Prioritize your marriage over your parenting

Written by Becky Leach
Published on October 18, 2019

I was chatting with another mom at soccer practice last night about the overwhelming responsibilities of getting back to school. 

As much as I crave routine by the end of summer, as everything starts back up, the lists, the signup sheets, and the registrations start to feel like a mountain I will never fully climb.

“We were supposed to go to the Carrie Underwood concert next week, but now we have an open house,” she said.  

I laughed knowingly. “We were supposed to go to John Mayer, but we had a football game.”  

She smiled at my reply.  

It became obvious we had both resigned ourselves to this season of sacrifice for our children.

But, at the same moment, I realized how sad it is that date night is the first thing to go. When we have to choose, we (almost) always choose our kids.

I mean, I get it because I do it.  

We only have eighteen years with each of them in our home. They come, we love them, and then they leave. We need to make the most of every last waking hour, right?  

We need to pour into them, train them up, and pray over them. We have to get them to their activities and playdates and youth groups so they don’t miss out on one single thing.

But what might we be missing out on? 

Who gets preference?

There’s so much to be said for this sacrificial love we have for our children. 

When my husband and I made a big career move a few years ago, it was evident God said he would fill in the gaps of space and time that came with it. But at what point are we sacrificing our marriage for our kids? 

At what point do we need to turn around and say, “Nope, I’m going to that concert with your dad.”

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times: marriage came before our kids and will come after them, so I need to pay attention. 

But do I? 

There will always be a football game, an open house, or a playdate to attend, and the more kids you have, the more activities there are. 

So yeah, we are going to have to make a choice.

Selling out in marriage

Let me ask you a question: When an important work call comes in, do you hesitate to miss that soccer game or meet the teacher? 

Sure, it might not feel good to choose work over our kids, but we’ve all done it. 

So why wouldn’t we give our spouse the same priority in our lives? 

Why wouldn’t I absolutely move stuff around on my calendar to cheer him on at an event when I would totally do that for my children?

We have been conditioned in our Pinterest-filled, Facebook-laden culture to put our children up on a pedestal. We tote their accolades, we post their pictures, and we brag on their accomplishments. 

When our hearts are so sold out to one thing, it’s hard to be sold out to another.

What would happen if we started to make more room for our spouse? What might change in our communities when our marriages are number one? Would the atmosphere change in your home? 

I know at our house it certainly would.

Cheer for your spouse in marriage

This isn’t just about making time for a date night or scheduling a babysitter, although this would be a wonderful start. This is about making our spouse the apple of our eye, the priority in our home, and the object of service in our hearts. 

We’ve got to let our partners know that we are a team, that we are cheering them on even more than we’re cheering for our kids.

There is nothing better and more stabilizing for our children to see than that their parents enjoy spending time together. To know that something in this ever-changing world will remain unchanging is far more valuable than making every football game or birthday party. 

And there is absolutely nothing more life-giving than a Christ-centered, high priority marriage.

Let your husband know you’re cheering for him today. 

Men, let your wife know you appreciate her. 

Let your kids know that you’re together and not just ships passing in the night. 

There is no more sacred union and no relationship more fun. 

Looking for other resources on marriage? Check out the articles below:

  1. How to model God’s design for marriage
  2. Yes, you need a marriage mentor
  3. Reimagine your relationship: How to reorient your marriage after you become parents
  4. Why you should prioritize your marriage over your parenting
  5. Can I Really Trust God?


Having a healthy marriage first and foremost is one of the keys to successful parenting. Watch this video from Jamie and Aaron Ivey on why investing in your marriage affects your parenting more than you realize.

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Becky Leach

Becky Leach is a fervent writer, accidental speaker and self-taught artist. She adores Instagram, hates working out and is obsessive over the creamer in her coffee. She is a mom of three crazy kids and married to her high school sweetheart, who just so happens to also be her State Representative. The beat of Becky’s heart is to equip women in living free in the grace of Jesus’s great love and as a result, recently co-founded FreeToo Ministries. Connect with her at

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