Recently, my high school teens and I discussed God's gender.
During this discussion, small groups made a list of God's characteristics and classified them as masculine, feminine, or gender neutral. As we did this, my husband and I, who were leading separate small groups, both found ourselves explaining our classifications using examples from our marriage.
Afterward, my husband commented how surprised he was by what teens had noticed about our relationship with one another.
For example, one student commented on my tendency to nag my husband over stuff related to our darling cat.
Now, I like to think that what teens notice about my marriage is how awesome it is; How it's based on mutuality, a relationship in which we both willingly serve one another out of love and respect; How we encourage, challenge, and affirm one another; And how we are the best of friends.
And don't get me wrong. Maybe youth do notice those things.
But during this recent conversation, it became crystal clear to both my husband and I that teens also notice other – much less flattering – things about our marriage as well.
At first, I felt a bit of shame regarding this.