Marriage Mistake #2 - The Kids Come First!

The Mistake

The mistake is in misplaced priorities:
Putting lower priorities before the marriage always hurts the marriage. Here are some things that tend to easily go in first:

  • Kids
  • Career
  • Extended family (esp. keeping one foot in the family of origin as a safety measure, just in case the marriage fails. This tends to bring about the failure that is feared more than it prevents the failure)
  • Over-committing (time, money, etc.)

This can result in inappropriate boundaries between parents and kids (or fill in the blank). When the marriage relationship get tough, it becomes easy to run to one or more of these other areas (in order to avoid conflict, or to get needs met) instead of working on the marriage.

The Effects

Everybody pays. Everybody suffers.
  • The marriage will always suffer if anything else in the family has a higher priority
  • The family suffers when the marriage suffers

What determines the health of the relationships within the family is the health of the marriage. Everything is determined first by what happens in the marriage relationship. It sets the tone.

What to Do

Put First Things First

The Right Priorities (a matter of stewardship)
  • God (Kingdom things)
  • Community (the good of the whole; ministry together within the Body of Christ)
  • The Institution of Marriage (that which makes the idea of marriage more attractive to others)
  • Our Marriage (that which builds up one another)
  • My Spouse (my spouse's best interests)
  • Our Kids (providing what they need to grow into responsible, God-fearing adults)
  • Me (my happiness and success depend on putting first things first)
Set Right Types of Boundaries
  • Emotional
  • Physical (sexual)
  • Spatial
  • Temporal
  • Commitments

With your
  • Extended family
  • Friends
  • Work responsibilities
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