The Bible says that children are a blessing of the Lord (Psalm 127:3). And if the Bible says so, I guess they are. But seriously, they are a blessing. However that blessing can become a curse to your marriage if not seen in the right context.
I was talking to a relative once and I asked her, “When was the last time you and your husband visited Jamaica?” After thinking for a minute, she admitted that they had not been since her son was born and that was about three years ago. It was at that time I told her, "Now you know what 'BC' time is." She thought for a second, then I explained to her, “Now you know what life was like "before children" or 'BC' time.”
There is no doubt those blessings (children) from the Lord will have a big impact on a marriage in a multitude of ways. While our children will bring many joys in our marriage they can also bring some stressors in the area of finances, time and intimacy, to name a few. Stress in these areas from our kids are not intentional. But they come with the territory when you add more demands on your time that cannot increase and on a budget where the income may have to stay the same for the near future.
Between the school performances, basketball practices and birthday parties there does not seem to be enough time to spend time with each other. Investing in your marriage as you once did 'BC' becomes challenging. And if you have multiple, children at different times, that lack of real investment could last more than 18 years. That is a long time to neglect anything, let alone a marriage!
The way to address that issue is to start early on by strategically (plan), intentionally (purpose) and systematically (routine) childproofing your marriage and investing in your marriage. Childproofing your marriage is the investment process that a husband and wife make in their marriage, as opposed to solely investing their time and finance in the lives of their kids while they are at home. How do you do that? By planning a date night at least once a month if you can't have one weekly. Adjust what makes a date night financially and time wise to fit what you can afford. Trust God to help you find another couple that maybe you can trade off with for date nights or a trusted friend or family member to watch your kids. Yearly, invest in some marriage enrichment conference or small group to help grow your marriage which will benefit you and the kids in the long run.
In the home, parents make the investment to protect their children from household hazards for the benefit of the children. Childproofing your marriage will benefit you and your kids. By child proofing your marriage today, it will help you both avoid looking at each other as strangers after the last kid has left for college or to start his or her own family. If that happens, what was intended to be a blessing will unfortunately become a curse.
The empty nest does not have to bring with it an empty heart for each other.