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He says: Her sole focus is our child She says: It’s our most important job!

By Steve and Bridget Patton | May 2019

He says: Her sole focus is our child She says: It’s our most important job!

Now that we're parents, all Deanne focuses on is our child. I think we need some balance. Shane is missing the point: our child is only young for a while – it's our most important job.

God so appreciates the all-encompassing attention a mother gives her child that he uses it as an analogy for his own attention to us: “Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you.” (Is 49:15)

The depth and fierceness of the parent-child bond was not only created by God, it indeed reaches to the core of our identity as creatures made in his image, that is, as images of the eternal, love-sharing, living, giving triune family of divine persons.

But did God intend that intense love of a mother (and a father) for their child to supersede their love for one another? In a certain way, yes, but in a more important way, no.

Yes, the Church does teach that even though marriage is a great blessing to the man and woman, they are nevertheless to understand and welcome children as the “supreme gift” of their marriage. (Guadium et Spes, 50) And what a great need there is to proclaim this to our modern world, which tends to view children either as burdens to a couple’s comfort or, at best, as optional add-ons to a beautiful lifestyle.

But it is a mistake for any parent to treat her relationship with her child as more important than her relationship with her spouse. God did not make these relationships to be competing, but complementary.

It has been wisely said that the best thing a father and a mother can do for their child is to continuously nurture their marriage. A child’s deepest sense of security and identity is rooted in the stability and vibrancy of his parents’ love for one another. In short, their love is the foundation of his life.

Beware, too, that focusing on the child(ren) at the expense of the marriage can linger on after they are no longer young, and even up until they finally leave home. It is not uncommon for such empty nest parents to barely know one another and have to figure out what their marriage looks like without children.

So, make your marriage your priority. Not only will you be happier, but your child will thrive and love you even more!