Parents learn as they go, one season at a time. Their lives are always wrapped up in their children’s activities and interests and can’t believe that one day this will be just a memory. So how can parents prepare for those dreadful days when they will again have to live for each other, as a couple?
Kids grow so fast, don’t they? Look at your own children. You have them in diapers one day, and you think that it will last forever. You tire yourself from watching Sesame Street and reading Dr. Seuss, wishing you could have time to be an adult again. Then suddenly you trade goldfish crackers for a full tank of gas and additional car insurance. Things start to become painful and you can’t run away. College is on the horizon!
“Enjoy the season, for it will come to an end,” I had many people telling me. Was that a way to promote comfort or a threat?
The idea of leaving my Algebra studies and those extensive hours of homework behind me is so exciting (Halleluiah!). Also going from 2 full loads of dirty clothes washed daily to once a week is not a bad idea at all. The thought of finally being able to sit down in front of my TV, having the ownership of the remote control once again, is like a dream.
Yes, there is a light shining in my future. And much more to come, I’m sure. But what about a life for two, with my beloved spouse of so many years? Will that personal togetherness, which some have already lost even before the dirty diapers, be meaningful again? Will we ever be the perfect couple once more?
Children will weaken a couple’s relationship, instead of strengthen, if parents let it happen. Not that children intend to. Not that God intended so. On the contrary, children are our inheritance from the Lord, but putting them first on the priority scale, as if nothing else was important in this world, will certainly deviate us from reaching God’s first purpose for the family: a strong marital relationship.
“Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 9:9
CHILDREN ARE IMPORTANT BUT THEY ARE NOT ALL THAT THERE IS.
Our children need our care and support. They need our time, mainly in the beginning years. However our spouses can’t be overlooked! They were the priority in our lives at the beginning of our relationship, before the children came to exist, and there they need to stay.
Most people wait until their children have left for college to then rekindle their love. That’s when they find out that the years and years of spouse’s neglect has set them so far apart from each other that they have nothing else in common.
They have found other interests; they have invested in themselves as individuals without having the “family interest” in place. They have become two strangers live under the same roof. How sad!
You know I am not coming up with anything new. This is known by most and neglected by many. Husband and wife need to protect their relationship always, from the very beginning. The nurturing of a life spent together is vital for a harvest of healthy fruit in the future.
On the next post you will find some practical tips to make an assessment of where your relationship stands. I have also included a few ideas on how to keep your marital relationship healthy while raising children, so when they are gone the two of you can continue the journey God has designed for you as a couple.