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Putting Marriage First: The Secret of How My Parents Raised Seven Children

My parents just recently celebrated 30 years of a wonderful marriage. They are parents of seven adopted kids, each with their own problems. They’ve parented six teens already and are going to be parenting their seventh and last teen soon.

Their marriage has persevered through the test of time. Through the challenges and the hard times, they’ve always been a team. They are partners, watching each other’s back and supporting each other all the way through. Despite their busy hours and days, the two often make time to be together at the end of the day.

It’s not often that my parents go out, just the two of them. With Mom homeschooling three kids still in the nest and Dad working all day, it can be difficult to find the ideal night. Nevertheless, they don’t let the business of life keep them from the occasional date night. This is usually dinner or, once in a great while, a movie. I stay behind and watch my younger siblings while they get the chance to just be the two of them.

In the summer, Mom and the rest of us head up north, which gives my parents less time to be together. But Dad takes the time to drive up on the weekends, and once or twice a summer he takes a week off work and stays longer. While my siblings and I swim in the river, Mom and Dad spend time together. They sit in the boat and talk while we splash around and play. At night, they take the time to walk together, too. Sometimes I join them and all three of us walk.

My parents fight once in a while, at least a little. But a lot of times it’s not really a fight; it’s actually something more playful. For example: I have an activity I need to get to Wednesday night. Dad says he’ll take me, but Mom knows it’s been a long day and says she’ll do it. There’s no yelling or shouting, but they do take a minute or two to negotiate who will take me. With that said, they both understand that each of them has had a long day, and therefore each wants to lighten the load of the other.

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From this you might gather that my parents are perfect and have a perfect marriage. No marriage is perfect, but I am especially blessed that they’ve stuck with each other and have kept their marriage alive and healthy. They’ve made the time and energy to spend time with each other and have certainly honored their vows: To love and cherish, till death do us part …

Hope Dougherty is a Christian writer and artist. She loves to write passionately about her many ideas and is a junior in high school.

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