My husband and I have seen very little of each other this week. A quick peck as we pass each other and a short conversation on the way to bed have been about the extent of our interaction this week. It's not ideal, but that's the way it's been this week.
One week like that isn't the perfect situation, but it's manageable. Too many weeks like that, and everyone starts to get out of sorts. Communication gets lost, and we start to feel like roommates instead of spouses.
There are lots of things we do as parents, but there's nothing that we do for our kids that is more important than maintaining a healthy marriage. If you're married, you're marriage needs to be a priority.
When we have kids, the temptation is often to stick our marriages on the back burner. Babies are needy. They need care and attention. They're demanding. As our kids get older, they take less immediate attention, but they still need to be driven places. They need help with homework. They still want our attention.
And it's easy to think that we'll deal with our marriage later. That thought process is destructive -- not just to our marriages but to our kids.
Even though they don't know it, our kids need us to prioritize our marriages over our kids. Our marriages aren't just important to us; they are important to our children for a number of reasons:
1. Our kids are learning about marriage from us. If we want our kids to learn to have healthy relationships with the opposite sex, then we have to model it for them. If we want them to choose wisely and understand the commitment of marriage, then we have to model it for them. If we continually show our kids that we choose them over our spouses, then that's what our kids will learn to do when they grow up.
2. Our kids are learning about God from our marriage. Ephesians 5:21-33 offers up a biblical view of marriage by comparing marriage to Jesus' relationship to the church. When our kids observe our marriages, they're getting a view of what Christ is like. That's a tall order, and a really good reason to place a priority on our marriages.
3. A healthy marriage makes for healthy parents. If things aren't right in our marriages it affects every aspect of our lives. We're better parents when our marriages are healthy.
Our marriages don't deserve to take a backseat to our kids. It's been said that the greatest thing we can do for our kids is to love our spouses, and that's not far off the mark. Take a few minutes to examine your marriage today. Check to make sure nurturing it hasn't been pushed aside in favor of busyness, children or even work. If it has, figure out how to put your spouse back where he or she belongs on your priority list. Your kids will thank you.