I remember watching my mom and dad hold hands when I was little. I saw them ride in the car together without arguing or bickering. I watched them cry with laughter at inside jokes.
I never had a doubt that my parents loved each other.
And their bond gave me security. I felt safe in my family because I knew it couldn’t be splintered. Their love for each other was an example of their love for me.
Now as a mother, I see that letting my children know I love their father is a gift to them. Having a relationship with my husband that is real, true, and deep helps my kids feel secure in our family.
But now I also realize how hard my parents must have worked at having a good relationship. Marriage is not something that comes naturally just as parenting doesn’t come naturally.
Both relationships have to be worked at because at their core, they demand unselfishness. And I don’t know about you, but I can be pretty selfish. After having two kids attach themselves to my body all day, demand my attention, eat the 3 meals I cook for them, wipe their bottoms and more, the last thing I feel like doing is giving more of myself to my husband! I selfishly look at my bed, my book, or my computer and wish I could curl up there with absolutely no responsibilities.
I know that during the day I can’t ignore my kids to sleep or play on the computer, but I am oftentimes VERY willing to ignore my husband to do the same.
Love them in the order you got them.
One of my life-long mentors, Jim Wideman says, “Love ’em in the order you got ’em.” I got my husband first. I spent 3 years dating him, 7 years being a newlywed and now just 5 years as a parent. And my first responsibility is to my husband. Yes, my “job” is my kids. But my first relationship responsibility is to my husband. Then to my children.
That’s a hard one. After a long day of raising my kids, I really have to focus to be able to give my best to my husband, too.
Act like you did when you were first dating.
And what does it mean to give myself to my husband? Or have my first responsibility be him? Well, I’ll give you another Jim Wideman quote, “Whatever you did to win ’em, you gotta do to keep ’em.” So, I shower in the morning, I try not to dress like a slob. I started the 30 Day Challenge with Kristen Welch to help me focus on being positive toward him. (When we were dating was I EVER negative?!) This week? I even left a love note for him in the car–something I used to do all the time when we were dating.
Loving your family in the order you got them and loving and keeping your husband might look different for you than it is for me. But I will tell you (and encourage you) that when you choose to place priority on your marriage, the by product will be a better mother.
When you put him first, he’ll put you first.
When you choose to pour into your husband, he will be able to do the same for you. And when you are filled up, you will be a better mother. And at the same time your children will feel the love and security from your husband.
How can you love your husband today?
|Amanda is a stay-at-home mom of two who blogs at OhAmanda.com and Impress Your Kids. In her former life, Amanda was a Children’s Pastor — overseeing, organizing and developing ministry for kids in nursery through middle school, but now that she is a mom, her “skills” are used up on her kids!|