There is a natural order in marriage. It begins with two people falling in love, believing that they are the most important person in the world to each other. As children come along they need to be cherished and loved but never more than your spouse. Then when they’re grown and gone, it’s back to just two people again. When these two remain in love, it provides a stability and a legacy for the children, no matter their age.
The four key reasons
Your children need to see how marriage works
If you push your spouse down on your list of priorities, your children will believe that marriage isn’t all that important. On the other hand, if they see you honoring your spouse with that number one spot, they will feel a love and security that can come in no other way.
A young adult shared the following experience. She said, “When I was little I used to ask my mom who she loved the most, me or Dad. She always said, “Dad.” I asked him the same question, and he answered “Mom.” Of course, I knew they loved me, but I was always a little disappointed that they didn’t say they loved me the most. A few years later I asked them again and the answer they gave showed me on top, at last. They said they loved me the most. The funny thing is, it didn’t feel so good after all. It wasn’t the feeling I was expecting. I liked it better when they said they loved each other the most.” A few years later they were divorced. She said, “They needed to keep loving each other the most, then I might still have a mom and dad together. It’s sad.” (First published here)
Twin college coeds were counseling their younger sisters about what to look for in their future husband. They wrote: “Tonight when Dad comes home from work or meetings, listen to the first words he’ll say when he walks in the door: ‘Where’s my beautiful wife?’ Then watch as he searches the house to find her, just so he can kiss her to let her know he loves her. Notice how he’ll start helping with whatever he can right away, and how he makes every one of you feel so important as he asks about your day.”
Putting your spouse first does not diminish the love your children feel from you. It enhances it as long as you show love to them as well.
It creates a feeling of romance in your marriage
You know right off the top that you matter to your spouse, and that’s romantic. How open are you to respond with love and affection when you feel that you are the most important person in the world to your spouse? Keeping romance alive in marriage is crucial. And this is not just about “making love,” it’s about giving love in everyday little acts of caring that show your spouse how much he or she means to you. An unhappy wife told us that her husband meets the needs of everyone else first and rarely even notices hers. Are there times when a child’s needs come first? Of course, but not continually and not at the expense of your spouse. A father of three young children, when asked if he still had the top spot on his wife’s list of priorities, said, “I’m not even on the list.” He wasn’t laughing. Busy spouses must always find time to show their mates how important they are to them.
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