I don't know about you, but sometimes I let my marriage simmer on the back burner. With work, children, chores, bills, and so on, there are days when my husband and I just don't make time to connect with each other. I remember before we had any children we would have conversations about how we needed to keep our marriage a priority even when it was tough. We may have been a bit naive thinking it wouldn't be as hard as it actually is, but I still think the goal is a good one. The best gift I can give my children, outside of keeping them safe and taken care of, is to love their dad.
I know my daughter is going to watch the way I treat her dad as she grows up, and not only will the way I treat him affect my relationship with her (because if she could marry him I'm pretty sure she would...she is head-over-heels in love with him) but it will also affect her relationship with her future husband. Do I want to show her that love can overcome obstacles? Do I want to show her that even when you don't agree on something you can still give respect? Do I want her to see that even when you screw up royally you can seek forgiveness, and offer it? Yes! It is my job to show her these things. And if I am focused on making sure the kitchen is spotless (and blaming her dad for the dirty dishes) I can't show her that.
I am not perfect (shocker, I know) and neither is my spouse. I know that we will have moments (sometimes days) when it is difficult to love each other well. But I want to maximize the opportunities to laugh together, to make memories together, to fight for each other, and to love. If I am focusing on everything but him, thinking that "we'll have time for each other later" than our relationship will wilt. It has to be watered to grow. So maybe my daughter will see moments when her dad and I don't quite see eye-to-eye. But my hope is that she will also see the authentic desire her dad and I have to learn about each other and grow together and to continue to do our best to love each other better each day. Knowing she'll be watching makes me want to keep my marriage on the front burner.
Stay tuned for ideas on how to keep the garden watered and connect with your spouse!