Priorities in a family can be a touchy subject…
A couple of weeks ago we started talking about parenting. The feedback I’m receiving has been awesome! Y’all have asking some great questions and I thought I’d address as many as I can in the weeks ahead. Today’s question is one that I’ve wrestled with for a long time, myself…
“Some people say that the children come first in their relationship with their spouse, but others say that their spouse should. What do yo think?”
Ya. It’s a good one, right? My opinion may be slightly controversial, but I firmly believe that our men should be the top priority, and here’s why:
- Our children stand the chance of the most success when they see a healthy marriage lived out in front them.
Anything healthy needs time, attention, and nurturing. A marriage is no different. When we neglect our relationships with our men, we erode the foundation upon which our families are built.
- Our children grow up and leave our homes and start families of their own. When that happens and we are alone with our husbands. If we haven’t nurtured that relationship over the years then we are left with a person we don’t know and may have ceased to like.
So how do we protect our marriages in the midst of late night feedings, teething toddlers, carpools, extra curricular activities and just the all around hectic season of bringing up those precious babies?
You know, I don’t have a perfect answer for you. I’m still working on living out the proper priorities in our family. I believe that the details depend on you and you husband. However, I also believe that there are a few bedrock principles.
Continue to respect your man, especially in front of your children.
In any relationship, children or not, men feel love by being respected. When you introduce kiddos, sleep is a commodity and patience can run thin. I remember when our biglittles were littlelittles, I was so exhausted and I took it out on my man. It wasn’t intentional, but it still happened. He began feeling like I didn’t love him anymore and distanced himself from me. No matter how I tried to reassure him that I did, I couldn’t make him understand. However, looking back, I know now that he felt that way because I wasn’t showing him much respect. My priorities were off.
Speak his love language.
In the early nineties a revolutionary book came out called the Five Love Languages (if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. It may be thirty years old, but it’s still relevant). In case you haven’t heard of, it teaches that there are five ways that people give and receive love. While men will respond well to feeling respected, there are different way they do. Having this insight into your spouse will help you understand him and give you insight straight into his heart. I highly suggest grabbing a copy, discovering his language and speaking it regularly.
Most men have the reputation of “only wanting one thing” and some do. But a man who loves his woman uses sex to express that love to her. Now, hang on… I can sense the eye roll and hear you saying, “do you even know what you’re asking? I work, take care of kiddos, a house and everything else. Now you want me to find time for sex?” Girl, I get it. Truly I do. I remember when our kiddos were babies and time to have a discussion with my man was a rare commodity, forget about sex. But if you can carve out time to connect with your man as often as realistically possible, I guarantee you will see your marriage strengthened by it.
Please understand, I am soooo not perfect at any of these. I forget these three principles on the regular. I guess the point in me sharing them with you would be that I have seen what our relationship looks like when I don’t make him my priority for too long and I’d like to pass along this information to you. It is always easy for me to tell when it’s time to be more aware of one or more of these on this list because we tend to get snippy with one another.
So I guess that is a long answer to the priorities question. In our familial relationships, I believe that it is one hundred percent our husbands
In the comments, let me know how you would answer this question and why!
Hugs to you!