We are told in the Bible that children are a blessing from the Lord (Psalm 127:3). We also see an example of how much Jesus values children when He told the disciples to stop preventing the children from being close to him (Mark 9:36-37). But, if your family is anything like mine, there are days when you seriously feel like these “blessings” are more draining than energizing! It can be hard to keep your kids in their proper place when they require so much of you. I think Moms feel the draining effect more than most Dads, primarily because they spend more time with them and are naturally more nurturing.
A little bit ago I was meeting with a couple and one of the wife’s main concerns was an overwhelming feeling of “not being a good enough Mom” for her 3 young boys. After some discussion about her current passions and pursuits for her children it became obvious that she had allowed the struggle to be a “good mom” to dominate her life, leaving her husband off to the side. Their lack of connection- he wasn’t pursuing her the way he promised too when they got married so this is not a one-sided issue- was causing the two of them to bicker and fight more than collaborate and agree.
My suggestion for this discouraged couple was this: sometimes the way you can be the best Mom to your kids is by being the best wife to your husband. Sometimes the best way to be a good Dad is by being the best husband you can be do your wife. (click HERE to read a great article about being 51% spouse and 49% parent)
What will this require of you? It might require intentionally putting aside time at the end of the day to connect and talk. It might require you spending less time doing things for the kids and more time being with the one to whom you promised your life.
Children are a blessing from the Lord. They are fun, energetic, happy (at times!), exhausting, frustrating, and gift from God. But they are also on loan to us from God. Point them back to the One who gave them to you by modeling what a healthy marriage. Pursue God. Love your spouse. Train your kids. Do your best at work. God will continue to bless you as a parent when you keep things in their proper place. A healthy pursuit of your spouse allows for healthier parenting of your kids.
Questions to think about:
1) If I had to list out what I spend the most time doing, would that accurately reflect what I think is most important in my life?
2) What are some of the barriers to making sure my spouse’s needs are ahead of my kids needs?
3) Your spouse can become jealous of the time and energy you put toward other things if they are not feeling valued. What things in my life do I need to change in order to demonstrate their value to me?
4) What can I do today to make sure my spouse understands they are in front of the kids in our relationship?