…then comes marriage, then comes the baby…

November 18, 2013 at 2:35 pm 2 comments

A Facebook friend posted this article about marriage tips for women.  One of the tips reads

  “God, husband, kids…in that order.  – I know this isn’t a popular philosophy, especially among mothers, but hear me out. It’s no secret that my faith is of utmost importance, so God comes first in my life no matter what. But regardless of your belief system, your husband should come before your kids. Now unless you’re married to someone who is abusive  (in which case, I urge you to seek help beyond what my blog can give you), no man in his right mind would ask you to put your kids aside to serve his every need while neglecting them. That’s not what this means. When you board an airplane, the flight attendants are required to go over emergency preparedness prior to takeoff. When explaining the part about how to operate the oxygen mask, passengers are instructed to first put the mask on themselves before putting it on their small child. Is that because they think you are more important than your kids? Absolutely not. But you cannot effectively help your child if you can’t breathe yourself. The same holds true with marriage and parenting. You cannot effectively parent your children if your marriage is falling apart. Take it from me – I tried. There will also come a time when your kids will leave the house to pursue their dreams as adults. If you have not cultivated a lasting relationship with your spouse, you will have both empty nests and empty hearts.”

To which her friend who I don’t know responded

‘Just my humble opinion, but these sound more like tips on being a submissive wife. Especially #3. My kids come first. Hands down. I love my husband, he’s my best friend and I can’t imagine my life without him. However, a woman can find love again and have a new spouse but NOTHING could ever replace my children. Not even God.”

She is totally entitled to her opinion and I am sure she is a great person and it is not wrong in the least to love your kids.

However.

I’m not going to dive into putting God very very first.  I totally agree with it and I think husband and wife need to have that priority together.

It drives me CRAZY when people write things about being a good wife and other women see it as “being submissive” there are lots of great articles on how to be a better husband out there too and none of them say to “put your wife in her place” or “make sure she knows who is boss.” You can take that article with the exact same wording and say it is for husbands too. I’m sure the article is geared toward wives because the author is a wife.

So In order to have a good marriage, both husband and wife learn to submit. Here is a great article called Marriage is for Losers.

You think of your spouse first. You try be the first to apologize. Ok I’m not perfect here and I have to say my husband is WAY better at apologizing than I am. I always want to be all burned up about something and he usually comes and says he is sorry before I’m ready to let go, or even when I know he didn’t do anything and it was just me overreacting, he still apologizes.  Do I think “that’s right you apologized first and I win, mwahahahaha!” No. Usually I feel like he wins since he let go first.  He gets it.  There is nothing in the world that needs to come between a husband and a wife’s relationship. Even in raising kids. You need to be a team and on the same page. You support each other.

The part in the passage above where it says

When explaining the part about how to operate the oxygen mask, passengers are instructed to first put the mask on themselves before putting it on their small child. Is that because they think you are more important than your kids? Absolutely not. But you cannot effectively help your child if you can’t breathe yourself. The same holds true with marriage and parenting. You cannot effectively parent your children if your marriage is falling apart. 

To be perfectly honest if the oxygen masks came down I don’t know if I could help putting the masks on my kids first before myself , but to illustrate the point she is making, it is a perfect comparison.  If you take care of your marriage first, you are a much more effective parent. I know when I am stressed, the people who feel it the most are my kids. Is a marriage falling apart one of the most stressful things that can happen to kids? Yes! Yes is an understatement. It causes huge emotional problems in kids.  This woman who said “a woman can find love again and have a new spouse but NOTHING could ever replace my children. Not even God.” I’d like to say, if your kids are so important to you, you WILL take care of your marriage first.  If your kids are so precious and prized to you, you WILL make sure your marriage is even more special to make sure you don’t tear out the foundation you brought those kids into the world on.

When I got married I didn’t see it as just a license that says we are legally together now.  It is not just an upgrade in a title from “boyfriend” that means we will be together for a really long time until we get on each other’s nerves enough, or grow apart, or “fall out” of love.  No.  HE is now my family, HE is my home.  He is who I CHOSE to be my special companion to raise kids with and go through the thick and thin of everything in life and we will have each other’s back no matter what.  Kids will grow up and move away.  Kids pass through you, but your spouse is your forever friend, your most intimate relationship you can experience (if you allow it to be).

If you want something to last, you take good care of it.  Cherish your spouse, don’t take marriage  for granted.  Don’t think lovey dovey feelings are what get you through together.  It is commitment, it is understanding that your relationship is most important and you do what you can to strengthen it and protect it.

Having such a perspective on your marriage will make it last and blossom into something beautiful.  You will also set an example to your kids that parents stick together and help them learn to build a happy family.  So, if you love your kids, you will put your marriage before them.

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Entry filed under: Wendy's Posts.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Becky  |  November 18, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    People are strange and I feel bad for that ladies husband, she sounds like a winner to be married too. Anyway I agree with the article God at top unites the spouses together as one, then the kids which does not mean we don’t love them, its just you have to have a successful marriage to make those lovely kiddos happy. As for the oxygen mask that always bugged me too, the only thing that brings me somewhat comfort is kids are easier to bring back to life then adults, in most cases of course. So there you have it just practice your cpr skills and you wont have to worry, jk.

    Reply
  • 2. Jade  |  November 18, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    One thought on the oxygen mask thing, both literally and figuratively — needing to put on an oxygen mask is a scary thing. If Mommy has it on, the kids will be less scared about having theirs on, too. They’ll see that Mommy has it on and she’s calm and OK, so they can be OK, too. Even with oxygen, kids hyperventilating because they’re panicked can make a bad situation worse. So if I’m ever in that situation, I feel comfortable putting the mask on myself first, then helping others — both because we need to be in a safe place to help others and because it’s one way we lead/comfort by example.

    Taking that to the figurative level — kids need to see how to make relationships work. They need to see that example of Mommy and Daddy making things OK. That doesn’t mean they need to see fighting or bickering or marital strife. But if they see their parents working at their relationship, they learn from that example, too. Learning how a mother loves her children is important, sure. But vial to their success is seeing how two grown ups who don’t HAVE to be together forever work out their differences so they can have peace and consensus.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Reply

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