Were you ever about to knock on somebody’s door and hear a male and female voice shouting at each other?  If you ever do, you may choose to walk away and knock another time.  Children living with marital discord do not have the option of knocking later in the week.  It becomes part of their reality, penetrating the air that they breathe in the confines of their home.  It is logical that the people we live with are the ones that have more potential for conflict.

Sometimes when our spouses or children annoy us we must remember that the character traits they display have only been placed in them in order for us to develop ourselves.  Instead of resenting their behaviors, we can view the relationship as an opportunity to refine another layer in ourselves.

A starting point may perhaps be with our spouse.  Like freshly baked challos you can inhale an atmosphere of Shalom bayis in a home.  Just like everybody wants to taste those delicious warm, golden challos, children desire to partake of parents who have harmony in their relationship.  After all, they are the first two models in a child’s introduction to the world.  When parents are a team and work together instead of against each other, children learn to get along with each other, and the outside world, particularly with the midda of vatranus, giving in.  Moreover, they will want to mirror their parents’ ways.

A father and mother will probably have contrasting personalities which will reflect on varying parenting styles.  Often we may feel that this is confusing for a child.  On the contrary, so long as parents are united in their goals, it is often advantageous.  One of the greatest ironies that exist is when one spouse criticizes the other regarding how they are being mechanech a child; the damage of marital strife outweighs the gains of “good chinuch”.  Put another way, the ultimate “good chinuch” is Shalom bayis.

Children come from both parents, who each both have rights and responsibilities to educate their child.  We do not have to agree on every issue with our spouse and children could benefit from seeing two people amicably discuss and reconcile two differing viewpoints.

The reward of Shalom bayis is not just in Olam Haba where the result is two united, cemented Neshamos but in the here and now it makes our home a safe haven for our children, a place they will choose to emulate.  In such a home, HaShem’s Presence is not merely a visitor, but a permanent resident.

 

 

 

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