I was sharing a light hearted moment with my wife this morning during breakfast talking about what it would be like raising children. We weren’t planning on having them just yet but it was interesting to note our different styles of parenting. Beneath the teasing and imagination of what our future children would be like, I realized too how having children would drastically change our lives. Every word I said to my wife in front of my children would be heard by them, so I might even change the way I spoke to her and use less romantic ways of talking to her in front of the kids, I might behave less like a kid in front if them and maybe even lose a few endearing names I like to call my wife because it might be embarrassing for the kids.
But then a question hit me – why change that? In fact, isn’t it known that healthy marriages often mean healthier children? From where I am from and my culture, putting children first has always been a noble and expected job of the parents – even maybe at the expense of the bond between husband and wife. The responsibility of raising children is not something I can talk about with any credibility, but I want child raising to be part of a new way of nurturing my relationship with my wife. I want to challenges of child raising to make me admire my wife even more. I want our disagreements to be opportunities when I can take a step back and refresh my eyes to see the wisdom of what my wife has to say. We always talked about us being a good team. And I want children to bond the team even closer. It may be wishful thinking and idealistic, but I believe God is a creative God who breaks bad patterns and gives new insightful ways to build on marriage with children.
With all the stresses and difficulty getting into good schools, all the comparing and pressure to raise the best children, it can take out so much of the fun and enjoyment of raising children with my wife. I am going to ask God to change that and I believe even now, before we do have children, God will prepare us in a new approach.
Father, as you designed marriage and child raising, I pray that you inspire me and my wife to find ways to break away from the mold of the world and give us insights into enjoying not just raising children, but new ways of also enjoying each other in marriage.