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Preparing children for marriage, not just the wedding!

wedding day married life
Edris Khamissa.

A wedding is not a marriage. A wedding is only the beginning of an undertaking that may or may not, someday, develop into a marriage. What the couple have on their wedding day is not the key to a beautiful garden, but just a vacant lot and a few gardening tools. (David and Vera Mace)

There is so much of intent and purpose in organizing the wedding. This is indeed understandable . Of course it is a joyous occasion; family, friends and neighbours all lend in their support. The atmosphere at home in frenzied and joyous. There is this anticipation of joy. The wedding itself makes for great conversation. However, not long afterwards in many instances the marriage is no more. Why? How can this be possible? What has gone wrong? Indeed instead of preparing our children for the marriage we have prepared them for the wedding.

The question is how can parents prepare the children for marriage. Parents:

1. Must live with intent and purpose
2. Need to talk about marriage.
3. Ensure that their marriage is strong
4. Must be expressive and demonstrative about their love.
5. Should talk about the metaphor, that couples are garments unto each other.
6. Need to consider the implications of tranquility, love and mercy.
7. Must teach their children about relationship dynamics.
8. Should create real-life scenarios in marriage for the purposes of discussion.
9. Should share good examples of blissful marriages
10. Should share examples of marriages that did not work
11. Have to ensure that their children attend pre-marital classes.
12. Must inspire in their children a profound love for the life –style of Prophet Mohamed (SAW)

Parents should also develop in the children the following qualities/attributes/skills

1. Respect
2. Trust
3. Sharing of household chores
4. Appreciation and gratitude
5. Listening with empathy
6. Negotiation
7. Emotional Intelligence
8. Self-esteem
9. Forgiveness
10. Discipline in the use of social media
11. Dealing with conflict
12. Optimism
13. Resilience
14. God consciousness
15. Patience