If you desire to be a loving, biblical parent you must begin by being a loving, biblical spouse. Too often parents believe they can compensate for the deficiencies in their marriage by concentrating on loving their children. Not a good idea! Living primarily for your children leads to making idols of your children. This is a burden that no child can bear. In the long run, it will only turn your children against you. No one is blessed when this happens. Stability in the marriage relationship is what provides stability for the family, not the other way around. Here are at least three of the reasons why this is true.
First, marriage is designed to be permanent. Children are temporary inhabitants of the family. Parents are to raise their children to leave the home and start their own families. Husbands and wives are to be together for a lifetime. If the primary focus is given to the children, then what is temporary will receive more attention than what is primary and foundational. This weakens the marriage relationship as well as all the other family relationships.
Second, children undergo radical, rapid changes in their physical makeup and in their relational growth. In the space of just a few years they go from being totally dependent on others to being ready for independence with regard to life’s responsibilities. Thus, if life centers around the constant change of your children’s lives, stability will be replaced with turmoil and the marriage relationship will suffer. As children quickly progress from infants, to toddlers, to young children, to older children, to teenagers, to young men and women ready to begin their own lives, they need the stability of parents whose focus on maintaining their marriage first has not wavered.
Third, as special and wonderful as the parent-child relationship is, it is dramatically different than the unique one-flesh relationship between husband and wife. Parents who seek to complete themselves in their children will always be left incomplete and disappointed. A parent who lives primarily for his children will constantly be in a state of playing catch up. As the parent gets adjusted to one phase of a child’s life, that child has already moved on to the next. Children do not complete their parents.
If you want to love your children well, love your spouse first and foremost. As your children see you serving Christ as you serve your spouse they will know stability. It is important for children to know that they are not the most important people in the world. If they are to follow Christ they must seek to serve rather than be served.
Give your children the precious gift of loving your spouse as Christ as commanded you. This will provide strength and stability for your children and for your marriage. This will cause your marriage to be a testimony to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
6 thoughts on “Love your spouse, love your children”
This is so Beautiful and Sweet Article and Very True!
” If you want to love your children well, love your spouse first and foremost.”
I liked this sentence so much, it’s a foundation to have Home, Sweet Home!
Thank you Brother, for all your Inspirational Thoughts and Suggestions!
Wonderful advice and thoughts–I wonder though–being a single mom raising my son alone (his father and I were not married and he left us) I believe that there are a different set of challenges for me and my husband who has adopted my son. It definitely takes a lot of effort to follow your advice when relations were set with my son prior to meeting my husband. Certainly my husband comes first but there are some unique challenges when introducing or blending families.
I understand. Loving your husband does not mean loving your son less. The more stability and love there is in your relationship with your husband the better mom you will be to your son. Each child brings a unique set of challenges. Knowing that your husband is supportive of your care for your son should help. Thanks for raising an important consideration.
So true. I see many parents including myself making these mistakes. Thank you for opening my eyes and I will share this story with my husband.
Tracie, you can’t control what others do. The best you can now is to make your marriage now strong. Be kind to your children even when they are not kind to you. Romans 12:17-21 is a good guide to follow. As you noted with the oldest child, things do not always stay the same.
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