When we are in the throws of parenthood - spending long days cleaning messes, wiping bottoms and hugging squirming toddlers - it can be easy to lose touch with our spouse. After all, these little people in our care can be quite demanding. Even as they grow and become more independent, our children still require much of our time and attention. Now add in the rest of life’s realities, such as work, chores and familial obligations, and who has time to even think about our spouse, much less make him or her a priority?
But honestly, you must! There is no earthly relationship more important than the one with your spouse. This may seem counter-intuitive for parents since our children NEED us much more literally than our spouses. Yet when we make the effort to make relationship with our spouse the top priority, the whole family benefits.
Here are just a few of the many ways you and your family benefit from spouses putting each other first:
Provide safety and stability. When mom and dad show love and affection for each other, their children notice. They feel secure that they are part of a loving home. Also, a marriage where each partner focuses on the other with respect is much more likely to provide a stable, long-lasting family home.
Lead by example. There is no greater way to show children how to love, respect and show compassion than by modeling those behaviors on a regular basis. Seeing as how watching mom and dad interact is their first true look at the dynamics of a relationship, children will learn to treat others the same way their parents treat one another.
Help your children to understand their place in the world. Children are not the center of the universe and the sooner they learn this, the easier their lives will be. When mom and dad make time for each other and display the importance of that time, their kids will quickly realize that they are not guaranteed 100% attention 100% of the time, and that that is okay!
When mom and dad are happy, everyone else is happy. A home led by constantly arguing or unhappy parents is an unhappy home for all. When mom and dad make the decision to put each other above all else, including the children, their marriage thrives and the rest of the household falls in line.
Create a lasting legacy. Children will grow up and likely get married themselves someday. They will learn what to do and what not to do based on the relationship they witnessed from their parents. A happy marriage, one where mom and dad always put each other first, is easy to emulate.
There is an old saying that says: “The greatest gift a father can give his children is to love their mother.” That simple truth goes both ways and it is absolutely worth the effort to remember and exhibit that every day.