“Sons are an inheritance from Jehovah.”—Psalm 127:3
The birth of a baby can be both thrilling and overwhelming for a couple. As new parents, you may be surprised to find that most of your time and energy will be used to care for your baby. Lack of sleep along with emotional changes can put a strain on your relationship. Both you and your mate will have to make adjustments to care for your baby and to preserve your marriage. How can the Bible’s advice help you to deal with these challenges?
1 UNDERSTAND HOW A BABY CHANGES YOUR LIFE
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: “Love is patient and kind.” Also, love “does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked.” (1 Corinthians 13:4, 5) As a new mother, you naturally focus your attention on your baby. However, your husband may begin to feel neglected, so do not forget that he too needs your attention. With patience and kindness, you can help him to feel needed and involved in caring for your child.
“You husbands . . . continue dwelling with them according to knowledge.” (1 Peter 3:7) Understand that your wife will spend most of her energy on your baby. She has new responsibilities and may be stressed, exhausted, or even depressed. At times, she may even get upset with you, but try to remain calm, because “the one slow to anger is better than a mighty man.” (Proverbs 16:32) Show discernment, and give her the support she needs.—Proverbs 14:29.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Fathers: Help your wife to care for the baby, even at night. Limit the amount of time you spend on other activities so that you can spend more time with your wife and your baby
Mothers: When your husband offers to help you with the baby, accept his help. If he does not do the task perfectly, do not criticize him, but kindly show him how to do it
2 STRENGTHEN YOUR RELATIONSHIP
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: “They will become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24) Even though you have a new member in your family, remember that you and your mate are still “one flesh.” Make every effort to keep your relationship strong.
Wives, be grateful for your husband’s help and support. Your expressions of appreciation can be “a healing.” (Proverbs 12:18) Husbands, tell your wife how much you love and value her. Praise her for the way she cares for the family.—Proverbs 31:10, 28.
“Let each one keep seeking, not his own advantage, but that of the other person.” (1 Corinthians 10:24) Always do what is best for your mate. As a couple, take the time to talk, commend, and listen to each other. Be unselfish when it comes to your sexual relationship. Consider your mate’s needs. The Bible says: “Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent.” (1 Corinthians 7:3-5) So discuss this subject honestly between the two of you. Your patience and understanding will strengthen your relationship.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Do not forget to make time for just the two of you
Do little things that make your mate feel loved, such as sending a note or giving a small gift
3 TRAINING YOUR BABY
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: “From infancy you have known the holy writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation.” (2 Timothy 3:15) Plan what you will do to teach your baby. He has an amazing ability to learn, even before he is born. While still in the womb, your baby can recognize your voice and respond to your emotions. Read to him when he is still an infant. Even though he may not understand what you are reading, it can help him to enjoy reading when he is older.
Your baby is never too young to hear you talk about God. Let him hear you pray to Jehovah. (Deuteronomy 11:19) Even when you play together, talk about the things that God has made. (Psalm 78:3, 4) As your child grows up, he will sense your love for Jehovah and will learn to love him too.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Pray specifically for the wisdom to train your baby
Repeat key words and ideas to your baby so that he will begin learning early