Are Christian Marriages Suffering Because Of Our Children?

May 17, 2012

Do we allow our children to take a greater priority over our marriage? The divorce rate among Christians are just as high as the world’s divorce rate.  Would the divorce rate be as high if we kept Genesis 2: 23-24 close to our heart?

23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh;  she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man. ”

24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

We as women have a tendency to change who we are as we go through different stages of life. For example, when I was pregnant I would often visit a baby website that had a forum so that mothers could connect with other pregnant women.  On the forum the reoccurring question most moms asked each other was, ” Are you going to get the mom haircut?  Or when are you going to get the mom haircut?  Whatever you do, do not lose yourself once you have children.  Having a child should change us in some ways, but not physically.

Our mentality should be different.  We should adjust our home in a way that our children will be safe as they grow up to be independent people.  We should be more aware  of the things we say and the places we go realizing that we have little people that are following our lead.  When I was growing up my father would only watch cartoons.  I often teased him because in my opinion cartoons were for kids.  The old saying, “You will understand your parents better  once you have children” is accurate.  I understand now that  it was not so much that my dad enjoyed cartoons, all though I believe he did!  He knew that his children were going to watch whatever he was watching and he wanted it to be something that was ok for them to watch. I believe changing your mentality is what most caring parents would do, but we should not change to the point that we lose ourselves.

Why do we allow having children to change us?  We become more concerned about our children and less concerned about us and our spouse. One day while my family and I were out and about we were deciding where we wanted to eat dinner. Jonathan looked at me and said, What does my wife want for dinner?  I immediately said,  “I do not have a preference, whatever the kids want to eat.”   I normally make this statement.  I am content as long as my kids stomachs are full.  However, in reality I really did have a preference and I muffed it under my breath…I  don’t feel like eating there today.

Our kids were voicing their preference but my husband must have kept his attention on me and was able to determine that I really did not feel like eating out on that particular day.  Jonathan told the kids to be quiet and he looked me in the eyes and said,” Nikki, where do you want to eat? Don’t worry about where the kids want to eat, where ever we go there will be something that the kids can eat.”

I finally gave a suggestion and while we headed there my wonderful husband made a statement to me that made me love him even more, if that’s possible!  He said,” the kids will grow up and move out of the house one day and you and I will be left alone again.  If we allow the children to determine everything we do, what will we do when they grow up and move out?  You and I will have a hard time enjoying each other all because we allowed the kids to determine every place we go and everything that we do. The kids would rather have their parents decide what our family will do and remain married, than get a divorce later because we do not know each other anymore.  I love our family but I didn’t marry you to have kids, our kids came out of the love we have for each other.   I married you because I want to spend forever with you.”

When Jonathan got out of the car to pick up our food, I begin to think to myself, he is so right.  I turned around and looked at our children and they were perfectly fine with the decision we settle on.  Do not allow your children to stop you from living and enjoying life.  If there is something that you want to do, do it.  Do not save it for when the children are out of the house, tomorrow is not promised to any man.

Challenge:  What do you want to do that you are not doing because you have children?  For example, do you desire to go out to eat as a family but for fear of how your children will behave , you don’t go out to eat? I would say go out to eat.  Truthfully, the people who  have kids know how kids behave and the people who do not have children, they don’t understand so does it really matter how they look at you?

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