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.