Authors Paul and Terrie Chappell: Parents Can Help Steer Kids Away from Harmful Habits by Living Out a Godly Marriage




Authors Paul and Terrie Chappell: Parents Can Help Steer Kids Away from Harmful Habits by Living Out a Godly Marriage

New Study Finds That Teens Who Smoke Marijuana and Drink Heavily Are Less Likely to Hit Milestones Like Getting Married and Landing a Job


LOS ANGELES—Parents want the best for their children, to grow up healthy, get a good job, find a loving spouse and perhaps welcome grandchildren to the family.

But an interesting new study published in Newsweek detailed how “heavy drug and alcohol use might impact key adult milestones like working full time, getting married and completing their education.” According to Newsweek, researchers at the University of Connecticut studied 1,165 people over the course of their teenage years into early adulthood and found that teens who “used lots of pot” and “drank a lot”—especially for boys—were less likely to hit these milestones.

This is dismaying news to Dr. Paul and Terrie Chappell, who have been married for 37 years and recently released their new travel-themed guide for marriage called Are We There Yet? Marriage—a Perfect Journey for Imperfect Couples.” In the new book, they discuss the strains that can be put on marriage and how parents can model a godly marriage in front of their children.

“Parents have so many issues to deal with in today’s complicated culture,” Paul Chappell said. “From keeping kids safe, steering them away from drugs and alcohol, talking to them about sex and gender roles, praying they will stay close to God and teaching them to be responsible adults, the challenges are many. But sometimes married couples overlook one of the most helpful resources for these challenges—making sure their own marriage is solid so they can help their kids navigate life together. Strife-filled marriages that don’t have God at the center are stressful for the entire family. Slowly but surely, older children are likely to stay away from home more. Family dinners will become fewer, and family nights will become a thing of the past. Just as couples must set aside time to focus on their marriages, parents must invest in family time as well, because numerous—sometimes dangerous—distractions will certainly complete for our kids’ attention.”

Additionally, the Chappells write in “Are We There Yet?” that parents can make a commitment to never argue in front of the kids as a way to communicate their marriage is strong.

“The greatest gift you can give your children is to love your spouse,” the Chappells write. “Sometimes parents purposefully involve their children in arguments or disagreements in order to shame the other spouse or get the children to take sides. Sometimes parents are just self-focused enough to not consider the impact their fighting has on their children. But hearing their parents fight does influence children. It makes them insecure, worries them that the disagreement is their fault, and even impacts their academics because of the emotional distraction it creates. Make it a rule: you will stand united in love in the presence of your children and will work out disagreements privately.”

In “Are We There Yet?” the Chappells remind that the journey of marriage is designed by God to be amazing and profound, and God wants couples to experience everything good that He intended when He created marriage—including modeling that plan before their children. Whether newlyweds or married for decades, husbands and wives will find truth in “Are We There Yet?” to help them clarify their destination, communicate their needs, grow as a couple and even shed some baggage along the way.

With chapter titles such as “Paying with Foreign Currency,” “It’s a Two-Lane Highway,” “Roadblocks” and “Booking a Room,” “Are We There Yet?” explores topics from needs and communication to conflict and intimacy.

Read more about “Are We There Yet?” and the Chappells here. For more information on Dr. Paul Chappell and Lancaster Baptist Church, visit or, or connect via social media on Facebook, Twitter or the church’s YouTube or Vimeo.