Don’t Skip This One Thing


I remember hearing as a young adult when considering my future husband to pay attention to how he treated his mother. This was said to be a great indicator of his real character.

Through the years I’ve come to see this as wisdom.

It makes me wonder if the reverse is true as well. A daughter/son should be able to know what they wants in a spouse based on how their parent treated them growing up. This will make those reading this post either smile or cringe based on how well you think you’ve been doing.

But really it isn’t a judgment on one’s behavior as much as it is a barometer of the heart.

You see, we are all more sinful and flawed than we realize, but we’re also more loved and accepted than we dared hope. As a mom, I struggled in training my children the way I should. I often gave in to sinful, angry responses to their misbehavior rather than lovingly leading them the way Christ had led me. It was a continual fountain of sinful behavior followed by sincere repentance. Through the years God slowly changed my heart, which in turn changed my behavior. So often we get it backwards; we work on our behavior to no avail and skip the one thing that is needed for change–repentance. Only God can change a sinful heart and as we cooperate with the Holy Spirit’s convictions, we will change. It is a promise.

So I encourage those who are struggling with daily failures to be the wife/husband, mother/father you want to be, to look up to the only One who can change your sinful heart.

  • Honestly assess where you are in this regard.
  • Talk to your spouse to get their perspective.
  • Pray and repent to God where needed and ask Him to help you change.
  • Then be obedient to His lead each day.

The good news is He has promised to complete the work He’s begun in us, and He will be faithful to do it. He can be no other way. And imagine how this will help our children choose their future spouse?

How easy has it been for you to honestly deal with your own sinful heart? with your spouse’s sinful heart? What is one thing you are currently working with the Holy Spirit to help you change? Does your spouse know about it?

About Debi Walter

Face it, marriage is hard work. But when cultivated daily the fruit produced will satisfy for a lifetime. We're here to help with ideas and encouragement along the way. Having been married 40 years and counting, we share what we've learned with practical tips, Biblical Truths, Date night ideas to help you plow your own vineyard for God's glory.
This entry was posted in Christian Marriage, communication, Difficulty, Forgiveness, Growing Strong Marriages, Parenting, Seasons of Life, The Gospel & Marriage and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Don’t Skip This One Thing

  1. messymarriage says:

    Oh, yes! Beginning the work of our marriage with allowing God to examine our hearts! That’s the one thing I keep coming back to lately as well, but I haven’t really thought about it in terms of my parenting. That’s an interesting and convicting way to look at it. Thanks for the challenge and the gentle nudge!


  2. Fawn Weaver says:

    And if I remember correctly, Debi, you have a fabulous relationship with your daughter in law. I have a similar relationship with my mom-in-love and my husband has a similar relationship with his mom and my mom. It is a blessing indeed and our children will have the opportunity to witness that which is beautiful!


    • Debi Walter says:

      Yes, Fawn, we have a fantastic relationship with both our son and daughter in love. God has blessed our children with spouses who complement them in so many ways. Thanks for sharing! Have a great day.


  3. Debi,
    Your post is so true!
    And having God as our Source in marriage, having that cord of 3 strands, staying surrendered to Him, makes all the difference.


  4. Heather says:

    I thank you for posting this. My ex has not been a good example to his children; and in hindsight he has not, as long as I’ve known him, treated anyone in his family with any kind of kindness. That should have been a clue so long ago, but I did not heed it.

    I’ve been praying that God will send me a man who can love me, at the same time teaching my children what marriage is supposed to look like and what to look for in a spouse. I have been talking with someone recently who has shown me how a man treats his mother. In relaying stories of our days, he has let me know how much he values her and that he is happy to do things for her. It’s an amazing difference. This is an example that I would like my children witness.


    • Debi Walter says:

      You are not alone. Conviction is the first step in the repentance process. Although not fun, it’s so necessary and we’re only convicted by the Holy Spirit at work in our hearts. This is proof that your His. I hope that encourages you.


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