Your Marriage Matters More

Welcome back to Truth Bites, designed to give you a little insight, a new perspective and some clarity on many issues women face today.

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Truth Bite: “Your marriage is worth fighting for. It matters more than any relationship in your life.”

Did you know that your marriage matters more than any other relationship in your life—even (do I dare say it?) those with your children? It’s true! In fact, in the bigger scheme of things, the condition of your marriage relationship impacts those around you more than you think. I know you are probably cringing here, so hear me out!

One of the things that surprised me the most about being a mom was how deeply and instinctually I loved my children when they were born. I mean, there is something deep within our makeup as women that loves these little people so fiercely and protectively; we don’t understand how anything or anyone could be more important than them. At least that’s what I used to think.

When my kids were little, I placed a high value on my role as a mother. (I still do, don’t get me wrong.) I was lucky enough to get the choice to stay home with them instead of working, so I made the best of my time by preparing little snacks and taking them to countless playdates, mommy groups, and fun adventures, like the library, the park, and children’s museums. I put everything into their growth and development—my time and energy, creativity and emotions. At the end of the day, there was literally nothing left of me. I would fall into bed exhausted, but content, knowing that I had given them my 100%.

One day, God showed me a new perspective. All of what I was trying to do with these kiddos was really only possible if my marriage is in tact. If my husband goes away, it’s gone. My poor husband was working so hard to provide everything for us, but he wasn’t getting what he needed, especially from me. Our marriage was suffering and I knew it, so I made a commitment to fix it. I began to put my husband first…before the kids…not easy at first, but I learned how.

If you are married, I want to encourage you to rethink where you place the value of your marriage relationship with the ones you have with your children. Is your husband #1? Or do you make the mistake that I did, assuming that “He’ll be fine. I’ll get to him later.” You’ll actually be loving your kids more if you begin putting your husband first! Let me explain.

Kids who grow up in a healthy marriage will benefit ten-fold, maybe even a hundred-fold, than from growing up in a broken home. Why? Because they get a built-in model, a pattern, of what a good marriage looks like and how it can be for them someday by watching how you and your husband relate. This pattern goes with them in life and future relationships, ultimately affecting their marriage later on. A good, healthy marriage passes down fruitful, positive patterns to future generations. Unfortunately, even if we don’t want to admit it, a poor marriage or broken home passes down negatively. I’m not saying that kids from broken homes can’t ever have thriving marriages, but it will likely be more difficult.

According to Dr. Fran Walfish, a Beverly Hills, Calif.-based psychotherapist and author of The Self-Aware Parent, “When a child’s parents divorce, the experience always allows leaving a relationship to be a viable option versus hanging in and wrestling with working things out. That’s why it’s important to teach your child about relationship-building for the future to ensure she can foster healthy relationships of her own, and be able to work things out with a partner if that’s a suitable option.”

I want to encourage you to keep working on your marriage. It’s worth fighting for! Hang on to what you have for dear life, no matter if your marriage is thriving or barely surviving. Believe me, there is a lot more at stake than you can see now. By focusing on improving your marriage relationship, you’ll actually be loving your kids (and your future grandkids) in the best possible way long-term, which ends up improving the relationship you have with them in the long run. A great resource to learn how to do this is God’s Radical Plan for Wives, by Gil & Dana Stieglitz. I hope you’ll check it out.

So what about you? Do you understand the stakes? Are you willing to put your husband first? Leave me a comment to let me know how you are doing this. I would love to connect with you.

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