By Dr. Teena Welborn

 

A sonogram of columnist Dr. Teena Welborn’s fourth grandbaby, due in September.

Kitchen Tune-Up

 

     It has always been said that when children enter our lives, our marriages get put on the back burner, and there is much less time for husband and wife to spend quality time together. It is difficult in today’s busy world to have a healthy marriage, raise children successfully, work 40-60 hours a week, prepare meals, get children to extracurricular activities, get the family to church, and so forth. Does this sound familiar?

 

     I want all marriages to know that out of all these aspects of daily family life, not counting our Heavenly Father (He is always first), your relationship with your spouse is the most important. If the husband and wife are on the same page and are in a loving relationship, it is much easier to parent.

 

     Children feel more secure in a home that has happy, loving parents. If the marriage is healthy and the children witness this, they will have higher expectations for their own marriages. If it is unhealthy and they witness anger, yelling, putting one another down, and not being on the same page with children’s discipline, it leads to unsettlement in their hearts and minds.

 

     Jewish Rabbi Sholomo Slatkin wrote an article titled “5 Reasons a Good Marriage Is Essential for Parenting.” Here are his five reasons, paraphrased:

 

     1. Structure and stability: Children have special antennas that pick up tension.

 

     2. Parenting on the same page: If you are always in disagreement with your spouse, it will be difficult to parent together, especially if these disagreements are happening in front of the children.

 

     3. Model healthy relationships: We all know that history will repeat itself.

 

     4. Accepting your child: As you exercise your compassion muscle for your spouse, it is easier to have compassion and acceptance for our children’s mistakes.

 

     5. You won’t lash out at your children: If you are happy in your marriage, you are less likely to feel overwhelmed and lose patience with your children.

 

     As an educator and a parent myself, I feel this is an excellent guide for parenting. It is so important to place your Heavenly Father first, your spouse second, then your children. I feel it is also important for your children to know that your marriage is important and happy, so they can focus more on their own healthy and successful life.

 

     In closing, Focus on the Family author Arlene Pellicane wrote in the article “Maintaining Your Marriage During Parenting Years” that it is work to prioritize your marriage. She often wondered if her husband felt he had to take a number for her attention:

Forget intimacy: I have to work early tomorrow — take a number.

 

No homemade dinner tonight: Got to take the kids to soccer — take a number.

 

Can we take a vacation for two — in 20 years! Take a number.

 

     Pellicane reminds married couples not to get into this pattern. Your spouse needs your attention to have a healthy marriage that will subsequently roll into healthy parenting.

 

Dr. Teena Welborn is a retired educator and author of “Raising Whosoevers to Be the Heart of Our Schools.” Dr. Welborn and her husband of 37 years, Cliff, live in Florence, Mississippi, where they raised their three boys. They are members of First Baptist Florence. She can be contacted at tlmwelborn13@gmail.com.

Pro-Life Mississippi