Dr. Kim’s new book “14 Keys to Lasting Love: How to Have the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted” comes out on January 8, 2019. This book will change your marriage, and it will most certainly change you. Over the next few weeks, Dr. Kim will highlight some of the principles from the book in his weekly “Insights.”
Recently we an Awesome Marriage podcast on the dangers of a child-centered marriage. My hope was that the podcast would be a wake-up call for some parents who were falling into the trap of putting the kids ahead of their marriage. We talked about God’s plan for marriage and how that plan does not change when children are born. We talked about balance and how important that is for a family. We talked about how unhealthy it is for children to think the world revolves around them. Our discussion was focused on how to have a marriage that thrives while investing in kids and giving them all they need to grow into strong,God-loving adults.
I believe I’m in touch with culture. Through counseling, reading, and study, I think I have a real feel for the pulse of society. After the podcast aired, we were affirmed by many who listened, but criticized by others. It was like we had stepped on holy ground with our shoes on. We never back down on topics and have covered many controversial topics, but we have never seen backlash like that. I was shocked. I did not realize I was stepping on a land mine by challenging the concept of a child-centered marriage. If you Google “child-centered marriage” like I have, you will find article after article warning about the dangers of this family style. It sends the wrong message to the kids and the wrong message about marriage.
Parents are the primary model of marriage for their kids. If we don’t work at giving them a healthy model, they may never figure it out. I share this with you because you may be on the right path and finding balance in your marriage. You may be putting your marriage first. You may work hard at being great parents. You may do all of these and more, and someone will say you are doing it all wrong. They may not walk up and confront you but the not-so-subtle messages are everywhere. Here is a list of not-so-subtleties that have been said to parents I know:
Did you know Bobby is the only boy not playing baseball this fall? If you don’t start him in baseball now, he will be too far behind to ever catch up.
All the girls in the class are playing soccer this spring.
If you want her/him to really learn piano, you need to go to this teacher.
If he doesn’t play soccer year-round, he will fall behind.
You mean your kids aren’t doing any sports this summer?
These are only a few of the pressure points, but you get the idea. Often the pressure comes from our own kids, and they can be very convincing! Many kids want to do everything. I get that, but who really runs the family? Who makes the decisions? Who makes sure there is balance? It has to be the parents. It is part of God’s plan for families and for marriages. The ball is in your court. What will you do with it?
The Awesome Marriage Podcast is available on iTunes. If you have not listened, tune in! We think you will like what you hear.