Who do you love more?

My wife and I have watched the reality tv drama of Jon & Kate. I believe last night was our last episode. I am somewhat ashamed to say that I’ve watched it at all, but tonight it has got me thinking. If Jon or Kate were to answer the above question, their simple answer as stated on the show would be their kids, not each other. I believe when we as husbands and wives place our children above our spouses we are setting up ourselves for the same potential downfall.

When I chose to ask Katie (my wife) to marry me it was for better or for worse. We don’t know what the future holds but I chose her. Yes, God in His Sovereignty brought us together, but I made the commitment and covenant with her. I chose to love her in sickness and in health. I chose to love her in wealth or poverty. I chose to love her when things are going good and when they are not. I made the choice, before God, family and friends.

When our daughter Madelyn gets to the age and asks me who I love more, I will answer in truth that it is her mother. I will explain to her that the primacy of my love for their mother is a good thing that will give stability to all of our lives. She might not understand in the moment, but she will. Now don’t get me wrong I love Madelyn desperately (and any other children God might bless us with), I love her with the kind of love that wants the very best for her and which seeks to protect her from pain and anger and evil that is very prevalent in this world. I pray for Madelyn continually, asking that God would protect her. I never chose to love my daughter. From the very moment Katie and I learned we would have a child we loved her. I would get up at night to feed her or rock her to sleep when she was little and have stayed home with her these past three years. I love her fiercely. But Katie has first place in my heart.

Some might object to this as not correct. I do understand there is a difference in the kind of love; the passionate  and romantic love I have for Katie is not the same as the parental love I  have for Madelyn. But I did not choose to love Madelyn, I did choose to love Katie and commit myself solely to her as her husband.

As we have seen this drama unfold on television it is very evident that Jon and Kate place a higher value on their kids much more than each other (I don’t call it love). It seems their wedding vows were only suggestions and not as commitments. They have put their children ahead of their covenant of marriage. There seemed to be some sort of competition of love in that family set up, but there is only so much that can be understood by television.

This love and commitment I have for Katie is exactly what Madelyn needs to be able to grow up in stable home, where mom and dad will remain together committed under God and to each other. We pray that someday Madelyn will find loving spouses whom she will love more than us and more than anyone else.

-jeff

See this post on Tim Challies blog over a year ago that talked about this subject. Some of which I wrote about comes from his post.

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