Children are a wonderful gift in a marriage. They are a God given gift. However, children can distract your marriage and even destroy it. Children don't have the best interests of their parents' marriage at heart. They have their own interests at heart and that can be very destructive.
But the wise couple will learn that the marriage must take precedent over the children. If the marriage falls apart, the scaring done to a child's psychology is immense. It is best to keep the marriage strong so that children have a secure home life. This means the marriage must take priority.
In addition, the goal with children is to get them out of the house one day to start lives of their own. This means, if all goes according to plan, you two will be alone again with each other. You don't want to be strangers at this point.
Here are some tips:
1. Use babysitters. Some mothers, and even some fathers, don't trust their children with anyone. So you drag your children around everywhere you go and your marriage never has opportunity to be renewed or refreshed. Use babysitters.
2. Plan a weekly date if possible with no children around. If you can do this, do it. With very young children this could be problematic, but with older children find time to get away.
3. Plan several nights a week where you do things together alone. Put the children to bed early, and spend the next two or three hours doing something together. Have a date at home! Keeps the kids out of it and renew your marriage. This works especially well if your children are very young.
4. Take a couple times a year where you plan to spend a full day or two alone with each other. Find someone to take the kids for an entire day or two and get away with just the two of you. The investment in money will be well worth the costs!
5. Do interactive activities when you are alone. Don't watch a movie. The entire time you watch a movie you hardly look at each other or talk much. Some do, perhaps, but it is not the best date. Plan activities that require you to interact with each other. This is the best use of your alone time.
6. Have activities and projects that are solely yours. Your children don't need to be involved in everything you do. Have things that are dedicated only for the marriage.
7. Try and go to bed together. This is a wonderful time to talk for a few minutes before going to sleep.
When your marriage becomes a priority, then the children are happy and secure. Find time to be alone.
Greg S. Baker is a Pastor, Counselor, and Author specializing in building and strengthening relationships.
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