Summer is practically over. It is time for school. There are multiple lists to check: clothing, textbooks, supplies, transportation, after-school activities and more. You know the drill. However, there is one important matter that you don’t want to overlook – your marriage.
The challenges of school can be a challenge to your marriage. Time, relationships, and communication are consumed by the demands of school. The relationship between mom and dad can easily shift into one where scheduling and time pressure become the main focus. In this climate relational energy is quickly depleted.
Is your marriage ready for school? Don’t be afraid to ask this question. Fathers should take the leadership role here. Mothers, though, should not hold back from encouraging this conversation. Spend time with each other. Talk about the challenges of the new school year and how you will meet them. Most importantly, talk to each other about how you are doing. Is this coming year a transition year, one where there are new teachers, new schools, perhaps a different house? Talk to each other about the obstacles this new year will bring.
Talk about your relationship. How is it? Are there rough spots, points of tension? Are there unresolved issues from the previous school year? They won’t get resolved on their own.
This conversation is vital. Pray with each other and for each of your children. Identify the things you need to work on in your marriage. If you are not on the same page as the school year starts, you won’t magically become closer as the school year advances. Does your schedule make a priority of prayer each day? In addition to all of the scheduled commitments for children, build in time just be with them when nothing else is happening. Relationships that are honoring to God are ones where the primary investment is in people and not events. Invest time in your children. Delight in them for who they are and not for what they do. Parents, this applies to you as well.
Is your marriage ready for school? Invest the time with each other, the Lord and his word to be sure that it is. Getting your marriage ready for school may be the best gift that you can give to your children and to each other!
This post originally appeared on Shepherd Press and was republished with permission.
Jay Younts is the author of Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, and he is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is a ruling elder at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.