“The point at which many marriages jump the track is in over-investing in children and under-investing in the marriage.” (Elizabeth George, A Woman After God’s Own Heart (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2006), 94.)
Any mother of young children would probably agree that it can be hard to make your husband your number one human relationship. Children–specifically those of the preschool sort–are legitimately needy individuals whose needs are usually best met by one person: Mommy. Indeed, a mommy stays quite busy tending to the needs of her children alone, let alone those of her husband, her home, and herself. And in the busyness of our mommy-child relationships, we sometimes neglect the one that should come first–the husband-wife relationship.
When Travis and I were about to get married (and even on occasion since we’ve been married), Travis’ mom would lovingly advise him, “Never stop dating your wife.” Now on the tail end of spending the first five years of our marriage pregnant, nursing, and pregnant again, I have at last had a moment to take a deep breath and to more fully appreciate the wisdom of her advice. It is in good company with the teaching of Elizabeth Elliot who encourages women of the importance of developing a friendship with their husbands. Couples must realize that merely partnering in parental duties is not an adequate investment in their marriage. We live in a busy world, and intentional steps must be taken to maintain and to grow the husband-wife relationship.
One of the intentional steps that Travis and I make to accommodate our friendship is to put the kids to bed early. This gives us time to spend alone together–time where we and not our children are our focus. In fact, we frequently have “date nights” in our own basement while the kids are upstairs sleeping. We’ll rent a movie, turn out the lights, snuggle up on the couch under a blanket, and just be together. (It may not involve dressing up and actually going somewhere; but it’s easier, cheaper, and more comfortable! :-))
Our date night this weekend was spent just that way, watching one of the best movies I’ve seen in a while: Amazing Grace. From the back of the movie, Amazing Grace is the “inspiring story of how one man’s passion and perseverance changed the world. Based on the true story of William Wilberforce, Amazing Grace follows his courageous quest to end the British slave trade. Along the way, Wilberforce meets intense opposition from members of Parliament but his minister, John Newton, a reformed slave ship captain who penned the beloved hymn “Amazing Grace,” urges him to see the cause through.”
My heart was truly stirred as I watched and considered the fact that not so many years ago human lives were so abused and so devalued. I found myself wondering what it would have been like to live in that day (and thankful that I didn’t). And I found myself grateful for that Christian man who fought so hard to change the world.
This morning Travis and I walked into church to the indescribably beautiful sound of a choir of students who are visiting here from the Zambia International Bible College. As I, on the heels of watching Amazing Grace, watched and listened to their song of praise to God for His salvation, my heart was again stirred. I wept in thankfulness to God that because the slavery of African people–His people–has been abolished, these Brothers and Sisters in Christ could today stand before our church and minister in song of the saving grace of our great God.
Angela is a happy wife to Travis and blessed mom of four beautiful children--Abel, Amariah, and fraternal twins Isabel and Elliana. She embraces her full-time job as Mom and is now in her fifth year of homeschooling her children. Angela has a passion for the written word--both reading it and expressing herself through it--and deeply enjoys writing at both Eternal Outlook [with Angela] and DesMoinesMomsBlog.com. Angela has a heart for a healthy family life and enjoys doing what it takes to create one. Her goal in life is to live in a way that glorifies God, growing in her relationship with Him and impacting others for Him.