Dear Married Women: If You Want to be a Good Mom, You MUST be a Good Wife.
I asked my nine year old daughter, “What do you think of mine and Dad’s marriage?”
A blank stare.
Then a “huh?”
In all fairness, she is only nine and I threw a loaded question at her.
If your kids were asked to describe your marriage, what would they say?
Would they say it’s Christ-centered? Or honest? Kind? Forgiving? Loyal? Respectful? Fun?
Would they say it’s boring? Or distant? Busy? Distracted? Argumentative? Passive-aggressive?
Would they have anything to say at all? (Check!)
Next question …
What would you like your kids to say to describe your marriage? If not today, then a month, a year, a decade from now?
Personally, I’d love if my three girls’ descriptions encompassed a few things mentioned above like Christ-centered, or honest and kind, and fun and respectful.
Sometimes my husband and I get it right. We are respectful of each other, we have fun, we talk about God out loud to each other and our kids. So I’m hoping these are the things that stick. Because we sometimes get it right … until we don’t.
We make mistakes, snap at each other, ignore one another, or even worse. I’m hoping these are the things that don’t stick in our kids’ minds. I’d love for them to describe my marriage positively because it would insinuate I had a secure, fulfilling, and overall happy life.
But more importantly than that, it would lead me to believe that I was also offering them the strong foundation to lead their own secure, fulfilling, and happy life.
The answers to these questions posed above are directly related to how we are parenting our children.
Because if we want to be good moms, we must be good wives.
Those of us who are married, we must realize that in order to be a better mom, we must become a better wife.
Why? Because children raised within the constraints of a healthy marriage witness and experience the mirrored image of the relationship between God and His Church. They experience the lasting benefits of a secure foundation from a real-life, actual reality they are living in.
Just like we feel secure in God’s love for His church, our children feel secure in our love for our spouse.
The biggest benefit your child will ever receive comes from you loving your husband well and him loving you well.
So your marriage is the most important relationship in your family. When the marriage is strong, the children are strong. When the marriage is thriving, the children are thriving. When our marriage is weak and wandering, so are our children.
Don’t get me wrong. Our marriages don’t have to be perfect.
In fact, they never will be on this side of heaven. Just like our relationship with God before entering Heaven isn’t perfect, we can relax knowing that things not only won’t, but don’t have to be all unicorns and rainbows at home.
But we must be faithful.
Our faithfulness to our marriage relationship is what makes it healthy. It's good to remember some of what makes marriage healthy, not perfect.
It’s healthy to have fun and adventure. It’s healthy to have differences of opinions and even conflict. It’s healthy to worship and seek God together, but also seek God individually. It’s healthy to be have friends, space, and even time away from your spouse. It’s also healthy to have friends, space, and time together.
To seek this healthiness, we must nurture and cultivate our relationships with our spouses. And we must nurture it first, before other relationships. Even our relationships with our kids.
It’s hard though, right? With needy children, demanding jobs, and so many other things, it’s hard to tend to our husbands’ needs, as well, let alone first.
Personally, my children are louder, needier, and more present than my husband. My husband doesn’t always yell my name, demand that I get him a band-aid, another snack or a diaper change. Many hours a week he is away at work and not in the same room as the rest of us.
It’s easy to focus more on the squeaky wheels in the house. However, if we plan to grow, in any area of our family life, we must encourage and support our marriage relationship first. We must grow with and toward our spouse.
So set regular date nights … and don’t cancel, no matter what. Put down the phones … and look each other in the eye. Help each other with regular, mundane tasks and talk while you do it. Write out a prayer for your marriage and then set a reminder on your phone to pray it. Every day.
Maybe if I do these things (or a thousand other options available) to cultivate my marriage relationship, not only will I be a good wife, but I’ll be an even better mom without even trying.
And maybe then my daughter will have something to actually say about it. :-)
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