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Children First, or Husband?

By Michael Pearl



Debi Pearl:  Hi, I'm Debi Pearl. This is my sweetheart, Mike Pearl. We are going to read a question for you today and answer it. Today's question is from a wife about marriage relationships. Okay. You be a good boy while you're answering it.

"Dear Pearls, this is a strange question, and I hardly know how to ask it as it is so weird. So here goes, and I hope I make it clear enough to get a straight answer. What is more important for children? Number one, parents having a loving relationship, or two, parents pouring their life into their children? Or can there be a balance?

I feel as a mother, it is my job to put my children first. My husband says he needs us time to keep him on track and being a good father. This can translate into something as simple as putting the kids down in front of a movie so we can spend the evening talking. This really bothers me.

There have been times when he is off with paying my sister to take the boys to a ball game even if it means missing key games just so we can have the whole house to ourselves together. He has even insisted that I cancel music classes due to his wanting to drop everything and just have the evening out. Hello--when does the responsibility of being a parent kick in, and when is he being just a little bit selfish?

My husband insists that I seek counsel from an older happily married lady. I agree to this because it is putting a strain on our marriage. Just to be totally honest, I'm sending this letter to three different marriage counselors.

More than anything in the world, I want children who are well balanced, feel loved, and seek the Lord with their whole heart. I am willing to lay down my life to that end. Could you please give me an answer?"

Michael Pearl:  All right. She in the first part of her letter said, "Can there be a balance?" She said, "Is it either/or, Either parents having a loving relationship, that is husband and wife getting along together, or parents pouring their life into their children?” as if those two things are opposed to each other. Then she says, "Can there be a balance?" Of course, when you do everything right, it's always balanced and all needs are met. There's no such thing as meeting one need to the exclusion of the other.

Now, if this mother could see some of the letters that we read where five years later, the husband has gone out and gotten himself another wife, or gone out and found another woman because he's not having his needs met at home and he’s tired of a puckered up ball of tension [from the] criticism of the kind of parenting he's doing. It's not that it's right. It's not justified. Being a human being, that happens.

So this wife needs to find a balance for herself. Now I can understand not wanting to just sit the kids in front of videos every evening. But you know, there are some videos that you could get, Bible stories, the Bible chronologically told.

Debi:  The new Good and Evil series.

Michael:  The new Good and Evil series that we have. There are some things that they might be bored with, but you can explain to them that this is Mom and Daddy time. For an hour, that's what you're going to do. Husbands need their wives. Wives need their husbands. And kids need mother and daddy to need each other. Kids will grow best when they see that Mom and Daddy have special time together, that Mom and Daddy enjoy each other.

Yes, there needs to be a balance, and somehow, lady, you need to find a way to meet all of your husband's needs and do it cheerfully, because nothing is more destructive to your children then them detecting an underlying tension. Like when he says watch the video and we're going to spend time together, and you say no and you show resistance, kids all see that. They know that. That's the most destructive thing you can do.

So you need to find a balance. You need to meet his needs and find a way to not pollute the children with videos whenever you're having time together.

Debi:  There are so many women that would give anything to have a man to love and cherish them. He's trying to love and cherish you. I know that sometimes men do get caught up in hunting and fishing and wanting to go out and whatever. Women have a tendency to get caught up in doing their duty. They feel like they're so compelled to do their duty that they lose the fact that sometimes duty is not where it's at. If you are meeting his needs, then there wouldn't be this conflict right here.

Michael:  You said sometimes he wants to cancel a scheduled event. That kind of spontaneity, that's sexy. [laughter] That's like a kid, you know. I got a need for you right now. A wife ought to jump on that. She ought to cancel whatever events are taking place and go have herself a good time. That sort of thing keeps the husband's heart at home.

Debi:  It keeps the marriage sweet. Also, they'll come a time when the children are gone. What you have invested in him now, is what you'll have later. What you invest in your children now, as far as duty, going to classes and doing things like that, that is not putting into them as much as what you think it is.



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5 comments on “Children First, or Husband?”

  1. Sounds good. I agree that being a sweetheart towards husband does miracles that all the little "tricks" we can pull on our kids to make the "good" than we can even understand. I understand that husbands have a tendency to fall for and hire the lady at the convenience store who is embezzling money while wife has a sense to her evil ways. We need rely on God's provision when such catastrophes come our way and stop evil in its tracks.

    I worked at nursing home with husband and we were not allowed to work together as a couple. This was when our oldest was still young. I ended up having more time with hubby serving others than with my oldest child. It was enjoyable except for the part of dealing with the lightly abusive nurses. That was nearly five years ago. Since then, husband was fired, rehired and found out there were embezzling women in that workplace. Such is God's ways which are higher than our ways. He sees where the evil lurks in workplaces and such and we need to put greater emphasis on loving our spouses than we could even understand.

    In my case, I have some "religious" in-laws who have bibles in there homes but evidence of sexual impurity, gambling and other evils lurk. I in my own mind would never know how to deal with such behaviors. My husband and I moved out of the town where he grew up as part of the solution to keeping children safe. Being loving and cleanly wife really helps him deal with those family problems that he sees and talks about from time to time. I need clean up my spiritual life so that it isn't Jezabel in nature but general lighthearted and forgiving towards all people in general.

    Its almost as if we wives need to live our lives as if our children are not our own but are God's property and that they will be miscarried at some time in our "pregnancy" of raising them. That seems to be the down-to-earth solution to fundamental family life.

  2. Your answers are right on! I have experienced that, everything works so much better doing what he wants me to do. I believe that will help us in the long haul, by the way my husband is a command man, like he once said, if he cant get it at home he'll find it somewhere else. Thank you for taking time for all the answers from the Cane Creek Corner questions!

  3. Your answer is great. Your book really helps me. It helps me to obey God's will,that is to be subject to my husband as i am to the lord and I find that when i do so, not only i am joyful, my daughter is joyful too, my whole family (the three of us)all get benefits. Iam still learning and practicing now.

  4. I really appreciate this. It was not taught to me as I am from many generations of divorce and come from women who don't trust men so easily (they had good reason not to trust them!). I had a good dad who wasn't able to be physically near me (mom was not okay) so I read your stuff a lot and have for a decade just to get a sense of plumb line. You both are like ma and pa to me in areas where I have none. Thanks. This makes sense and is practical. There is too much spiritual fluff going on even in the church and not enough practical talk. Thanks for keeping it real. 🙂

  5. What you are saying (Pearls) is so very true - all of it. Speaking from the perspective of the wife, I can certainly relate to what this woman is saying in how the care of the children is such a pressing priority. That was me so long ago. I poured my heart and soul and strength into our children. I spent myself on my family. This 'is' a 'good' thing to pour yourself into . . . but, the care of the husband is first and should be the top priority. There are all kinds of wifely excuses for this to not be the case, but the Christian wife must answer to the master of marriage if she does otherwise.

    I finally realized this to be true, and repositioned my priorities. I'm so glad I did. My adult children continue to tell us that they know their parents love each other. This parental love and priority to one another is the best gift we can give to our children. There is enough instability in this world - the strength of the home and family is a great pillar and 'stay,' not only for the immediate family but for those outside the family circle as well.

    Husbands are looking for romance. Sometimes they are more romantic than the wife. The husband marries the wife for the romance and companionship and the wife marries for the home and family. At some point, she (in many cases) loses the romance. If women don't want their husbands to go find another woman, then they should take care of their man. "Feed the romance." He will eventually stop asking . . . you.

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