Yesterday we broke the ice on the idea of balance within a marriage, and today I’d like to get right into why this is so important. As I mentioned, more is at stake when a marriage settles for imbalance than when an individual does so. I believe that because I’ve felt and I’ve seen the impact imbalance can have on the marital relationship…not just on the husband and the wife, but also on any children who may be involved.
My pastor says that a child’s greatest need is to know that mommy and daddy love each other. I’ve kind of adopted that as a personal mantra for our home life. My daughter needs to know that her daddy and I love each other. She needs to see that he and I have the sort of relationship that lasts – that stands the test of time and circumstances. She needs to look at our relationship and feel secure, and I believe that she cannot get that feeling if we are imbalanced as a couple.
We have to intentionally let her see our affections (tastefully, of course). We have to do those little things – in words or actions – that let her know that we still feel the way we did when we got married. We have to show her that when the rest of her world may rock and sway, her life at home will be secure and safe. She needs to know that home will always be home, and that Mommy and Daddy will always be here to make sure of it.
A purpose statement for a marriage is important, but I think the relationship that drew us together in the first place must remain at the center. Can we do anything else as a couple – in mission, ministry, family, community, wherever – if we let the basis of it all go untended? Should we even think about any of those things if the core of our relationship is struggling?
Marriage is a precious relationship. It is one that should be guarded at all cost. Once children are involved, that truer than ever. There are little eyes watching everything, and there are little ears hearing every word. They are watching for assurance that their world is as they believe it to be, and that when all else fails, mommy and daddy will both be there to catch them.
Date nights. Conversations after the little ones go to bed. Time together doing chores. It’s all part of nurturing a relationship, without which a purpose statement is pointless.