When we were young and child free it all seemed so obvious. In fact we were verging on smug, as we could see the simplicity of the way ahead, and where so many others had gone wrong. “The greatest gift we could possibly give our future children…” we confidently stated, “…was a strong and happy marriage.”
Our future children would know their place and appreciate that our marriage always comes first. We would frequently make time to continue to invest in our marriage and never allow the demands of parenting crowd out “Couple Time”.
The arrival of 3 children quickly taught us 2 things. The simplicity of that idea was absolutely right and yet so difficult to achieve. “Couple Time” would often get abandoned as we crawled into bed just moments after we’d managed to get the kids asleep. When we could stay awake later than the kids, the aftermath of the days adventures were still waiting to be washed, cleaned or tidied away. Why waste those precious moments of energy on communicating when there were mountains to be moved?
Child-free evenings out involved Biblical proportions of organisation to get to a restaurant, just to spend an evening talking about the children whilst checking the mobile in case the babysitter had called.
In our naivety we may have been wrong about how simple it would be to put each other first but we weren’t wrong about how important it was. One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is a strong and happy marriage. It gives children security and confidence and besides, parenting is far easier when there are two of you in unity.
There have been times over the years when our marriage hasn’t been the strongest, but I’m so thankful we’ve always had a commitment to get things back on track. We’ve watched our children struggle when there’s tensions in the home and we’ve seen the change as we’ve worked hard to invest in our marriage.
Today our lives are far from perfect. We face problems and issues just as every other family does, but I’m so thankful we face them together. We have a strong marriage but I know that can never be taken for granted if we want it to continue.
However today, an ordinary day that has no special signficance, in the midst of a busy week when we’ve hardly seen each other, in a month that has quite a lot of pressures, I still want to write about how much I love him. That is surely worth celebrating and that is surely a great gift to give our children.