Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Kids Can't Come First

This was a big takeaway for me from the marriage conference we attended last weekend.  This is hard for me.  I see my children as these tiny beings that demand our love and attention at all times.  If they interrupt, I must explain to them that it's rude to interrupt before resuming my conversation (even if it's the 600th time I've told them). If they want to play, many times I will drop what I'm doing to play.  I realized this weekend that sometimes I end up dropping my husband in the process.

He didn't say that to me but, as I listened to the speaker listing a family's priorities, I suddenly saw how off balance our priorities had become.  When he began talking about what marriage means to the children, he said simply, "You are their whole world.  They will learn what it means to see love between a man and a woman by watching you interact with each other."  It hit me that he was absolutely right.  I flashed to all the times that I ask my husband to please wait to tell me all his stories until after the kids go to bed.  I remembered all the nights that I crashed by 9 PM without ever hearing them.  And I decided that my priorities had to change.

I talked to my husband about it and we started to fall into an old pattern.  "How about scheduling time to talk at 8:00, when the kids go to bed?" my husband suggested.  Then we realized that the kids wouldn't see us making our marriage a priority if we did that.  "I know, how about a walk every night after dinner?  We can talk while the kids explore," he said.  "Done," I said.  

As we walked the halls of the conference, we came across a book called, "Moments with You."  It gives a passage a day to read together then one question to talk about and a prayer to say together.  I wasn't sure if he would go for it, but he was all about it.  We decided to wake up at 6:30 each day and spend time reading that together.  I figured that we could always find 15 minutes.

We are only a few days out of the conference and the walks have not yet happened because, well, life gets in the way sometimes.  But we have woken up together and spent time talking.  The fifteen minutes we planned have overflowed into a half hour and our boys are seeing us spending time together.  Even more importantly, I'm learning new things about a husband I thought I knew inside and out.  There's nothing better in the world.

How can you make your marriage a priority every day?  Do you block out a specific time together?  Share your ideas!


4 comments:

  1. This is something that I can be bad about too :) I tend to be so tired by the time that my husband comes home at night that we don't always have as much time together as we should. I like your idea of going on a week with the kids and talking at the same time!

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    1. Thanks for telling me I'm not the only one! Let me know how the walks work out. I hope it helps you and your husband to get some much needed time together!

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  2. I heard someone say roughly, "Your kids will eventually move out. Then it will just be you and your spouse. You want to make sure that, by then, you're still best friends."

    Definitely still something I'm trying to figure out myself. Thanks for the encouragement to keep seeking connection and modeling a relationship for those around me!

    ~Luke

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    Replies
    1. Luke,
      You are so right about that. Best friends can get you through anything. We are reading a book about starting a marriage mentorship program - Maybe you and your wife would enjoy it. It's called The Complete Guide to Marriage Mentoring. Here's to strong marriages and families!

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