If you prioritize your relationship with your spouse, it will end up giving you the result that you desire: Your kids will feel secure, safe, and in the end, will feel like they are the most important thing in your life.

One of the greatest takeaways from my parents’ lifelong romance was to set priorities in the proper order: God first, then spouse, after the spouse the kids, and then everything else. No doubt they had a unique perspective, having been in love with each other since Dad was five and Mom was three.

Legion are my memories where the three boys were with Mom and Dad going to fancy restaurants, taking long coastal drives, spending the day at far away beach cities, shopping for antiques, fishing, spending a Saturday at an auction house, hanging out at their workplace (they always worked together), and going with them wherever they wanted to go.

Here are a few interesting facts about marriage you should know.

Scientists theorize the difference has more to do with anthropology than biology: Men look for fertility features in women, and since women can’t judge fertility in men by physical appearance, they must remember certain characteristics that will determine if he will be a good mate.
Marrying someone with similar cultural and religious values increases the success rate of the marriage.

Education level taken by itself, increases proportionately the success of a marriage.

If both spouses are from divorced parents, they are three times more likely to divorce, than if both spouses parents had stayed together. The changes of divorces however are reduced dramatically if one of the spouses came from parents who never divorced.

Few are my memories of going to the party of a classmate, me or my brothers causing one of our sporting events to swallow an entire weekend, or doing some other kid-centered activity.

My parents were intentional that having kids wasn’t going to stop them from doing the things they did before they had kids. Their object was to bring the kids into their marriage, not allow the kids to drown their marriage in a sea of tasks for the children. For this reason, our kid activities were pretty limited.

This idea probably sounds foreign to many people. It seems the pervasive thinking in the Western world is that the lives of parents generally revolve around their children. Beginning each Monday, day in and day out, parents run themselves ragged tearing around from practice to recital to dance class to art school to theater to band until they fall into a heap on Sunday night, only to start again the next morning. So, what happens after that final Sunday, when you’ve dropped off your baby girl at the college of her choice and you walk away, hand in hand with your spouse, no longer knowing the hand you hold? One way to fight that scenario is to make serious efforts to make your husband or wife a priority in your life.

So is this simply one guy’s opinion because of what he grew up with? I don’t think so. Counselors, therapists, pastors, study after study, but most importantly, your own experience will tell you that kids who grow up in families where Mom and Dad’s relationship is strong do much better than when Mom and Dad focus all of the attention on the kids, and forget about each other. Kids long for constants; when they know Mom and Dad’s relationship is solid, kids flourish.

Even after taking into account the differences between our culture and ancient Hebrew culture, I think the Bible has some principles that could really help here. In Ephesians 5 & 6, in the most instructive and direct teaching to family roles and responsibilities in the Bible, Paul tells Fathers not to exasperate their children, and tells children to obey their parents; it’s short and sweet. In a beautiful way that only God could have inspired, Paul describes—in explicit detail—the love and respect that spouses are to have in relationship with one another, and compares the marriage relationship to the relationship that Jesus Christ has with His church. A marriage is not just a relationship, it’s a calling.

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