“If mommy’s & daddy’s decide to split up, where do the kids live?”
I look up from my book to find my 7- year- old Madi waiting for my response to a heart breaking question.
“Well, part of the time they live with their mommy and part of their time with their daddy. But you don’t have to worry about that. Daddy and I will never divorce. We will always work things out.”
It satisfied her for the moment, but I’m ashamed to say I had a nagging hint of doubt in my gut as she walked away. What if I just told my child a lie?
This world is a scary place. The last thing I want my kids to worry about is whether or not my husband and I are in it for the long haul. When I said my vows, I meant them. So did he. Not just for now. We meant forever.
Sometimes, we go in our own direction and misplace our priorities.
Sometimes, I just get mad and there is no room for forgiveness. Only justice.
Sometimes, I don’t like my husband very much.
Sometimes, my husband doesn’t like me very much.
Sometimes, I forget that marriage isn’t all about me. It’s about us.
The biggest injustice we serve to our kids is the idea that love and marriage is easy. The belief that if you’re in love, everything will fall into place. If it doesn’t come easy, it just isn’t meant to be. Nothing could be further from the truth. We allude ourselves to believe otherwise.
The reality is this. Sometimes marriages don’t make it. Even those marriages that are cleaved to God. Kids find their time and loyalty being split between their mom and dad. And kids in traditional homes? They have doubts. This is a scary thing.
But I’m not going to allow reality to determine my end result.
Marriage is under attack. As mom & dad, it is our job to affirm each other and our kids. It is our job to let them know that we are not going to give up. That we are going to weather the crazy that life sends our way. It means that sometimes, things are really, really good and sometimes, we are holding on to God with the very tips of our fingernails. That’s what families do. That’s what healthy marriages do. Our kids need to see us weather the storms.
My but’s cannot get in the way of confidently choosing the vow I made to my husband. Those but’s create cracks of doubt in our family foundation. Little stress fractures that threaten overall infrastructure. My but’s create insecurity and doubt.
The thing about a confident choice is that it determines the course of our life direction. If I am not confident in my choice, I can be swayed. But, when I know the direction I am going, it will take a lot to keep me from reaching my desired destination. My confident choice will determine how I spend my time. My confident choice will determine the value I place on the people in my life. My confident choice will keep me from wasting time on people & things that don’t matter.
My spouse and my kids need my confident choice about marriage. My husband is my partner for life. No but’s about it.