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'Your kids do not come first': Texas dad's controversial parenting opinions stir up debate

'Your kids do not come first': Texas dad's controversial parenting opinions stir up debate
via Unsplash

Matt Martin, 28, of Dallas, Texas has created a bit of a stir on the internet for writing a piece on marriage published by Love What Matters. Martin is a performer who wrote, directed, and starred in a 2016 version of "Little Mermaid" and wrote 2018's "Inhumane" starring Michelle Money.

In his piece, the father of young twin boys, stresses that a marriage is between two people (possibly three) and that children should not come first. Martin starts the article by claiming that a marriage is between two people and God and that their relationship should take precedence over all others.


"My Aunt Steph, one of the smartest, most blunt people I know, told me before I got married, 'People say you marry the family too. That's not true. Your marriage is between you two.' I'm not saying your family isn't important. I value my family a lot (not as much as my wife does, but still…). You need them to lean on when life gets hard and to lift you guys up, but I didn't marry her mom and she didn't marry my dad. We had to learn to go to each other first when life threw us curveballs, instead of instinctually going to our parents. We're a family now, and that family comes first."

Martin believes that being married and having children shouldn't prevent you from achieving your personal goals. In fact, our partners are here to support us in achieving them.

Personally, I think this is a very important point in a relationship. If your spouse is a hindrance to you achieving your personal goals instead of a source of support, there may be serious troubles in your relationship.

Our pastor told us in a pre-marital counseling session, that as a couple we'd have goals, and as individuals we would have goals. To succeed as a couple, we would both tackle those goals. Sometimes I would be the captain (like when tackling mine) and sometimes Sara would be. But we'd both be working towards that goal. That's the beauty of marriage. You've got this life partner to raise you up. Like Kim and Kanye.



This is the part that has people talking:

A big humongous monstrosity of a lesson I've learned that I PRAY that all of you will strongly take into consideration, is that your kids do not come first. Our kids are sooo important and are the future and all that fun jazz, but what's best for them is a beautiful example of two people who love each other (and God). Another great thing for them to know is that they are not the center of the universe. Sorry if you're reading this in the future, Jack and Cam and any other children we may have had, but you're not the center of my universe. Sometimes I've wanted you to be really badly, but that's not going to do you any favors, and it won't do me any favors when you leave home (please leave home). You can't put your spouse on the back burner for eighteen years and then say 'Oh, hey, you can be my number one again.'

Here, Martin makes an important point about parenting. He believes that raising children who believe they are the center of the universe is bad for them in the long run. It's true. Children who are raised thinking they should be catered to are going to learn some very hard lessons when they become an adult.

When parents cater to a child's every whim it leads to a sense of entitlement that, as an adult, can result in depression and poor relationships.

The piece stirred up a passionate discussion on the Batdad Facebook page where some agreed that marriage should be the primary relationship in a family, while others think that a child's needs come first.

Some believe that putting your marriage first creates a better environment where children can thrive.

"A marriage needs to come first. An unstable home is detrimental to children's psychological and emotional wellbeing. My spouse and I will make our children wait for our attention of we are having a discussion that is important … I prioritize my marriage and my children flourish and thrive because of it," — Natalie

"I feel like you should put yourself first before your kids. If you aren't in a good place, it will reflect onto everything else," — Christine

While others believe that adults should put their needs second to those of their kids.

"Sanctimonious at best.... my wife and I have always put our children first.... we have love and mutual respect for each other and that will never change! But raising our children will always be a priority because it's a job that transcends anything else.... if you're married to someone who insists that they are a priority over the children you both brought into this world.... is basically selfish ... self absorbed and self centered!" — Jeff

"My kids will always be first. My husband is an adult who can take care of himself and who understands when my kids need me. We still make time to watch movies together and be with each other," — Olivia

You can read Martin's entire piece at Love What Matters.

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