It is August and summer is practically over. School is starting. There are 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 demand much of a marriage. Time, relationship, 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.
Is your marriage ready for school?
Don’t be afraid to ask the question. Fathers, this is your opportunity to deploy loving, wise leadership. Make it a priority to spend time with your wife. Talk about the challenges of the new school year and how you will meet them. More importantly, talk with your wife about how she is doing. Is this coming year a transition year, one where there are new teachers, transitions to a new school or level of schooling, perhaps there has been a job change or a move? Talk to each other about the obstacles this new year will bring. Talk about the schedule adjustments that lie ahead.
Perhaps most importantly, 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 better on their own. This is a practical way to nourish and cherish your wife.
As I said, it is best if fathers would take the lead here. But if they do not, then mothers should help to schedule this important time. This is a vital conversation! Pray with each other and for each of your children. Identify the things you need to work on in your marriage. Carefully identify, as best you can, the challenges each of your children will face in the coming year. Spend the time you need to be united in how you plan to address these challenges. If you are not on the same page as the school year starts, you won’t magically become closer as the school year advances.
Is your marriage ready for school? Invest the time with each other, the Lord and his word to be sure that it is. Be together in prayer, planning and patience. 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.