We all work hard at so many things. Health, career, home, school…and of course relationships. There’s even a familiar axiom: “Marriage is hard work.”
And the same is true for raising children. No matter how children are introduced into a couple’s lives (natural birth, adoption, fostering, etc.) they represent a permanent change to the marriage dynamic. Raising children is hard work, and in each stage of their childhood, challenges that get overcome are typically met with new challenges of the next stage of growing up!
Of course, raising children is also noble work! But sometimes that for which we work the hardest can be the most difficult for us to relinquish control of. This tendency to forget — or refuse — to let God have the final say in our lives is what Psalm 127:1-2 is about.
Moreover, if we work our hardest at raising good children, we can sometimes neglect the needs of marriage. This is not only hard on the marriage, but it’s also hard on the kids, who find their deepest security in the strength of their parents’ love and commitment for one another. So when children become part of a family, parents can (and should) take intentional steps to continue to cultivate the health of their marriage.
- What is something that you work really hard at, and what do you hope to accomplish?
- What can you do to regularly “let the Lord build your house?”
- What are some of the ways the presence of children can make it difficult to “work on” a marriage?
- What are some of the ways the presence of children can enhance a marriage?
- What are some ways that parents can intentionally nurture their marriage, after they’ve brought kids into the family?