In Marriage, Children Don’t Come First


In families there are first tier and second tier friendships

My parents are revolutionaries.

They lived as equal partners.


My dad generally cooked the meals and Mom baked the treats. Dad did dishes and laundry and Mom balanced the budget. Mom oversaw cleaning minutia and Dad managed the broader house cleansings. Mom was nurse and homework advisor. Dad gathered the family together for family home evening, prayers, and scripture study, and out the door for church on Sundays.

They both handed out chores to the closest person in proximity—even visitors. Girls took out trash and mowed the yard. Boys folded clothes and made meals. And everyone pulled weeds out of the garden…together at 7 a.m. on Saturday mornings.

And my dad’s favorite hobby besides baking bread to give to neighbors? Grocery shopping! That man can tell you the cheapest deal on corn-on-the-cob in the county, and the next one over, too.

All of this madness does tend to impact a person. I developed some crazy expectations for my future spouse.

In Marriage, Will Backgrounds Ever Align?
When I first met my husband, I assumed Anthony could cook. And he could cook – a PopTart and steak (not for the same meal.) Anthony’s fridge was stocked with ketchup, steak sauce, and milk. (That was all that was in his fridge.)

I mistakenly supposed he wanted to go grocery shopping as a fun family activity.

I remember his mom’s reaction the first time we had them over and Anthony cleared the table and started the dishes while we finished our meal. (There are benefits to being the slowest eater). He had never had to clear the table, until he ate at my parents’ house.

Preparing for one meal, Mom handed Anthony the silverware and asked him to set the table. He did. After the blessing as she prepared to eat, mom exclaimed, “Who set the table like this?”

He, sort of cautiously, said he did. He had never set the table before, so didn’t know exactly where everything went. Mom apologized for sounding so surprised, showed him where the fork went, and started eating.

Mom and dad were raised under differing parenting philosophies, too. They decided what worked for them, and ultimately adapted as needed for their eight children’s different personalities. Their philosophy was “united we stand.”

Parental Unity Outranks Child Loyalty

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