Children Challenge and Change a Marriage

Children challenge Fathers Day Pixabay - persons-731514_640I’ve been working on a project with a friend for both of our ministries and I was looking for something pertaining to the “Pre-baby” time in a marriage. It’s that stage when they’re pregnant, but they haven’t had the baby yet. As I was perusing the Internet to help stimulate my thinking, I came upon an article that brought some levity to my day, and a good laugh. (Thanks Lord, I needed that!) It talks about how children challenge and change a marriage.

Children Challenge Your Marital Strength

The web site these questions are housed on is not our favorite. But the questions are good ones (and some of them are quite funny).

For example: here’s one of the questions they posed concerning being ready for parenthood:

“Can you clean up puke, change 10 crib sheets, make dinner, and help someone do homework while running a fever of 103?

“Okay, no one THINKS they can.”

That’s so, so true. But it’s good to think about these types of things ahead of time. And yes, we’ve been there and have done similar things… and more! It’s amazing what we can do when we need/have to!

Here’s the entire article, to read (and laugh through):

• 10 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Having Kids

Children are a Challenge, No Doubt!

Having children sure tests every ounce of strength you ever thought you had. There’s no doubt about that! And even though children are a blessing from God, they sure can be hard on a marriage! A lot of what happens can test even the best of marriage relationships. That is because the entrance of children into your home life changes everything. And I mean everything!

If you haven’t had children yet or you want to, I hope I haven’t frightened you too much. I love our sons (and their wives and children). I can’t imagine not having them. But even so, those who have children sure need to do a lot of adjusting. They also must do a lot of readjusting and readjusting. (Hopefully, it’s healthy readjusting.) And if spouses don’t do so, it can bring even more problems.

Why am I writing this? First off, to share a few laughs with you through the article I pointed out. Plus, I want to warn those who haven’t had children yet to please, please, please do what you can to shore up your marriage now. Also work on your communication skills. You’re going to need good ones. NOW is the time to get ready for a whole lot of shaking going on in your world together.

Children are a Blessing and a Challenge

In closing, here are a few tips that could help you as you face the challenges of juggling marriage and parenting. Please note:

“The challenges that parenting poses within marriage are inevitable. But letting those challenges become relationship-busting sources of tension, resentment, or unresolved conflict? That’s not inevitable. Rather than letting parenting-related marriage tension erode away at your relationship, take steps to shore up your relationship. Know your (physical) limits, review your common ground, and prioritize fun.” (Kelli B. Trujillo, from her article, “Parenting and the Marriage Mess”)

It’s Important to Prayerfully Consider the following tips:

Don’t put your marriage on hold while you’re raising your kids or else, you’ll end up with an empty nest and an empty marriage. I’ve seen too many marriages fall apart because two well-meaning people put so much focus on their kids that they forgot to keep investing in the marriage. Some couples reduce their relationship to a partnership in co-parenting, and when the kids finally grow up, they discover that they have created an empty nest and an empty marriage. Give your children the gift that comes from seeing their parents in a loving, thriving marriage. Model the kind of marriage that will make your kids excited to be married someday.” (Dave Willis)

Also, keep in mind:

“Your child is influenced by the state of your marriage connection. The more warmth and love between you and your spouse, the happier and healthier your child is. The more alienated your relationship, the more your child can be affected. This truth is a result of God’s design. God created marriage to connect people in a deep way that reflects His passion for people. Children are a fruit of that love and connection.” (Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, from their article, “Reconnect with Your Spouse”)

There’s no doubt that kids can be a blessing, but even with blessings, there are the ups and downs of it all.

And if you want even more tips, go to the topic on our web site, Children’s Effects on Marriage.

I’m hoping you will find at least part of what you need to help you. Let the Lord be your guide.

Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this blog.

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