“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.” – Ephesians 6:4.
Bob and Jane hit a rough patch in their marriage, but not as a result of fireworks: there were no knockdown, drag out fights, no threats or ultimatums causing the problem. Rather it was a gradual erosion. The erosion was so gradual that Bob and Jane looked up one day and realized that their solid, happy, even enviable marriage was in trouble.
Like countless other couples, Bob and Jane had unintentionally let their day-to-day routine of juggling careers and parenting their three kids become a distraction to their marriage. The time they used to devote to the two of them is now being invested in the five of them.
Raising a child is one of the most selfless things we can do. As a parent, there is no one else we would rather give our attention to than our children. It just seems to make sense. It becomes a distraction when we are spending so much time and energy on the kids that we do not have enough attention from each other to maintain a happy, healthy relationship.
Once children arrive, most couples find themselves spending less and less time together. Some of this was practical, a matter of convenience—one parent running their son to basketball practice while the other took their daughter to gymnastics. By the time the kids were delivered to and then picked up and a few errands were run in between there is little ‘us” time to spend with your spouse. The “us” time can start feeling like interruptions.
All parents want their children to be happy. But many couples today go too far, letting everything revolve around their kids. This hurts the children and the marriage. The good news is you don’t have to choose between your spouse and your kids. They are not mutually exclusive, In fact, I would suggest that putting your marriage first actually produces happier kids.
The key is to guard the time you have with your spouse. Fight against potential distractions in relationships by having a date night with your spouse. The benefits of date night are endless. Taking one night every week helps you reconnect and communicate as partners, and gives you the opportunity to have fun together.
The distractions we’ve discussed this week are only a few that will be thrown our way. Distractions do not have to destroy our marriage. We can effectively take action against distractions. And when we use them, our marriage will come out stronger than ever.
- Do you believe children can be a distraction?
- What can we do this week to ensure we don’t let distractions hinder us from having the marriage God wants for us.