Before There Were Kids!
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.Ephesians 5:31-32
Every now and then, just to needle their little sister, our older 3 kids will say, “remember when it was just the 3 of us?” Crystal and I remember the days before any of them were born! We would not trade a single child for anything; nothing can replace the joy and growth our kids bring. However, it is important to take a moment to remind ourselves that the most important relationship in the home is ALWAYS between mom and dad.
Marriage was God’s idea. We see marriage in the first chapters of Genesis. In fact, Paul quotes Genesis in the scripture listed above while the last book of the Bible joyfully details the marriage supper of the Lamb. Marriage is the only metaphor given in the Bible for Christ’s relationship with the church. We are His Bride and He is our groom; in Heaven we will attend the most amazing wedding party in and out of the known universe! Jesus loves us more intensely than we can imagine; the closest we can come is the love of newly-weds!
Healthy marriages provide a real-world example for our children and the lost to understand the gospel. When a husband loves his wife like Christ loves the church, children and neighbors can begin to visualize the love of the Heavenly Father towards them. When a woman submits to her husband as to the Lord, children and neighbors find out how being unconditionally loved provides stability and purpose. (see Eph 5:22ff)
It is easy to lose sight of the fact that your relationship with your spouse is primary and your relationship with your kids is secondary. Still, the most loving thing you can do for you children is to put them in third place; God first, spouse second, children third. This order affects every priority profoundly positively.
If you find that you don’t have time or energy for your spouse then I would encourage you to evaluate the relationship priorities. The best gift you can give your children is your love for your spouse. There is not enough space to detail the practical, emotional, and spiritual benefits here, so, you can google them!
The union of a husband and wife is a profound mystery; it is almost as eternally profound as being born-again into a divine relationship with Jesus our eternal Husband in Heaven! Your marriage matters! Your kids will grow up and leave home (we hope)! I pray that you and your spouse will continue to reveal the gospel to them and the world until death parts you!