Divorce was not an option. At least, that is what she would have said twelve years ago. With several children, and a miserable marriage in her past, she was not even willing to entertain the thought. This marriage would not only be different, it would be better. And then it happened. Not all at once of course, but over the course of weeks, months, and then years. The conflict, while small at first, escalated with time, growing into a question she swore she would never ask again – "Do I stay or do I leave?" What had been unmentionable had now become seemingly unavoidable.
You might be surprised at the cause. It wasn't financial friction that was tearing them apart. It wasn't the seduction of another lover. It wasn't her husband’s work, their different interests, or conflicting communication. It was something far less likely – it was their kids.
For several years, this couple tried to ignore what was becoming glaringly obvious – their parenting styles, philosophies, and priorities were pulling them apart. This isn't true for every couple, but the sad reality is that for many, parenting can be a huge source of marital strife, and in worse case scenarios, separation.
By God's grace, this couple made it. As a pastor, I love to see the gospel restore broken and hurting relationships. My heart grieves when sin wins the day. As a husband, and father of four children, I understand how easy it is for a couple to go amiss when kids come along. Let’s be honest, marriage can be hard enough. And when kids arrive? Marriage can be even harder. Parenting can either draw a couple together or drive them further apart.
Have you felt this challenge? Ever found yourself in a disagreement with your spouse while you were trying to discipline your child? If yes, you are not alone! While not exhaustive, the following are some practical ways to help you as a couple align your parenting so that you are working with, and not against, one another.
[Read the rest of the article at For the Family.]