By Sabrina Schlesinger
If there were a 6th love language, teasing would be my husband’s. He loves to tell our kids, “Mom loves me more than she loves you” all of the time. They turn to me (as they often do to get the “real” answer) to see if what he is saying is true, in which I confirm, “Yep! I love daddy more than I love you!”
At first glance this seems odd, but in every one of my kids, this simple practice has created three realities in them.
1. It creates peace
Don’t get me wrong…we fight. We are two strong personalities who have big thoughts and opinions, which can lead to “intense fellowship”. But when we have heated conversations, one thing my kids don’t ever have to worry about is if their parents’ marriage is over. They have seen us get in tiffs and more importantly, they have seen us humble ourselves and make up. They know that even though we can get mad at each other, our love and commitment to each other wins every time.
2. It builds order
We have all heard the term “empty nest syndrome,” when the kids leave home and you look at your spouse and have to reintroduce yourself to them. The National Center for Family and Marriage Research has indicated that couples age 50 or older were twice as likely to divorce in 2015 as in 1990. How sad is it if during the 18+ years of child rearing, our marriage takes a back seat. And even more so, what does that communicate to our kids? I want them to know that although they are a HUGE part of our world, they are not the center of our world. Our marriage and our life doesn’t revolve around them.
I was his…first! And he was mine. We chose each other to dream together, to raise kids together, to serve the Lord together, and to grow old together. And after these little kids of ours–who were temporarily entrusted to us by God–leave the nest, we will still be with each other.
3. It models honor
In a day where honor and respect are fading into the background, I want to model this for my kids. I am not a pushover, nor am I a feminist. I am a woman and I love the unique role I play in my marriage, my family, my church, and society. If I spent all of my time trying to be equal to my husband, I would be wasting the very gifts and treasures I bring to this world. When I honor my husband by making him my number one priority (apart from God), and he honors me in the same way, we show our sons and daughters that marriage is one of the most powerful ways to understand and demonstrate the love of Christ.
Ephesians 5:25 says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,” (NKJV)
I have noticed there is an inherent reaction within children when they sense this love is out of order. It can either cause them to internally (and sometimes externally) reject that love from their parent, or they will grow up thinking everything revolves around them. Both of which are unhealthy ways to live.
Every time my kids hear that I love my husband more than them, they giggle and smile. In a world of brokenness, we have an opportunity to get this one right. So brag away to your kids about how much you love each other and see the healing and freedom that will take place in their hearts.
Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33 (NKJV)
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. Ephesians 5:31 (NKJV)
Sabrina is a mother to three biological girls and one adopted boy. She is also a pastor’s wife, freelance graphic designer and mom coach! She resides in beautiful San Diego where the sun shines every day. She prefers chai lattes over coffee, mac-n-cheese over vegetables, and staying in over going out. Check her out on Instagram and Facebook!