When it comes to marriage, Lea and I struggle with the same things you struggle with. We often find ourselves taking one another for granted for the sake of less important things. Things like busyness, work and hobbies will always crowd a marriage for time, but I think the biggest challenge for any marriage, including ours, is balancing marriage and raising children. This is especially a struggle when you have young children.
I’m amazed at how many people justify putting their marriages on the back burner for their children’s sake. If you invest all your energies into your children and none into your marriage, your marriage will struggle to survive when the kids are grown. What happens is, once the kids are grown, you’ll look across the table at your marriage partner and realize you really don’t have anything in common anymore.
So to keep your marriage happy and healthy, you’re going to have to be willing to invest time in it. Finding time to reconnect in your marriage is healthy. Lea and I strongly feel that raising our boys takes lots of time and energy, but not to the point that we lose the healthiness of our marriage. We personally feel that we must reconnect regularly for our marriage to remain healthy. Sometimes we reconnect in our marriage by simply …
- Finding time a couple of times a week to go for a 30 minute walk together.
- Going on a date once a week and trying to talk about things other than just the kids.
- Calling home from work just to say “hello.”
- Spending twenty minutes at a Sonic drive-up just to talk.
- Having lunch together.
- Going grocery shopping together.
And it’s very healthy when we can occasionally …
- Spend a night away somewhere.
- Have a whole weekend away.
Our children are SO important in our lives, and we should be investing a ton of time into the ministry of parenthood. But our children also need to see their parents display a healthy marriage, and for that to happen it takes investing time. That’s why finding ways to reconnect is so important.
TWO QUESTIONS I’D LOVE TO KNOW:
1. Do you struggle with this?
2. What are some ways you reconnect with your spouse?
(COMMENT OF THE DAY: nick gill said… “I like how you concluded this blog: because a major part of the ministry of parenthood *is* modeling healthy adulthood for your children.I think we should strive for a more holistic approach rather than a hard-and-fast, simple hierarchy that I’ve heard taught before.
The mutuality and flexibility of real love mean that you never know which concern needs to be #1 at a particular moment. Saying — #1 – God#2 – Marriage#3 – Children– and carving that in stone just won’t do.
All of these are ministries: the ministries of marriage and parenting are ways of loving God. Worship and spouse-loving are ways of ministering to your children. And child-rearing and worship are ways of loving your spouse. Knowing which one needs my focus *right now* is a matter of wisdom and prayer and gallons and gallons of grace.It ain’t TV-love, but I don’t think any of us will mind that too much, will me?)”