People say they’ll be grown before you know it.

And they are.

Don’t blink they say.

But we do.

Let them spread their wings.

So they fly.

People warn, guard your marriage because someday the kids will be gone.

And then they are.

With all the knowing, who really knew?

Who could predict the impact the layers of time might have? Never would I have imagined as I held my first baby such fearful responsibility would become my sustenance. How could I have guessed the deep affection or debilitating exhaustion pacing floors at night could awaken.

Nor was I prepared when such love vied for first love.

The very oneness that brings our children into the world can be shoved apart like warm little bodies squirming against our legs, wiggling themselves into our space, coming between a kiss.

Marriage is worth every effort. The greatest gift you can ever bestow on your children is the security of a solid relationship. Recommitment to love one another first and foremost has to happen daily, maybe hourly. The mudslide goes the other direction, away from fostering husband-wife relationships when diapers need changing, tummies are hungry and a fight is about to turn ugly. All desire to muck it back uphill, to understand and be understood, to care and nourish, takes strength.

The nature of parenthood forces us to do what we need to for the interests of our children. There isn’t much left to splash onto the one we promised to love above all others.

Maybe we make it too difficult.

You don’t have to put your marriage on hold for a future moment. Don’t get stuck on lack of time, money or energy. Live it today. Look up when he comes into the room. Meet His eyes. Smile. Let him count on your mood as friendly. Soften your tone. Stop your hands, even just a hesitation of what you are doing to turn toward him, put it down, and listen. Show him he is important enough that you want to pay attention to his words, his needs. Touch him. Put a hand on his shoulder when you walk by. Brush his hand with yours.

It really doesn’t take much, yet at times it feels like it costs everything. Because it requires discipline, intention, and selfless love.

It begs for a Philippians 2:1-11 attitude, a supernatural call to put others first. “…in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (verses 3- 4; NIV).

God created love to expand like a rubber band, embrace a family and then shrink back into a wedding ring that fits differently than once before, but when cared for, shines every bit as bright.

So, don’t wait for things to settle down, more energy or a more convenient time.

Because if today doesn’t happen, someday might not come. And your children need daddy-mommy kind of love as much as the air they breathe.

And when there are two again, it’s pretty wonderful.

 

Sylvia Schroeder
Sylvia Schroeder is a speaker and writer with a passion for family and missions. She married her high school sweetheart and together they served twenty-four years as missionaries in Italy and Germany with Avant Ministries. They live in Kansas City, MO and continue to provide Pastoral Care for missionaries around the globe. Their four children and thirteen grandchildren often wiggle onto her pages. Find her blog at When the House is Quiet, sylviaschroeder.com.