Yep, I said it. I love my husband Josh more than I love our three daughters. Wow, that pains me to say, because I love my angels more than words could ever possibly express.
I know this will rub some people the wrong way, and that’s okay. I know we live in a culture that puts our children first, but I pray that my kids always know I love Josh more than I love them.
But let me make my point clear — there are days where I definitely feel like I love my kids more, but I strive to make the daily choice to love their daddy more.
When I was a little girl, my parents and I would get in a playful argument as my mom would say she loved my daddy more than me. I would look at my dad, hoping to hear from him that he loved me more than my mom. After asking him the same question of “Who do you love more?” he would say the same thing my mom said! He loved her more!
After I got over my initial hurt feelings, it became a little joke around our house, and as I got older, I realized that the fact they loved each other more than me was one of the best things they could ever do.
When I do take time for God, for myself and for my marriage, I know that those little eyes are watching, even now.
Now, as a wife and mother myself, I personally believe the fact of me loving my husband more than my kids brings my girls more security and love than they would ever know or feel if I put them first. Pouring into our relationship is one of the best things for me and for my husband. But I would argue that it is even better for our kids. They benefit the most.
Don’t get me wrong. I hate being away from my girls. When I have to leave them overnight or sometimes just for a few hours, I miss them like crazy! One of the hardest things to do is to take some time alone with Josh. Sometimes to do something alone with my husband without our kids seems unproductive or even like “time wasted.” But I have learned more and more that spending time with “just my spouse” is a priceless investment in all of our lives.
I have my Ph.D. in marriage and family therapy, and I work as a professor and therapist. I see couples all of the time who are in my current season of life. Young kids, jobs, school, activities, birthday parties — so many things! To take time out of your busy schedule to date your spouse can seem crazy!
But, oh it isn’t crazy at all. Trust me. It is actually what keeps you sane!
I see couples and new moms really struggle with this in my practice. The thought of being away from their kids brings tremendous guilt from just being so in love with their kids that they don’t want to spend a minute away from them. I get it! I totally do.
But the truth is, the best of me can be given to my girls when I am taking care of my marriage and myself.
Josh and I are about to celebrate 13 years of marriage. I can hardly believe it! It all started with the two of us, and I truly believe that as I am a better wife to Josh and he is a better husband to me, our kids fall in love more with us and with each other.
I want more than anything for my girls to find their identities in God (not in this world, or in her talents, looks or passions), and then I pray they find a man who will lead them and adore them.
And when I do take time for God, for myself and for my marriage, I know that those little eyes are watching, even now.
So, yes, my Genevieve, Vera, and Lydia, I love you more than anything or anyone in the whole wide world, except your daddy.