Parenting Perspectives 6: Love your spouse

When we were young, we wanted to look for the right person for us, we wanted to find our soulmate (for those who believe there is one perfect person for us out there). We read books, asked friends, went on hunting sprees, in the hope of finding the one who will complement us, fill up the special space in our hearts. Once we found him or her, we continued to develop that relationship. Some left it on the back burner as they focused on their careers, some focused on personal projects, charities, themselves.

Then, a child turned up, some maybe a second, for some even more. The couple became parents. Focuses may have shifted. The child or children then became one more important priority, or one of the main ones amongst others. Somewhere along the line, in the battle of juggling the various competing priorities in life: parenthood, career, personal life, relationships with friends, etc many tended to forget the vow made to the spouse in the sight of God those years ago, when the feeling of love and affection was the most important thing on that oh so important day. It’s okay, right? My spouse will understand, there’s just so much to do, so many important things to juggle. Spouses are also busy with their own stuff, so mutually agreeing not to focus on each other should be fine, since there is one less thing to worry about in life. Once we have time, we will make it up to each other. Right? Right? Wrong!

As a Christ follower, after our pledge of allegiance to Christ, there is no other area in our lives when we made vows as strong and powerful and binding as the one we made to our spouses. When we have jobs, or even when we have kids, we don’t make vows anywhere close to the significance of our wedding vows to our employers or children, yet the relationship with our spouses seems to be one of the first we place in lower priority. Ironic huh?

There are just so many reasons why we need to always love our spouses. I will mention a few here, as I will not have space to go into great detail.

  1. We vowed before God and others (and the spouse also of course) that we give our lives to them, to put them above ourselves in every way and every circumstance.
  2. Among all living creatures in the world, our spouse is the only person, whom by choice, made that vow to be with us to take care of us and we likewise.
  3. God created the marriage institution to show the world what the relationship between Christ and His church (people/kingdom) is supposed to be – we and our spouses have the potential and the capacity and capability to be cosmic role-models for the world at large.
  4. God created the married couple as role models to children: of how a father is to treat the mother and how the mother is to treat the father.
  5. God created the married couple as role models again to children (and also to others): of how a husband is to treat the wife and how the wife is to treat the husband;
    and many more reasons…

If couples/parents want to have more discussion on points 3-5 above, let me know, we can have a few Bible Study discussions together 🙂

How then do we love our spouses in the midst of seemingly competing priorities and in the busyness of life?

  1. Remind yourself that other than your relationship with God, there should not be any other competing priority.
  2. After establishing this person as your number 2 priority firmly (with God being number 1 or else this whole thing does not work), make time, spend time, carve out time with your spouse… a bit every day, every week, every month, every quarter, every year. Finance gurus tell us to put aside some savings for yourself first with every paycheck before you pay others/bills. Similarly, schedule, lock in, block off time for your spouse first before scheduling anything else: work, sleep, hobbies, even kids, etc. (Note: I am not saying the rest are not important, of course they are. But use your limited 24 hours a day according to the right priorities).
  3. Remember the important things/times, and do something then: birthdays, anniversaries, special days/events, etc.
  4. Respect your spouse when alone with that person, or when with your children or when with anyone.
  5. As often as you can, show love to your spouse, make love with your spouse, receive love from your spouse and share this love as the building blocks and foundation of your marriage and family.
  6. Work with your spouse as a team, there is no occasion in life where the both of you should ever be in a different team: this is what 2 becomes 1 means, in case you forgot your wedding details.

There are lots more, but this should be it for now…. if you love your spouse…. the foundation is there for God to work in you both and through you, into the lives of your children, and this is one of the most important things parents can do for their families….

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