When our kids were little, my guy and I joined a small group on parenting. We had three babies in 3.5 years and were feeling the effects of it. The ten week study spent the first 3 weeks talking about marriage. In a parenting study. Wha?? We learned several key truths in that study years ago, but two big ones remain with me today:
1- Children should not be the priority in a family. Ever. The husband and wife were there first, and welcome the children into the relationship, and help them become independent enough to exit the family in the future. The husband and wife remain, and priority must be given to that relationship. Not at the risk to the children, but for the benefit of the children. This way of thinking is not natural for most women, and parents may argue that this sounds selfish, but I can attest that the best gift you can give your children is a strong, solid marriage. Honestly, children don’t want to be the center of your world, it puts too much pressure on them when they are placed in that role; they want to be a part of something bigger and better than themselves, a healthy family.
2- My guy and I can learn many things separately and grow from the teaching, but when the two of us experience new information together, we grow exponentially. This is probably because we discuss the new ideas and filter them with our own experiences and beliefs, until we decide together to accept or reject the new teaching. It helped us to listen to each other and better understand the others’ point of view, and to decide who we are together, not just as individuals.
There are many great small group studies out there, and finding the ones that encourage you to live with intention can benefit your home life, spiritual life and family life for years to come.