This post is going to be more geared to if you want kids one day, but it can apply even if you do not.
When I think back over my dating years I realize that there was something that I seemed to have not thought about when exploring the possibility of forever with someone until I got a bit further along in the dating years. And that was that whomever I chose was going to be the father of my children. I was actually choosing the daddy for my children. I had a responsibility. A responsibility to make the absolute best choice that I could for my future children. I would want to bring my kids into a safe and loving environment. One where they would have a daddy who would be a “daddy.” Who would cheer them on, make time for them, put family before work, would always speak words of life and greatness over them, and one who would love Jesus. I think had I really felt the weight of this responsibility there are a few who I would have chosen not to date.
When you get married and have kids you are creating a legacy. Everything that my kids do in life will stem back to their home environment. They will look back at their home life with either joy and so many amazing memories, or with sadness and hurt. Hurt from a dad who verbally abused them, maybe even physically hit them. Or they can look back with sweet memories of a home filled with love, safety, and joy. I have a duty to choose a man who fits the mold of an amazing father.
When you stop and think of who you are dating this way it can cause you to really evaluate the person you are with. Do they have the characteristics of someone who would be an amazing mom or dad? Are they workaholics? Are they too busy partying and drinking that they aren’t even always present with you? You don’t only want the best for you, you want the best for your children.
Now that I am married and have a daughter I am SO happy that I made a decision to marry a man who I knew would adore his children. Sienna is Seth’s world. The love and attention he gives her melts my heart. It actually, somehow, has made me love Seth even more since having Sienna. Had I chosen a guy who was so focused on himself, or his career, I wouldn’t have a little girl with such a strong connection to her dad. He wouldn’t prioritize to make his plans in life around her and getting to spend time with her. I am so excited to be able to tell Sienna one day how I chose Seth with her in mind. That I was thinking of my kids when I decided to marry her dad. My kids were of value to me before I even knew them.
If you look at the person you are dating now, or are interested in, are they someone who you would want to say to your kids, “I chose him/her with you in mind?” Would you be proud of the decision you made? Sometimes in dating we are so, well…selfish ha!. We just think about us. We think, “wow he is so good looking, how could he even like someone like me? Yeah he doesn’t always treat me the best, but he is the guy that all girls would want to be with. He has the successful job, and the good looks.” We focus on things like this and forget to look ten years down the road. Dating isn’t about the present, it’s about the future. If we started dating like this we would probably date a lot less and it would change our whole approach to dating. It would help to give it more purpose and be less wasteful. We would take the focus off of the here and now, and place it on the whats to come. The choices I make today effect my own life, and my future generations.
Even if you don’t want kids do you realize how worthy you are of being with someone with a heart of gold? It breaks my heart when I hear someone talking about how they know this person doesn’t have every quality that they would want but they can’t believe this person likes them. (I am touching a little bit on what my next blog post will be about). We have to view ourselves as worthy of the best! And we have to view our future kids as worthy of getting the best mom or dad!! I look at my sweet innocent daughter and it would BREAK MY HEART if she had a dad that didn’t want to make time for her and wasn’t head over heels in love with her, all because of my selfishness of not thinking I could get anyone better, or thinking that I don’t deserve anyone better, or just plain settling. I have known some girls who were physically abused by their own dads as children, and now find themselves in physically abusive relationships which may ultimately end up with the same results for their own kids, all because they don’t think they are worthy of anything better.
As you are on this journey of finding the one to create a life with, I hope you can remember to look at the big picture. The picture of a legacy and the kind of legacy you want to create for your children. Your decision on who you will marry will affect your generations to come. Choose wisely because your kids are depending on you.
All photography by: Sarah Schweyer Photography