7 Ways to Protect Your Marriage From Your Kids

Becoming a parent was one of the most incredible things that I’ve ever done. It changed my marriage in beautiful ways and also challenged my marriage in ways that I didn’t quite expect.

I get a lot of questions from people asking how Jesse and I worked through the changes that parenthood created. I also get a lot of questions about preparing for parenthood with my spouse, so I hope to answer both of those questions here.

Jesse and I have grown together so much since we’ve had our boys, but we have had to make some intentional changes in our marriage to ensure that we remain focused on God and focused on one another.

It is clear throughout Scripture that our relationship is our first ministry. The first issue that we’ve seen that can be a stronghold in any relationship is a child-centered marriage.

7 Ways to Protect Your Marriage From Your Kids

1. Work Against A Child-Centered Marriage

When you have a newborn, you don’t really have the choice to not have a child-centered marriage for a season. Your baby needs you at all times and there are few hours that you have (if any) where you can completely check out. For this, I would encourage you to stay the course and don’t allow yourself to get discouraged. Prepare your hearts for it and hold onto hope! Jesse and I know that there are likely to be some ‘disconnected’ seasons in our marriage and with a new baby, we don’t always feel as close as we used to. But remember – it is just a season and this too shall pass.

As a few months pass, there has to be an intentionality in setting aside time alone with your spouse. I promise – it does not happen naturally and it isn’t always easy! Jesse and I have always placed great importance on having regular date nights. But with two boys under three, it can be hard to get away (especially because I’m that crazy mom who doesn’t trust people with her kids haha.)

With that said, a lot of our dates are now spent indoors. We have to go through the effort to make it different from every other night. You guys, it’s so easy – I can’t say how easy – to want to just turn on the TV and zone out because you’re exhausted and it’s been such a long day. It even feels like a good thing to relax next to each other and not say a word.
But the enemy has a way of using “good” things to cause further damage. It’s deceiving, to be honest. You and your spouse need that face-to-face time to talk through things and reconnect, but also to do fun things together.

2. Keep Things Light

I have a tendency to discuss the problems, concerns, the needs and desires of my heart whenever I have a chance to sit down with Jesse. But what I’m learning is that sometimes I just need to keep things light with my husband.

What does that look like? It means surprising Jesse with a Nerf Gun war in our house when he comes home from work. That means taking him out to the Battle Axe Room – where we literally just throw axes at pieces of wood because it’s unique and new and apparently a cool thing to do according to men ;-). It means going on walks together and just enjoying one another – not talking about anything heavy nor sharing my struggles of the day.

I’m not diminishing the importance of communication and heart-to-heart talks, because I don’t know where we would be without those. But there is a time and place for those. Choose wisely and be discerning, listen to the Spirit, and do your best to keep things light as often as possible.

3. Remember: You’re Fighting the Same Fight with the Same Goal

This is huge. You MUST actively fight every single temptation to take your exhaustion or mistakes out on one another. You’re not battling one another, you’re battling the situation at hand together. Write this on a sticky note and place it on your bathroom mirror and on your bedside table if it helps to keep this in mind.

This season is new to both of you. Whether you’re parents of one baby or six babies, it is going to be a new experience for your family. In that, you have to choose grace. You have to keep Christ at the center of your marriage in every aspect and that means ensuring that you display mercy and unconditional love to your spouse in this new season.

protect your marriage

I can’t count how many times I’ve forgotten the diaper bag at the house or the amount of times that I’ve gone somewhere and Jesse took the stroller out of the car without telling me. Our initial reactions are typically frustration and annoyance, and we have made the mistake one too many times of texting one another and saying something due to that stress.

But where does that get us? It separates us further. Instead of having grace, we’re rubbing mistakes in the other person’s face, even though you’d made plenty of mistakes yourself.
Don’t do it, you guys! Fill your heart and your mind with scripture about grace and mercy and in those moments that you’re tempted to lash out on your spouse because you’re just so exhausted, remember verses about kindness, patience and focusing on the pure and excellent.

4. Choose Selflessness

Choosing to serve and take care of a little human. It’s going to interrupt your free time, date time, work time, etc. You both have to come together to choose selflessness beforehand and know that you will both need to work hard to serve your family through it, even when sometimes it feels like it’s the last thing you want to do.

Lindsey Maestas
Lindsey Maestas
Lindsey Maestas is a Christian based out of Albuquerque, NM. She is a wife to a loving husband and a stay-at-home-mom to a sweet little boy with another little one on the way. She received her degree in Journalism and is a writer for the faith-based lifestyle blog, sparrowsandlily.com. She loves Jesus, event planning, baking and binge-watching Netflix with her husband. Find her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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