After a man and woman say “I do” on their wedding day and the celebrant declares the union legal, a new family has been created. Husband and wife are a whole family, they don’t need children to ‘complete’ them. If children come along, they become additions to the family, they don’t define it and thereby exist at the centre of it.
This is critical for married couples to appreciate. For Christians, Christ is the centre of the family. I say this because our generation seems to be swamped with child-centred parenting. Everything in the home revolves around the children, their wants and needs. Such ought not to be so. Children need to learn that the household does not revolve around them. Rather it revolves around Christ and in fact after Jesus, they come third behind mum and dad! The kids need to see that mum and dad’s relationship is a priority.
Enter ‘couch time’. Every afternoon (or as often as is practical), when the kids are home, mum and dad should sit down on the couch and spend time together. To start with they’ll want to jump between you. Politely tell them you’ll spend time with them later, but now it’s mum and dad’s time together. This exercise, done regularly, will not only strengthen your marriage, it will reassure your children about the health of their home.