Melba has raised four children who all love the Lord and are close to her and each other. One day I asked for her secret to successful mothering. She wisely replied, “A successful mom must be a successful wife first. My children know that my marriage to their father comes first.”
When children are young, their needs are great. The mother may spend several hours each day meeting their needs. Since her husband doesn’t need her to cut his food or tie his shoes, she needs other ways to show him that he is important. This can be shown by refusing to allow children to interrupt while either parent is talking.
To keep a marriage healthy, parents need time alone. It is good to go out on a date at least twice a month. When our children were infants and toddlers we planned romantic week-end getaways. This was a challenge since we had no family in the area to watch our children. We split them up and had them stay with friends. (Later we returned the favor by watching their children.) It is crucial to keep the spark of romance glowing.
In Gen.27 is the sad story of a cold marriage where both parents turned to the children to have their needs met. Their story starts out so well. Rebekah left her family and took a long journey to meet and marry Isaac. It says that Isaac loved her. We would like to give them the classic storybook ending, “They all lived happily ever after.” But it went downhill. Twenty years later she gave birth to twin boys who were direct opposites. Esau became a rugged hunter and outdoorsman, while Jacob lived peacefully among the tents.
Isaac loved Esau, because he hunted and brought back good meat, while Rebekah loved Jacob because he stayed with her at the tents. Then Esau married pagan women who grieved both parents. In spite of the problem wives, Isaac still wanted to give Esau the special blessing. Rebecca eavesdropped behind Isaac’s tent while he sent Esau out to hunt. Then she called Jacob and cooked up a scheme to get the blessing. They tricked Isaac who had grown blind. He gave the blessing to Jacob. When Esau found out, he planned to kill Jacob.
The parents each chose a favorite son. As they split the family into two teams, they stopped communicating. Throughout the entire chapter, they don’t speak to each other until the last verse, when Rebekah asked him to send Jacob in search of a good wife.
It is also interesting to note that first Isaac loved Rebekah. Then it says he loved Esau. Next, it said three times in the chapter that he loved Esau’s savory stew. The love in their marriage had grown cold as they focused on their favorite children. We don’t know which came first, the focus on a child, or the coldness and distance in their marriage. Regardless of what initiated it, their family eroded. None of them was happy.
A child wasn’t meant to fulfill a parent’s emotional needs. Parents must have their need for intimacy met by each other, or close friends of the same gender. A child was never meant to meet the emotional needs of an adult.
What are you doing to show your mate they are more important than your child?
How are you keeping the spark of romance glowing?
Dear cyber friends, I’m so sorry I’ve been offline the past two weeks. I’ve been out of town so much! I will do my best to keep writing new posts each week. J
Today I am drinking Earl Grey and enjoying some Walkers mini shortbreads. Both the shortbreads and new mug are a gift from my dear friend Nancy. She has excellent taste in more ways than one!