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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Centrality of Marriage

I see these vinyl stickers on the back windows of cars all the time these days. Normally they are laid out like the one above (from my wife’s car) with the father or mother first and then the children followed by pets. But I never thought much about the placement of the family members before today.

I had the day off of work and so we thought we would take a drive to a part of the county that we hadn’t been before. It’s a beautiful lake with a campground and swimming pool. As we drove through the campground we saw a car with these same vinyl family stickers on their back window. However, they were arranged in a unique way.

Do you notice the difference?

The mother and father are in the middle with the children and pets around them! I’m not sure if this was intentional, that the family carefully considered the placement of each vinyl family member, but they hit on a truth.

The family should be organized around the marriage.

The husband and wife should be each other’s first priority. The children (and pets) are important but if they become more important than the marriage then there will be problems. They will not be evident immediately but over time they will manifest themselves.

Have you ever heard of or known one of those couples that after the children leave home realize that they have nothing in common and separate or get a divorce? What happened? The marriage seemed happy and healthy when the children were home.

The problem: something other than the marriage was at the center of the home and when that thing, whether the children or something else, was gone there wasn’t much, if anything, left of the relationship. 

This is one reason why it is so important to keep our marriages at the center of our families. Children, pets, jobs, and friends all come and go in our homes but our marriages don’t, or at least they shouldn’t.

Take a look at your home. Is your marriage at the center? Are your spouse and your relationship with your spouse more important to you than your children, pets, etc.? If not, make a change. If so, congratulations! Make sure it stays that way.

The vinyl family decal says it all.

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