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Romance in our Marriage Matters to Our Kids

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Seeing their parents acting loving towards each other makes children feel secure.  It makes them feel that all is right in their world because the foundation of their family is solid.  I have seen evidence of this starting even when our oldest kids were just toddlers.  If The Husband and I danced or hugged or kissed, they would peek around the corner, unable to hide their little smiles.  Sometimes, they would come over and join in the hug or want us to pick them up and hold them while we danced.  When they did, I could see by their body language how at peace they were.

I have heard and read of the importance of reassuring your kids that your marriage is on solid ground by demonstrating affection in front of them and have witnessed first-hand how happy it makes our kids, but in the day to day busyness of life, it’s easy to let romance fall to the very bottom of the list.  In fact, on our to-do list, it probably doesn’t even appear.  Yes, I have excuses.  We have been under a lot of stress.  We have a sick daughter and therefore I have been getting very little sleep.  We are busy.  We are on a tight budget.  We don’t have extra time.  and probably the biggest one… There will be time for dates and romance in our marriage when this or that circumstance changes.  But the thing is, there will always be excuses.  It may never be a good time to add another thing to our to-do list.

We have been working on our marriage.  We are right now signed up for a Love & Respect video series at our neighbour’s (though we missed the first one because we couldn’t find a babysitter for that night).  We have been communicating more and have gone through some pretty amazing counselling.  We have been kinder to each other and things are better than they have been in as long as I can remember, but romance hasn’t been one of the things we have put effort into.  To be clear, I am not talking about s*x here, just romance…you know…stolen kisses, candlelit dinners, bubble baths, slow dancing, love notes, intentional dates, thoughtful gifts…

Friday, my friend D. took two of the boys for the afternoon and evening.  The girls were busy watching a movie while I was cleaning the kitchen and as it felt that some time had opened up, I decided to make a special meal for The Husband and I.  I had seen a blog post with the recipe earlier in the week that had given me the idea.  The Husband and I love good food, but going to fancy restaurants just doesn’t fit into the budget of late, so when I read the recipe for this Cajun Chicken Fettucine Alfredo, I thought that just maybe we could eat restaurant type food at home!  It was even more delicious than it sounds, rich with a bit of a kick (I doubled the cajun spice and the garlic called for).

The Husband arrived home and as the table still had remnants from a craft the kids had been working on, we decided to take our dinners out and eat on the deck.  It was a beautiful evening and as we sat together, it was honestly not all that romantic.  It had been a long week for both of us and things were fairly quiet as we both just tried to decompress.  Then, as we sat there, the back door opened and three cute little girls came out carrying glasses of wine for us.  They were giggling and smiling and whispering about “mommy and daddy’s date”!

Soon after, they came out carrying a basket.  They had taken some of the petals off the roses I got for Mother’s Day (romance does happen occasionally!) and came out tossing the petals and talking about it being like a wedding.  They also handed us each one of the yellow roses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This lightened the mood as we were smiling and talking about what great kids we have!  Before long, the door opened again and this time, my ipod appeared on the table, playing a song about marriage.  It was cute to envision that our three sweet girls had been conspiring in the kitchen, finding just the right song to bring us!

Once the music was in position, they scurried back in and we could hear them whispering and see the blinds moving as they spied on us, so we felt that it was only right that we get up and indulge them by dancing.  It’s been a long time since we danced.  We could hear squeals of delight from inside and we hammed it up a bit for our audience!

And on the off chance that we had not yet gotten the hint that our children wanted to see us outwardly demonstrating our love, these signs appeared:

 

 

 

 

 

 

This at-home-date-night was a very humbling reminder to me that some of the things I put my time into are not what my kids really want or need.

What kids need is to feel secure and to see an example of what marriage should be.  Lately, some of the marriages around us have broken down and this has brought out some insecurity in our kids, with some of them asking if we are going to “break up” or “have a divorce”.  They need more than just verbal reassurance.  They need to see their mommy and daddy kiss.  They need to hear what God intended marriage to be.  They need to see our romance.

Last night, I was tucking one of our daughters in and she smiled up at me and said, “you know that night that you and daddy had your date on the deck?  That was my best day ever.”

I hope her words help to inspire you to put the romance back in your marriage.  I know that those words will stay with us and remind us that romance in our married love life is a lifelong gift we can give to our children.

Comments

  1. What a beautiful post…I so agree! Our kids are never happier, I think, then catching us smooching in the kitchen;)
    Love and Respect is SO good! We also offered it in our home and had such a great response..couples in their sixties down to early twenties. Oh how crazy life gets! But to keep that primary (afterGod) relationship and ministry strong…it’s so hard but so worth it! Good for you for even iyour exhaustion make that special meal for your sweetie. Praying for you today.

    • Thanks Darci…prayers appreciated. I am hoping that Miss O. will be well enough to go to her gymnastics today. She has missed the last three. I am looking forward to Love & Respect. Our first one will be tomorrow night.

  2. Oh gosh, the end of this post actually made me cry. I’ve always believed that it’s important for kids to see their parents’ love for each other, but to hear your daughter say that it was her best day ever???? I had no idea it was that crucial.

    It’s interesting that you should be blogging about this today, because just this weekend we had to explain to Z. about divorce. Of course kids can’t help but notice that some of their friends’ moms or dads don’t live with them, and they want to know why. I’ve been reassuring her, all weekend, that Daddy and I love each other and we will always be careful to keep loving each other, but it’s really caused a ton of fear and insecurity in Z. Your post makes me think that some Cajun Chicken Fettucine is just what we need right now! 🙂

    • I think that with some of our kids already experiencing so much loss, it’s even more crucial for our kids to feel as secure as they can about how solid their family is. Our kids have been really upset by the marriages close to us that are ending or have ended and they are on heightened alert. I think Z. is probably feeling that way too from the sounds of it. Yep, Cajun Chicken Alfredo date night at home sounds like it’s in order!

  3. Oh, Sharla! I couldn’t love this post any more than I already do! In this season of life, in-house dates are the best way to make dating your spouse a priority. I agree with everything that you said about children needing to see the love that their parents have for one another. My boys love seeing my husband & I hug or kiss each other, and often, we end up with a few of them squeezing into the hug. It’s also fun to see them get involved in date nights–it helps them understand that mom & dad need time alone, but that they are still an integral part of our lives. 🙂 Well done!

  4. LOVE this post!! It literally put tears in my eyes. It’s beautiful, and I appreciate the reminder that in the midst of life’s crazyness, we must make time for romance–not just for ourselves, but also for our children. (good excuse! chuckle)

  5. Another beautiful post, and it’s kind of nice to know i’m not the only one moved to tears! That is just precious!

  6. Crying here too!! That was beautiful! Thanks for sharing that with us Sharla. We all need to be reminded how important it is to outwardly show our love for each other. I LOVE that your kids were cheering you on (paper) to kiss. So cute.

  7. OH. MY. GOODNESS.

    This is the sweetest thing. I smiled through tear-filled eyes as I read it. (I’m a hopeless romantic sap that way.) Thank you so much for linking this up to my Marriage Monday linky. I love this.

  8. I love this post! Thanks for the reminder 😮

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