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A few years ago, I went out for supper with some of my women friends. There were nine of us in total. We were a mixed bunch. We came from different walks of life, different countries, different cultures, and had different belief systems. There were, however, two main things that we all had in common. We were all married, and we all had children. In fact, we had all met and gotten to know each other through our children when they started school.
As the evening progressed, the topic of conversation turned to our children and our husbands as the conversation inevitably does when married women get together! One woman said, “I would die if anything happened to one of my children. I wouldn’t want to live.” All the women concurred with that remark except for me! I commented, “I would find it so much harder to lose Steven (my husband) than one of my children.” There was a shocked silence, and one of the ladies present got extremely upset with me. I tried to explain to her why I had said that, but she would not listen. None of the other moms agreed with me either. I love my children with all my heart. I would die in their place if I was ever called on to do so. If anything happened to one of them I would be distraught and totally heartbroken, and I know I would never fully recover from that loss. BUT the reason why I said what I did is because my marriage is based on what God said in His Word.
For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother
and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
The same applies to women in uniting with their husbands. Mark 10:8 repeats this: “and the two will become one flesh. So, they are no longer two, but one flesh”. In Psalm 129, God says, “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” The quiver is the container that holds the arrows, and the point of having an arrow is to be able to release it. Our children are with us for only a short time. We teach them about God and relay His instructions to them about living a joyous and full life in Him. We love them. We educate them, feed them, and care for them, BUT then they leave, find work for themselves, get married, and have children of their own.
Your marriage is the quiver that holds your children for a while before it is time for
them to be ‘shot’ out of the marriage, like an arrow, to live their own lives.
If you have neglected your spouse during these years, you are going to be extremely lonely and lost when your children leave home! You need to continue to grow in your own friendship, in your sexual relationship, and in your spiritual development together with your spouse. You need to have a partnership, and together, the two of you need to raise your children. Then when the time is right, release them to grow and to discover for themselves what a wonderful world God has created for us. The mom, who was so vehement towards what I had said, phoned me a few days later and apologized. She said that on reflection she knows that in her marriage her husband should come first but she just did not feel that way BUT wished that she could. She has subsequently gotten divorced, and her children have moved out of the home. She is now on her own. We need to love and grow our relationships with our spouses throughout our marriages.
(Originally posted on Start Marriage Right. Edited for CCE.)
About the Contributor
Noelene Curry is a public speaker and the author of God’s Promise for Families and All God’s Stones. She speaks and writes about God’s redeeming love and His immense ability to restore people and relationships, especially in the aftermath of divorce. Connect with Noelene via her website at http://www.godspromise.co.za. All our contributors are volunteers. Bless them by learning more about them.