parenting and priorities

My belief is that one’s spouse should come after God and then the children. I feel that it is our responsibility to first love and honor God and then to lift up our spouse. It is then our responsibility to teach our children to know, love and serve God. Of course, we are called to care for our children’s immediate needs and they sometimes come before the needs and desires of our spouse. That goes with out saying. Please understand that I am no suggesting that you should give your wife a foot massage while your infant is sitting a diaper full of poo. I am referring to the idea that your spouse comes before the children, meaning that the first person that Daddy kisses when he walks in the door should be his wife. Another simple example would be, if your husband values family dinner time all reasonable efforts should be made to insure that there are no activities that interfere with this special family time. This is not about parenting practices but rather an order of priorities.

Unfortunately I was unable to find any specific Catholic teachings to back up the idea of putting the needs of your spouse before those of your children. I do believe that somewhere within the Church teachings is the implicit understanding that the commitment to your spouse within the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony is to be held above all things besides God. If someone could help me back this up I’d appriciate it.

I am not interested in starting a debate with those committed the ideas of Attachment Parenting. There is no argument there, children need to be loved and their needs responded it. I am hoping to find a common ground in the importance in lifting up one’s spouse. I would like to see how everyone lifts up their spouse and embraces this gift of Holy Matrimony, regardless of what category of parenting style you fall under.

It may be splitting semantical hairs, but I do not see the difference between who is put next in line after God.

Without a husband and wife make each other a priority, the children will suffer, both from dischord in the home and lack of perspective from their parents. In order to give a child what he needs the most (after food and shelter) you must provide a loving home. Hence, your spouse must be loved above all. Only then will a couple have the love to return to the children.

I have to agree with you, foreverblessed, that it’s important to put your spouse right after God. It’s also important that the children understand that you are a dedicated couple. I have seen examples of the wife putting the children’s desires before the father’s, and ending up separating. I was advised by a “friend” to leave my husband because my older teenage children didn’t get along with him. I eliminated that friend from my list swiftly, and let my children know that they would be on their own shortly, but my husband and I would be together til the end.

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