by Ted Lowe

The best thing for your kids is for you to leave . . . for the night . . . with your spouse.

We all love our kids and want what’s best for them.
We sign them up for activities and sports, which is good.
We want them to have time with friends, which is good.
We want them to make good grades, so they will get into a good college, so they will get a good job, so they___________________________, which is good.
We all want to fill in that blank with good things.

But if we are not careful, we might forget to do the thing our child needs most: love our spouse. Philip Cowan, Ph.D., a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who has studied families for decades with his wife, psychologist Carolyn Pape Cowan, Ph.D. says, “Kids whose parents’ relationship has cooled are more likely to have behavioral or academic problems than kids of happy couples. Even if you can’t see yourself going out on a date for yourselves, do it for your kids.”

My wife and I go on a date almost every week. We take a few hours each week just for us. We work out together, see movies, have a meal, we talk, ask each other silly questions, and do that other fun thing couples do. We have uninterrupted time to re-connect. Dating lifts our heads from the chaos of kids and work, and makes us see each other. Dating matters. It really matters, but not just for us, for our kids. Carol Ummel Lindquist, Ph.D. and author says, “The irony is that a strong relationship with your spouse is one of the best things you can do for your kids. You and your spouse are modeling a good relationship, which sets your children up for better marriages themselves when they grow up.”

Dads, the best thing you can do for your children is to love their mother. Moms, the best thing you can do for your children is to love their father.

Do you want your kids to have a marriage like yours? Because they more than likely will. So, model fun and connection and priority in your marriage. The best thing you can do for your kids is to leave . . . for the night . . . with your spouse.

How and when do you and your spouse make dating a priority?

Ted Lowe is an author, speaker, and the director of MarriedPeople—the marriage division at Orange. Ted is the author of two books—one for marriage ministry leaders (Married People: How Your Church Can Build Marriages That Last) and one for married couples (Your Best US: Marriage Is Easier Than You Think). He served for almost 10 years as the director of MarriedLife at North Point Community Church. He lives near Atlanta, Georgia, with his four favorite people: his wife, Nancie, and their three children.

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