When I first met my husband, I wasn’t looking for a serious relationship. I was just coming out of a serious relationship and was really just looking for a distraction. My plan worked well. I became so distracted by him that I didn’t even notice myself falling in love. It seemed to come on gradually. We looked back one day and had no doubts that we were madly in love, but we didn’t really know how or when it happened.
We have been together for over a decade now. A decade feels like a long time to me, until I hear about couples who have been together for half a century. Our decade together has most definitely been the best years of my life. Nothing against my childhood, but this marriage and adulthood stuff is pretty neat. I mean, we created two incredible human beings together! I’m a bit awestruck by our accomplishments.
There are so many things that I love about my husband. There are also many things about my husband that drive me crazy. What I find interesting is how those very things that drive me crazy are also some of the very things that make me love my husband most. Love is silly like that.
Love isn’t always beautiful, it is often messy. I’m a hopeless romantic and love reading romance novels. I’m not sure my husband even knows the definition of romantic and he definitely hates books. The merging of two lives, two belief systems, and two personalities takes a whole lot of give and take. The beautiful moments make it worth the effort, but sometimes in the midst of the mess it’s hard to remember what beautiful even looks like.
My husband and I fell in love with each other long before we even began dreaming of our children. We intend to be in love long after our children have grown up and created their own families.
Parenting is hard. It is exhausting. And it is important, crucial work. Raising our children in this crazy, messed up world takes focus, time, energy, and massive amounts of effort. Making our children a priority in our lives, especially during these crucial first few years is so vital to their future success.
But my husband was with me first and he will be with me for life. Our relationship with each other must come first if we want to have any hope of it lasting a lifetime. Because a marriage takes so much work, it cannot afford to be placed on a shelf during the child-rearing days. The work doesn’t stop when children come, it actually gets harder.
I fear that our current culture has somehow missed the memo on this. It seems that in an effort to do all and be all, our priorities have gotten mixed up. I hear so many couples laughing at the distant memory of regular date nights. It feels like we have children and work and errands to run, church to attend, volunteer opportunities, exercise to fit in, dinners to cook, houses to clean, and bills to pay, but we sometimes forget about marriages to nurture. I constantly hear mom’s talking about how their kids are their first and most important priority and no one will come between a mom and her kids. I’m concerned that we moms are forgetting to teach our kids a crucial lesson. We’ve forgotten that something as valuable as a marriage must be prized, it must be treated with care, and it cannot survive years of being ignored on a shelf in the corner.
Our children see everything and they learn from everything they see. The Bible says, “the greatest of these is love”. If love is the greatest thing, than shouldn’t it be one of the greatest and most important lessons we teach our children? And not just our love toward them and toward others, but letting them see their parents love each other. Helping them see the beauty of marriage, even in the midst of the mess, so they understand that it takes a fight, but one that is worth fighting.
You see, if I put my kids as a priority over my husband, I cheapen my marriage vows. When I devalue my relationship with my husband, my kids don’t get a chance to see what real love looks like. And I want better for my kids. I want their future marriages to have a beauty worth fighting for, but if they’ve never seen that marriage can be beautiful, they may not put up much of a fight.
One of the greatest gifts that God has given us is marriage. It is a blessing to have a partner along for the trudge through life. Not everyone will have the opportunity to experience this blessing. I am grateful that I have found this love, it is better than I ever dreamed possible. It is harder than I ever imagined hard could be. I fully intend to hang tight to this blessing.
My love for my husband took me by surprise when we first met, and it continues to surprise me with each passing year. May we always keep our eyes on each other. May we always keep our marriage a priority, second only to God. May we keep Christ as the center of our marriage. May our children grow up and realize the blessing of having parents who are madly in love with each other, for life.
Moms, don’t forget about your husband. Remember how deep your love for him once was.
We give to our kids and our jobs and our churches and our friends, make sure we give first to the man of our dreams.
Remember those days of intimacy and nights of passion, pre-kids? That is a blessed, beautiful gift from God. It’s okay to blend a life with kids and a life with a passionate, intimate marriage.
Taking some precious, valuable time away from our kids to invest in our marriage is one of the greatest blessings that we can give to our kids.
Strengthen me with raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love.
My lover is dark and dazzling, better than ten thousand others!
His mouth is sweetness itself; he is desirable in every way.
This is my lover, this is my friend.
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth – for your love is more delightful than wine.
I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste.
My lover is mine and I am his. I belong to my lover, and his desire is for me.
Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.
Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.
If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned.
– Various excerpts from Song of Songs, a poem in the Bible all about intimate, passionate love.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
This is such an important point – in God’s amazing design, spouses come before kids. That doesn’t mean we don’t love our children to pieces, but we need to prioritize our marriage!