“Divide and Conquer”...it’s a phrase I have heard so many people use and I am guilty of using it myself. Here recently though, these three words have really pierced my heart and brought me great conviction.
Divide means to separate or be separated into parts; and Conquer means to overcome and take control.
I mainly hear this phrase used in the context of the home. Multiple kids, multiple activities and Mom and Dad must “divide and conquer” to get everything done. So, we are separating from each other to take control of a situation.
Now hear me out, I know there are times when this has to happen because our family has to do it, too. But I do think that it can be detrimental to a marriage and the home if it becomes the norm.
Most families would say that they want to set their kids up for success in life. So, we look to sports, academics, clubs, etc. We feel if we don’t have them involved from a young age, they won’t be able to keep up and will ultimately not succeed. I am so guilty of this!
You know what the Lord has been showing me? In homes where Mom and Dad are present, if we are not making the Lord priority and if our kids are not seeing us spending time together and putting Christ first, then we are not setting them up for success either. I want our daughter to seek a husband that will love her as Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5:25). I want our son to seek a wife that is worth far more than rubies, that brings him good and not harm (Proverbs 31: 10-11). I would say we ALL would pray that for our kids. But, are we modeling that in front of them? We have to set the example.
Psalm 127 tells us that a family without God can never experience the spiritual bond God brings to relationships. We must make Him priority and let Him build up our home and our children.
If we are showing our kids that passing each other in the hallway or coming and going through the door is “marriage”, then it's possible that is what they will take into their own marriage. If you read on to Psalm 128 it tell us that God is the true head of the home.
Y’all, it’s hard! Society tells us that we have to pack our calendars and work, work, work to be successful in life. When God’s Word tells us that we need to rest in Him (Matthew 11:28-30)! Imagine what life would look like if we took time to just be still, enjoy God’s creation and laugh with the people He has entrusted to us! I know we would be happier people, because I am happier when that happens! Just last night we enjoyed a beautiful night at home and there were toys and balls thrown all over the yard...it was the most beautiful sight!
I teach a high school girl's small group and just last week I asked them to tell me a story about a special time they remember with their mom or dad. EVERY story was about one-on-one time spent together. I am convinced that is what this generation craves!
So, how can we put this into practice?
Just to be real and honest, writing this just made me nauseous, because this is a struggle for us. We have an almost seven year age gap between children, so the overlap in activities hasn’t started happening that often yet. We still have our priorities in other ways that we must stick to.
I am learning right along with you all!! But, at the end of the day, I want a thriving marriage and I want our kids to have a front row seat to what only God can do through two imperfect, sinful people. When our kids are grown, I doubt they are going to remember all of the busyness, but I bet they we will remember a home filled with the love of Jesus!
Laura is a pastor's wife, mom to two crazy fun kids, part-time marketing director, loves hanging out in her community and building relationships...oh and loves to laugh!