Yesterday while doing a little shopping with my kids after school, it dawned on me . . . .
"Ya know, Stace, some of the folks reading your blog may be wondering why in the world you guys talk so much about marriage if this is supposed to be all about parenting!?"
That's how it is you know; if you're passionate about anything, you sometimes just assume others are as well--or even worse, that they understand where you're coming from. Obviously not always true.
So here it is:
I (as well as Andrea) are very firm believers in marriage before children. I'll even go one step further and say marriage before sex. How 'bout them apples!? You'll find no apologies here for our very strong belief in traditional marriage and in the divine plan for family balance: our relationship with Christ, then our marriages, THEN children.
I know, I know, I'm such an intolerant, hating, close-minded, old fashioned, ridiculous, ignorant woman. Did I leave anything out? Unrealistic? Yeah, I'm also unrealistic. Did I cover it all?
The truth is, as far as The Word goes, our marriages must come first in the home. I talk to A LOT of parents out there, and the longer I do this, the more I see a trend which, unfortunately, isn't a huge shocker. Parents are struggling. They are doing so primarily because their marriages have never happened, ended in divorce, or are heading in that direction.
We are even defining ourselves by our parental status: "Stay-at-home mom" rather than "housewife." And the logic is usually along the lines of, "I don't live to serve my husband. Why would I call myself a housewife?"
Really? But you're quick to point out that you are a "stay-at-home mom" . . . 'cause THAT doesn't scream "you're all about your children." You are serving your children. Soooooo . . . . ?
We know that the entire family thrives when the marriage thrives. Children who have a front-row seat to a loving marriage will undoubtedly succeed in their own family lives. This is not to say that children in homes where a parent has passed or single parents for whatever reason can't successfully raise a happy, healthy, God-fearing child. But I will say that I have YET to meet a parent in one of these situations who disagrees that having a happy marriage--and a marriage FIRST--would have been much more preferable.
Here's my point: being "old-fashioned" isn't synonymous with "out of touch" or "ignorant." It certainly shouldn't be a four letter word either. As far as I can gather, when we're old-fashioned in the ways of marriage and allowing the Biblical model for family to be your guide, most everything else falls right into place. God has the most perfect plan for our families . . . as Gary Chapman says, "it's one of his BEST ideas!"
That's just my two cents.