Joe and I have loved parenting together - we had our four kids over nine years, and between pregnancy, nursing, toddlers, and then homeschooling, the demands of raising kids seemed endless. It was tempting to place all our energy into the kids and let our marriage run on autopilot. But we knew that investing in our marriage and showing them what Christ-like love looks like was one of the best things we could do as parents.
Pursue each other.
Marital love goes beyond friendship to a passionate pursuit of someone else’s heart. Prioritizing my marriage is about placing my husband in the forefront of my mind and not just thinking about the kids all day. I care about what happens to him and want to make sure he is taken care of, too.
Protect your time.
What does your calendar say about your priorities? Joe and I have noticed that we need more than just a designated block of time to spend together. We also need downtime and margin worked into our regular schedules so that we’re not stretched too thin for each other. Our morning coffee time helps us stay connected and shows our kids that our marriage is important.
Pay attention to your words.
No matter how upset you might be, never disparage your husband or wife in front of your kids (or anybody!). What you say about your spouse- either when he is there or not- can play a huge role in keeping your spouse in a higher place than the children. Don’t let the kids interrupt you when you are having a conversation. Show your kids that you are a team!
"Your marriage is the gospel you are preaching to your children.” -Jackie Bledsoe
Having parents who love each other “more” actually gives children a great sense of stability. There’s a greater love to fall back on. Your marriage needs a greater love to fall back on, too. Centering your marriage on Christ and His Word daily reminds us of our ultimate source of love. Then as we put His love into practice in our marriage, that love will impact our kids in powerful ways!
Keep investing in your marriage even if it feels like you’re giving less to your kids. When they are grown and their mom and dad still deeply love each other, that will be the gift that keeps on giving. That’s what we want to give our kids as we build our marriage. To see a real, live love story. See the gospel lived out in how we love each other!
"Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate." - Matthew 19:5-6