If you desire to be a loving, biblical parent you must begin by being a loving, biblical spouse. Too often parents believe they can compensate for the deficiencies in their marriage by concentrating on loving their children. Not a good idea! Living primarily for your children leads to making idols of your children. This is a burden that no child can bear. In the long run, it will only turn your children against you. No one is blessed when this happens. Stability in the marriage relationship is what provides stability for the family, not the other way around. Here are at least three of the reasons why this is true. First, marriage is designed to be permanent. Children are temporary inhabitants of the family. Parents are to raise their children to leave the home and start their own families. Husbands and wives are to be together for a lifetime. If the primary focus is given to the children, then what is temporary will receive more attention than what is primary and foundational. This weakens the marriage relationship as well as all the other family relationships.
Second, children undergo radical, rapid changes in their physical makeup and in their relational growth. In the space of just a few years they go from being totally dependent on others to being ready for independence with regard to life's responsibilities. Thus, if life centers around the constant change of your children's lives, stability will be replaced with turmoil and the marriage relationship will suffer. As children quickly progress from infants, to toddlers, to young children, to older children, to teenagers, to young men and women ready to begin their own lives, they need the stability of parents whose focus on maintaining their marriage first has not wavered.
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