My dear husband and I have been married for almost nine years! In that time, we have had three children and are expecting a fourth in October!
|Our wedding day|
Funny thing is, when we started having kids, parts of our marriage seemed to fall to the wayside. We didn’t mean for it to happen but it just did! I’m sure the things that are forgotten at the bottom of the barrel are different in every marriage but for us we especially found it hard to spend a lot of one on one time with each other.
Before kids, that one on one time made for a lot of productive conversations, successful errand running, quiet and lengthy meals out or at home, going for walks and holding hands and of course the other good things that come with young marriage!
I’m sure you can guess what those same activities looked like after the kids came: interrupted and unfinished conversations, hurried errands with some left waiting for next time, busy and messy meals eaten as quickly as possible, pushing a stroller on walks (no free hands for holding!) and many, many nights where there was “no time” to enjoy “time alone” after hours because the baby needed to be fed and we were too tired!
We didn’t like it but we didn’t know what to do about it. I was tired of reading books with “advice” on spending alone time with your husband. The suggestions to “get a babysitter”, “make a regular date night” or “be intimate after the kids go to bed” seemed insensitive and unrealistic. But at the same time, when we didn’t carve out time for each other in some way, we’d always end up fighting or getting frustrated which made things worse! Maybe you’ve gone through the same thing too!
What it came down to though is that the health of our marriage was being neglected. We’re called to put God first, our husband second and our children next but that wasn’t happening. It still doesn’t a lot of the time. Because I have a laid back and easy-going husband, it’s so simple to throw myself into motherhood and just assume that my hubby is completely satisfied with our relationship. Don’t let yourself take your marriage for granted, ladies! It takes work and lots of it!
|Ring photo at our wedding, the rings are in the flowers!|
I had to stop making the excuse that because my husband wasn’t doing everything I wanted him to do that I couldn’t do a little work of my own on keeping the spark alive during these babymaking years. A few months ago, I wrote a post about a revelation I had about the mask I was wearing in my marriage. Something else I also have realized lately is this:
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…” John 10:10a, NASB
Satan wants to steal the joy from our marriages. He wants to kill our commitment to our spouse. He works very hard to destroy our trust in each other and distract us in any way possible so that our attentions are directed elsewhere. There is nothing he would like better than to break down our family. Sad, isn’t it? But it’s true. And it happens often.
Just because I have been married for almost a decade and my husband and I love each other does not mean we are immune to the devil’s tricks. We absolutely must call on the mercies of God to give us the marriage He wants us to have!
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10b, NASB
Even if you feel that the man you married is a different person now (or if he feels you’re different), even though there are other demands that are taking up your time, whether it be kids, a job or whatever else, I really think it is possible to have the sweetness, excitement and time together we used to have with our husbands.
I’m going to share the things that we are working on (and what things have failed miserably), including some practical ideas for you…tomorrow!
Read Part 2 now!