For Husband and Wife ( Day 11 of 18 )
JUST SHARING (from the “Couple’s Devotional Bible”)
This article’s author: Stephen Arterburn
Bible Passage: John 15:9-17
Key Verse: John 15:12
Jesus said: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
Many parenting problems are actually marriage problems in disguise. Too many couples overinvest in their children at the expense of their marriage, and their children suffer as a result.
If a child gets the sense that Dad loves her more than he loves Mom, it puts a tremendous weight on the child. She may love her father’s attention, but deep inside she wonders, “Will Mom and Dad stay together? Will they both be here to love me?” This leaves the child waiting for her parents’ relationship to fall apart.
Parents can’t help their child unless they first step back and get their marriage relationship right. Couples need to stop trying to meet every one of their child’s needs and start focusing on each other’s needs. They need to tell the child, “I’m not going to play with you right now. I’m going to spend thirty minutes with your mother because I love her and I want to be with her. After that all three of us can be together.” Initially, children will resist such a change because they won’t be getting the amount of attention they’re accustomed to. But soon you’ll see the healing begin.
Couples need to make their marriage the top priority, but it can’t be motivated by a desire to do what’s best for their children. You need to work on your marriage because it’s what God wants you to do.
• What parenting issues might disappear as you grow closer as a couple?
• How do your children respond when you make time to be together apart from them?
Additional Scripture Readings: Ephesians 5:21-25; Colossians 3:12-15