Thursday, 27 October 2011

Kids

A recent blog I read asked the question “Does having kids kill the romance?” You might as well ask, “will night usually follow day?”; or “will Starbucks always charge a premium for their coffee?”; or “will our government leaders always fight about the best way to increase jobs and gross national product?”

In case you haven’t figured out what any of these questions have in common, they all have the same answer - a resounding “yes”. The difference is that we have no control over whether or not the sun rises or sets, or what Starbucks will charge for a latte, or how our politicians will face the dilemma of high unemployment. We can however do something about the romance in our marriage.

Babies often become the center of mom’s universe and dads feel neglected. We know that young children can be exhausting and they can rob us of privacy. As children get older their activities can consume us and disciplining can deplete our energy.


The first rule is to be intentional about your marriage relationship. Remember the purpose of marriage is to glorify God; it is to reflect the relationship between Christ and His bride the church. This means that right after God, your spouse is next in line of importance. You have your children for a season and they are indeed a gift, but your marriage is a covenantal relationship, a lifetime together.

So here are some thoughts:
1. Set aside specific time each day to talk, preferably when the kids are in bed.
2. Set aside at least one night a week to do something as a couple. This could be watching a movie, doing a puzzle, reading a book together, going for a walk, getting ice cream, etc.
3. Set aside at least one night a month for a date. Go out to dinner, pack a picnic, go to a museum, visit a planetarium, go skating or bowling, or take a class together, i.e. cooking class, photography, yoga, etc.
4. Install a lock on your bedroom door if it doesn’t already have one. Give yourselves an occasional time out and send yourselves to your room.

One of the best legacies you will ever leave your children is that of a strong marriage. It not only provides them emotional security growing up but gives them a model of what marriage is intended to look like. It is healthy for children to be raised in a home where God is the center, love abounds and parents exhibit affection toward one another.


Monday, 24 October 2011

Give Me a Break

One of the more repetitive complaints that counselors hear from husbands and wives alike has to do with that glorious time of day, or what should be glorious, when the husband returns home from work.

Both the husband and wife have had tough days, both are looking for a brief oasis where they can get refreshed. For the husband it might be some time in front of the TV or newspaper, with few if any words exchanged. For the wife it may be a reprieve from the kids or help with the dinner in addition to some adult conversation.

I think you can see where this is going. One possible outcome is a lose - lose proposition, neither party is happy. Either the husband begrudgingly helps the wife who felt compelled to nag her husband or the husband ignores the wife and she just seethes.


For the couple who has God at the center of their marriage home coming is a welcomed part of the day. They are more other centered, i.e. they put the other person’s desires ahead of their own and they appreciate what each brings to the relationship. They greet one another warmly and there is a symbiosis which enables each to sense the need of the other.

English Channel
God gives husbands and wives only a few commands as they directly apply to marriage, keeping in mind that God never commands us to do something that comes easily. Husbands are told to love their wives as much as they love themselves. (Ephesians 5:33) Being loving is not a natural emotion for a guy. If most guys are like me it would be easier to swim the English Channel twice than to love my wife as much as I love myself and I’m afraid of the water. In the case cited above that means that when the husband comes through the door he gives his wife a big hug and asks how he can help her, regardless of what his day has been like.

As for the wife she is commanded to respect, revere, defer to, honor, and regard her husband. In the case cited above the wife would give her husband a kiss and suggest that he take some time to chill out before dinner.

In reality this couple would pitch in to get done whatever needed to be done and then enjoy a few minutes of down time together.