Christian author Lauren Chandler, the wife of Texas megachurch pastor Matt Chandler, recently shared how having children has changed her relationship with her spouse, and offered some advice for parents regarding their marriage.
"Having kids has definitely affected our marriage, especially having three, and each kid affected our marriage in a different way," she said in a video posted on the Gospel Coalition Facebook page. "One, we're learning to be parents, and so, [we were] getting to see each other grow in that role and also see each other kind of flail in that role, too. And then, the second kid bringing another element of, 'okay, it's not the two of us against them or with them, but with them. As Matt likes to say, 'It's man on man coverage.' And then, for the third one, it's zone coverage."
Chandler, who recently released her latest book, Steadfast Love: The Response of God to the Cries of Our Heart, explained that she and her husband of seventeen years "have to be a lot more intentional on when we're spending time together and dating each other."
"Because if we just went with the flow, we would be at the mercy of the urgent, which is usually the schedules of our children," she said.
"But the flip side of that is I've gotten to see Matt grow as a dad and I get to marvel at what God does in him and how God created him to interact with the kids," she added. "He's a lot of fun with them, he's creative, and then also he's a great help to me. It's so nice to have that come in at the end of a long day and be able to kind of see something from like 30,000 feet something that I've been stuck in the weeds on. He comes in and says, 'Hey babe, this is a battle not worth it, I love you, this is how we're going to handle it.' And I very willingly say, 'Thank you, I need this help.'
Chandler went on to share her best advice for parents and their marriage: "Be intentional with dating your spouse. That doesn't have to be this big thing; it could just be that you put the kids to bed, you shower, bathe, and you get on the couch and you watch something on Netflix, or a TV show that you wanna catch up on. Or, maybe it's coffee in the morning before the kids get up and you're reading the Bible beside each other, or asking each other questions."
She added, "Also, marvel at how the Lord has made your husband or wife to be a mother or father."
The marriage conference, which will be held February 19-20 in Jacksonville, FL, promises to be a "powerful and fun event discovering God's good design for love, marriage, sex, and redemption."
The dating conference, which will be held November 11 at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX, will be a "fun, informative, and powerful evening covering everything from attraction, to dating, to purity and redemption."
Both events will also be broadcast live and will be available for 30 days On Demand after the live webcast.