Appreciate Your Hectic Heritage

“Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him.”

Psalms 127:3

Enriching your marriage while parenting your children may sound like an oxymoron, but not only is it possible, it’s one of the greatest gifts you can give to your children.

Kids Playing   The good news is your role as partner does not have to compete with your role as a parent. However, balancing your roles requires much skill and may leave you tired just thinking about it! It helps to realize the ways your children enrich your marriage.

·         They are a continual reminder that you are one.Each time you see your daughter’s big smile, it reminds you of that smile that won you over years ago! What about your child’s appearance or personality reminds you of your spouse?  Stop for a moment and reflect on your first pregnancy. Do you remember the hopes and dreams you had as you began your family?

·         Children foster teamwork and creativity. Since children present many obstacles to finding time alone together, you have to get creative! Think about it: romance thrives on obstacles. Before we were married, we worked hard to overcome obstacles. We were at different universities two hours apart. It wasn’t easy, but most weekends we found ways to get together. What are the obstacles you presently need to overcome? Is it difficult to find sitters or to get off on a date? Do your children strain your budget? How can you creatively make ends meet? How can you find little bits of time to invest in your marriage?

·         Children promote appreciation. Because it’s a challenge to make time for each other, you appreciate it more when you do get together. Reflect on some of the good times you have had together in the midst of parenting pressures. What qualities are magnified in your spouse as he or she parents your children? Claudia has always appreciated Dave’s great sense of humor with our three sons and Dave especially likes Claudia’s creativity with our grandchildren.

So the next time you’re tempted to see your children as obstacles to building your marriage, instead take some time to list the ways they enrich yours.  And one way you will enrich your own children is passing down to them a Godly heritage. In families, we are all blessed; and through our families, we bless others as well!