Marriage on its own is challenging. Throw some kids into the mix and things can get very complicated. 

Can those two things be combined? If not, which one should we be focusing on first? Our marriage or our children?  

Lucille Williams is an author and national speaker who has ministered to couples and families for more than 25 years.

Williams has been married to er husband for over three decades, but things weren't always great. 

"It started rough. Really rough. Our first 5 years we titled the “5-year fight.” I’m not kidding. We got back from our honeymoon and fought for 5 years. He was pretty good, too, but I was better. I’m not sure how we stayed together. I think it’s because we made a promise on our wedding day. We keep promises," says Williams. 

She says shortly after that, they met Jesus and everything changed.

"God taught me how to be a wife and mom. Sounds a bit cliche, I know, but it’s the truth. Today I am a pastor’s wife. Me? I never saw that one coming. I didn’t marry a pastor. God changed him. God changed me. I still struggle, but now I know where to go for the answers," says Lucille.

One thing that Lucille says can be challenging in any marriage is deciding who to put first, a child or a spouse.

"I think as we parent sometimes, we feel like we need to focus on our children even when we're married. And we don't realize they're leaving, and one day we're going to be face to face with our spouse and go, okay, what do we do now?"

She says it wasn't until her friend showed her some verses in the Bible about submissiveness that things started to change in her marriage and family life. 

"I realized if I was going to have a marriage that was going to be good and honoured God, I needed to do what God said," Lucille explains. "I needed to jump in the Bible. I needed to say, what does this look like? And then I had to learn that yielding, submissiveness, and yielding to another person isn't raising that flag. It's out of love. It's because you love them and care about them and want what is best for the relationship."

Once she made that shift in thinking, she says her marriage turned into something beautiful. And now that beauty is being passed down to her children.

Today on Connections, Lucille shares how we can keep our marriage strong while raising children.