very damaging…because of it, we can become willful, stubborn, and hard-hearted. We are always working on specific traits, and are grateful that the Lord isn’t finished w/ us yet, that we are continually being sanctified and changed into the likeness and image of Jesus Christ.

    I follow this blog through email and facebook.

    Thanks again for another wonderful opportunity!

  356. Ellen says:

    I want my children to know that God is the head of the household and thus the head of the marriage.

  357. I would like to instill in them “thinking of others more than yourself”

  358. Kristin Dunnan says:

    I would like to teach my daughters what proper respect, love and submission to my husband looks like so they will have many memories to reflect upon when they are married. That’s just one of many things I would like them to know…

  359. Niki says:

    I would like to teach my daughter to learn to respect and submit to her husband and I would like for my son to understand his role as the spiritual leader of the home!

  360. Mom2Tall says:

    To strive everyday to love as Jesus loves, and forgive others as He forgives us.

  361. Sarah says:

    Longsuffering.

  362. Kara says:

    We want to teach our children to love and honor God as their first love

  363. Nicole says:

    I want my children to be able to forgive, and to respect their bodies and their future spouse’s as well.

  364. Andrea says:

    To love God first, then love their spouse. Everything else will follow.

  365. Sarah says:

    Currently I have three little men with another on the way! One of the character traits that sticks out to me is integrity. This is something my wonderful husband possesses well and I am excited that God has given him four little men to pass on many godly traits, including integrity because it seems to be a virtue not often pursued these days.

  366. Rainy says:

    We are working hard at helping our children be peacemakers with their siblings. Teaching them to work out differences by speaking calmly and politely and to try to see other’s perspective. Also to realize it’s so much more important to lay down your desires and to bring glory to God, than to have your own way

  367. Patti says:

    The biggest thing I can think of is purity.

  368. April Davis says:

    Good Evening,

    Thank you for your love for Christ. One thing I would like to teach my children to prepare them for marriage is what the Scriptures says in Deuteronomy 6:5 –”And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy might.” I believe that if God truly has their heart they will seek, trust, and submit to the Lord in every area of their marriage. “For He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” — Hebrews 13:5.

  369. Mera McLean says:

    For my children, I pray for a relationship with God, and to be full of wisdom and grace.

  370. Allison C. says:

    This may not sound as meaty as some of the other comments, but I think it is important for my kids to learn the skill of cooking. Husbands need to have wives who can take care of them and provide healty, nutritious meals. What woman wouldn’t love a husband who will at times relieve his wife of the responsibility of daily meal prep by cooking a delicious hot meal.