I had my hair done today by a nice woman who was going through many things in her life. She was telling me about how she and her husband were in the process of getting divorced. Her four-year old son was having a difficult time with the many changes and inconsistencies going on in his life. My heart went out to her. Not only did she have to deal with all of her own feelings about what was going on, but she also worried a great deal about what her son was going through.
As I sat there, pretending to read a magazine while she worked with another client, I began to think about how much parents’ relationships can affect children. I’m not writing this post to bash single parents. Their jobs are more difficult than I could imagine. Instead, I really wanted to encourage those parents that are lucky enough to still be married to keep going!
Marriage can be difficult! It is something that really needs to be worked on daily. Spouses that have good relationships really can instill a sense of stability in their children. I encourage you, no matter where your relationship is at right now, to work at it!
This is a topic that I went over in my small group at my church in the past year. We discussed that the marriage relationship should take priority over the relationship between parent and child.
No one is perfect, and unfortunately, I think many of us yearn for perfect partners. I know I have. Realistically, I feel blessed to have a partner that is willing to work to improve himself and our relationship. I’ve also found that focusing more on improving myself than on what my spouse needs to improve upon really makes our relationship better.
In no way am I a relationship expert, but I’ve read a few books, gone through a few groups, and will be celebrating our ten-year anniversary this summer. Each year I find myself more appreciative of the man my husband is and I’ve enjoyed growing together with him over the years. There is not doubt that having children was challenging for our marriage. We certainly had to establish more ground rules for certain situations just to get us through some days. We choose to honor our vows in those bad times, but we have seen the rewards that work on our marriage can have. We hope to give our children a sense of security through our marriage. We also strive to be good examples of spouses to them, so that when they are looking for mates, they choose the right kind of person that can respect and love them. Finally, we work on our marriage so that one day when our children have moved on, we still know each other and are excited to move on to the next stage in our lives.
So I thought maybe some quick tips on how to keep your marriage strong would be nice. I have a few, but I’d love to hear yours!!!
– Pray together. Keep a prayer journal if you can. You’ll have a chance to connect and talk about what’s going on in your lives and minds, and to stay connected in your goals. You also have the chance to connect together with the maker of the universe, which is pretty awesome. The couple that prays together, stays together!
– Learn what your love languages are
– Kiss each other like you mean it
– Be intentional about weekly time together (sorry, had to throw and intentional in there)
What are your tips?