Do you know how high fleas can jump? It’s four ft. Fleas can literally jump straight up in the air to the height of 48 inches. Pretty impressive, yet also slightly disturbing, right? 

However, did you know you can take what God designed them to do for whatever reason and greatly reduce their capabilities? A study was done on this by someone with perhaps a little too much time on their hands. (BTW, I promise there will be a marriage message in this, so hang with me.) They took a group of 4ft jumping fleas and placed them in a jar with a lid. Understandably, the frantic fleas immediately started jumping, only to realize this lid stunted them. After 3 hours, the lid was removed and the fleas kept jumping; however, they could still only jump the height of the lid and remained trapped in captivity. 

The study continued long enough for the fleas to breed and have many babies. You’d think that since God’s design was for a flea to jump 4ft, the little fleas would immediately soar out of the jar, but that is not what happened. The study found that even the new fleas maxed out at the height of a few inches of the jar. 

So what does all this mean? It means that what you model is powerful! Those fleas only jumped inches because that is what was modeled for them by the older fleas. You can apply this same mentality to your marriage by thinking about what you, as parents, are modeling for your children.  

Are you showing them their full 4ft potential, or are you teaching them limits of a mere few inches? 

Here are some questions to ask yourself when it comes to modeling in your marriage:

  • What are we as a couple teaching our children about love? Is it a sacrificial and consistent action, or is it just a fleeting and conditional feeling?
  • Do they see love as being kind and supportive or harsh and judgmental?
  • What are they learning about conflict? Is it healthy and constructive, or scary and filled with yelling and name-calling?
  • What are they learning about assertiveness? Do they see mom and dad sharing what they feel in freedom or withholding while they walk on eggshells in passivity? Do they see that both of you can share openly and honestly, or is one of you being too aggressive?
  • Finally, what are they learning about the gospel? Do they see you each walking in obedience to what the Lord has called you to, or do they see you living by your own rules, barely making time for the Lord?

Your marriage has many opportunities to guide and nurture your kids every single day. Mom and Dad, your modeling matters because those little eyes are watching, and you’re the most influential people in their lives. Take that role seriously and teach your kids how to soar in this life without a lid!

If you want more on this topic, check out the Expedition Marriage podcast on, Why How You Grew Up Matters  and Planting Seeds in Your Children.