In 4 weeks or less, our lives are going to change again as we invite another little person into our world. Those of us who are married and have at least one child know how much a little person can turn your world around. This tiny little human that relies solely on the love and nurturing of its parents. This tiny little human that will grow, way to quickly, and be watching our every move. This tiny little person who we will have more impact on than any other earthly being. No pressure, right?
I have discovered that life is so fulfilling with my little person. Yes, I am often times in survival mode, but I wouldn’t have it any other way because that little person fills my heart with such joy. Knowing that I am going to have twice the joy in the coming weeks thrills me. Yes, it will be hard. No, I will not be sleeping much. Yes, I will enter survival mode probably on a daily basis as I learn to take care of a toddler and an infant. But it’s such an amazing experience. I love being a mom so much that words cannot even describe how thankful I am that God entrusted me with these little people!
As much as I love and adore and cherish my little people, my husband and I have set our priorities as follows:
[Tweet “God first, marriage second, children third. @mendedbymercy “]
Now before you judge the fact that children come third on my list, allow me to explain!
God first– This is an obvious. If He is the center of my life, then my Christian walk is going to look vastly different than it would if I just call on Him when things get tough. When He is at the center of my life, then my actions, my words, my thoughts, my entire life, will look different and reflect my walk with Christ. When every part of my life reflects my Savior, my children will see that, and it’s all about planting seeds in those precious little hearts.
Marriage second- Here’s why marriage comes before children:
One of the greatest gifts parents can give their children is the security of a solid love relationship between mom and dad. –Lysa TerKeurst
My husband and I went to a marriage conference in the summer of 2013. The speaker asked us “What kind of legacy do you want to leave with your children?” That question changed our lives. We want our children to first and foremost, come to know Jesus. To do this, we want our children to not only learn through what we tell them, but also through our actions. Marriage is work and your children are watching your interactions with your spouse. Satan does not want your marriage to succeed. He wants to destroy your marriage. By destroying your marriage, he not only hurts you and your spouse, but he hurts your children. Children watch EVERY move you make. Our actions as husband and wife impact our children dramatically.
Every marriage is going to have conflict. It is not a matter of “if,” it’s a matter of “when.” We all go through storms in our marriage. Satan wants us to scream at our spouse and argue and belittle them with hateful words. Christ wants us to resolve conflict with a Christ-like attitude, with love and forgiveness. Which would you rather your children witness?
Your children need to SEE and HEAR the love you have for each other. They need to witness mom and dad pray together. They need to witness mom and dad having intentional time together. They need to see mom and dad put Christ as the center of their marriage. They need to see mom and dad resolve conflict. One day these little people are going to leave the nest and hopefully get married. The legacy you leave with your children will greatly impact the kind of spouse your children search for.
You’ve heard the phrase “girls always go for someone like their daddy.” Thankfully, I have an amazing father who taught me the qualities of a godly husband. Sure, my parents had and have their conflicts (we all do!), but as a child, I remember seeing how my dad treated my mom with love and compassion. Funny thing is, my husband has so many qualities that are just like my dad. I joke sometimes when we are all together that “I married my father.” And that is something I am proud of. I adore my father and I am thankful that my husband is so much like him. My father did leave a legacy with his child! Thanks to that legacy I am married to an amazing man with Christ at the center of our marriage.
My mother is my best friend. I was kind of a stubborn teenager and now that I am a mom, I have apologized for those years! But seriously, my mom is my best friend and sister in Christ. She has greatly impacted the kind of wife that I am to my husband. When I am in conflict with my husband, I can call her and she will give me unbiased, Godly counsel. We call that “therapy sessions.” 😉 As a child growing up, I remember watching my parents work through difficult times and not once did they give up on each other. I remember watching them celebrate the good times together. I remember watching them take time to spend together. They have been married for 33 years. That is 33 years of legacy right there!!
Children third- Does it make sense as to why these little people are third on the list now? If Christ is at the center and the highest priority in my life, then He will be the priority in my marriage as well. That in turn will impact my children more than we can possibly imagine. Will we fail at times? Yes. We aren’t perfect. But those are the opportunities we take to show our children what apologizing and forgiveness look like. Those are the times we admit our faults and allow them to see us pray through it. Those are the times we teach our children about God’s grace.
If your marriage is struggling, don’t give up. Satan may want to destroy your marriage, but God wants your marriage to succeed! He can work miracles in your marriage. He has in ours! Our marriage is certainly not perfect in any way, but it is amazing how much a marriage can change when Christ is at the center of it. You can’t change your spouse, but God can. He wants you both to leave a legacy with your children.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. –Colossians 3:23