Finding the balance in parenthood is such a difficult, yet necessary part of life. Today, we see so many marriages fall apart after the children are grown and gone. Why? I believe in large part, it’s because many couples, during those years of raising children, forget who they were as a couple. One parent or the other devoted their life to raising the children, and over the years they simply lost sight of each other.
I noticed this was happening when our daughter Jessica was about ten years old. There has never been any doubt she was daddy’s little girl. From the moment I held her in my arms she had my heart. But, Jessica and Janice really did not have much in common. Jessica, did not like the girly things. She was an athlete, and Janice was a cheerleader at Union Academy, and a Colette (dance team) at Copiah Lincoln Community College. Jessica ‘s world was fastpitch softball and basketball. I started coaching Jessica when she was nine, and knew I had to find a way for Janice to stay close. So, every year I coached, I got Janice to keep the books. By doing this, it kept us a close family unit. In the nine years Jessica played competitive sports Janice never missed a game that I remember. I know I missed only one, and I was actually the coach that year. My job required me to be away for that game, but I was on the phone with Janice getting constant updates. Janice did not really like sports, but she loved us all being together, and we formed a bond that has continued on into adulthood. Jessica has been with us on 5 of our six cruises these last several years, and also come with us on most of our weekend getaways. You see, this could have been something that could have separated us as a couple. I could have just coached and let Janice watch from the sidelines. But, by making everything we did a family function, it kept us close.
So, why was this so important? Because, for most all of us, there will come that day when we have to let go and let our baby’s fly on their own. When that happens, it is just the two of us again, the way it was in the beginning; and if we have allowed those child-rearing years to leave a void, many times couples will forget why they were ever together in the first place. Jessica is back home now, but she has moved out twice. We always told her she has a room at our home whenever she needs it. But, each time she left our home Janice and I just kept doing what we always have done. From day one we did things together, and that never stopped. With the exception of a women’s or men’s Church retreat, we have done everything together. For some that may seem strange, but for us, that is the way we like it. You see, Janice is not just my wife, she is my best friend, in every sense of the word. So, why would I not want to do everything with her. Yes, in many ways we are as different as night and day. But, we have always found things we enjoy doing together, and that has kept us as close as a couple can be.
Friends, marriage is meant to last for eternity. In Matthew 19:6 Jesus said, “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” This includes our children as well. It is important that we not allow our children to come between our relationship as husband and wife. Our job is to “come together” and raise our children as a family unit. That is the way God intended it. We must NEVER allow our children to become more important to us, than our spouse. Because there will come a day, when God blesses them with a mate of their own, and then it is just the two of us again; and I am here to tell you, this can be the most wonderful thing ever. Even with all the trials we have been going through, these last few years have been amazing; and when we go into our golden years with this kind of bond, there is absolutely nothing, even death, that can keep us apart. Because, a love like this never ends, it will last for eternity.
From my heart to yours!