I’ve started to read my new book that I got a while back. This one is about For Better or For Kids by Patrick and Ruth Schwenk. I got as far as Chapter 6 today. It’s a easy read. It’s a good one to read though. Because it talks about how to handle marriage with your spouse with kids.
Marriage is one flesh as it is biblically said. It is stressed more in the book as follows, “In Marriage, God joins us together as inseparable team–spiritually, relationally, physically, and emotionally.”(Schwenk, 23). It is also defined as “a picture of living for God and for each other” (Schwenk, 24). I’ve been married for 10 years now, and I’m still learning what marriage really means to God. What we are to do in fighting for our marriage. I love being married to my husband and I really am thankful that I do have my husband. That God brought this man to me. God has really changed my idea of marriage and so has my husband too.
Marriage with children. That is truly a gift from God. Children bring us many joys and they do change us for the better. It’s defined in the book that children are “God’s purpose” and are “weapons of truth, life, and light in a dark, broken and hurting world” (Schwenk, 33). We’ve always known since the beginning of our relationship that we wanted to marry and have kids young. This was a strong desire and dream of ours. It’s been messy and will always be. Lots of changes since we first dated, and married. And we’ve matured along the way individually and as a couple.
We as parents are to faithfully sharpen our children in God’s words and ways in helping them grow love for God and do his ways in their lives and especially gear them towards in developing a close personal relationship with Jesus. We do this with prayer at meal times, praying together as a couple and as a family, going to Church, having them do Sunday school, me going to mom’s group, and my husband assisting in Sunday school. And we have our boys in a catholic school to further raise them in godly ways.
The marital vows are God’s view of marriage. We are to have a God-centered marriage and family. Marriage is about fighting the battle for love, commitment, sacrifice and grace. Jesus is our ultimate example of that. He came to serve us for God. So we need to do that for our spouses and for our children. This is beautiful,a nd I’ve learned so much about that over the course of our marriage, especially within the past three years.
The amazing gift that we can pass to our kids is that our marriage that is to be a healthy, loving and God-honoring one. That we are still a priority for each other. That they can’t come between us. And we continue to work at that daily.
Sex with Kids. It can happen, with many changes. Sex is still an important part of a healthy marriage. It’s a picture of joy and intimacy as the Schwenks described as in page 55. You can spice up sex even with kids in the house. You need to find time even schedule it, so that sex can still take place in your marriage. It’s known on here that I enjoy sex and enjoy it with my husband. We try to indulge in sex whenever we can, kids in the house or not and embrace that special time regardless of how short. This is one of the most intimate and special ways to connect fully as a couple. That we are still fighting for each other and for love and for marriage.
Dating with kids in your life helps keep the fire in your marriage alive and healthy. It’s essential to keep pursuing each other. It’s stressed as “part of what it means to love each other with kids in the house” (Schwenk, 69). Make time for each other. Get away from them whether it’s just a couple hours in a weekday/weeknight or even a weekend. I’ve known this for a long time. I knew it was important to keep dating each other once we had kids. I even allowed my kids to start having sleep overs with the grandparents at 2 months old. Because I need time with my husband, to embrace the time being a wife, not known as “mommy” and that I knew that kids need to develop close relationship with their grandparents early on too. That they know that mommy and daddy need time together alone. We did get into the same pattern of dinner and movie for the longest time in our marriage. We’ve just broke out of it three years ago, knowing that we needed to spice “dating” up more with new adventures and things and it’s helped so much.
We are to parent together, not separately. It is defined as followed, “Living out God’s plan and purposes in marriage and family requires that we come along side each other to parent as a well-synchronized team” (Schwenk, 73). Parenting takes two to tango. Just like sex. Just like dancing. Just like marriage. Just like communicating. We are to “discover the best ways to support and serve each other”(74). We may fail at communicating sometimes but we know that we do so much better when we are on the same page about stuff with our kids. That our differences bring out the best in each other in other ways. As long we are in tune and are okay with it, we parent better. Just like we aren’t meant to be alone in marriage, we aren’t meant to be parenting alone either.
Marriage is more than 50/50. It’s actually supposed to be 100/100. Yes, beating that way more than 50. Jesus did that, so we need to do that for our marriage and for God. Our job as parents is to be teaching, shaping and caring for our kids and that is a team effort. This is God’s plan for marriage and family. Wee are to serve our children against God with service, humility, sacrificial love and hunger for what is right. Basically train them for eternity. We are to “work together to protect our marriage from division and to shape and build our kids to develop Christ-like character”(Schwenk,91). So that goes for everything we do day in and day out for each other and for Christ. I want our marriage to reflect God’s love for us and for our children.
Stay tuned for more soon on this topic of marriage with kids!