Who's More Important; My Kids or Me?

So, believe it or not, at my practice I get a lot of parents who come in to me and they’re pretty burned-out. They have trouble prioritizing things; taking good care of themselves.  And so, I need to explain to them how to restructure their lives. They need to understand that they come first.  Not their kids, that they come first, not their spouse.  Doesn’t sound very Christian but the truth is, there’s certain ways to structure things, and a family needs to be structured properly for it to work, similar to building a house. If you’re building a house, you have some pretty important structures; the foundation, the walls... and I’ll explain to them that you have to put the house together a certain way but all parts are important.  Because they have trouble with putting themselves first, typically, so I’ll say well...( they feel selfish about it and like I said not very Christian), so I’ll say “Well, all parts of the family are important but they go together a certain way similar to a house.” I’ll say, “When you’re building a house, do you put the roof on first, then the walls then the foundation?”  And they’ll say, “That’s silly” and I’ll say “I agree. So, do you put the foundation on, then the roof, then the walls? No, nobody wants to build a house that way.... They don’t see how that will work.” So I’ll say, “So, what’s the most important part of the house?” And they’ll say, “The roof.”  So I’ll say, “So, if they have the real roof, and no walls, and no foundation, where are you going to live?” They say “The foundation” and so I say,  “A foundation with no walls and no roof...where are you going to live? It will be pretty wet and cold.”  So eventually, they realize that all parts of the house are important and they are equally important.  So now we agree... you, your spouse, and your children are important.  But what’s also important is how you put them together. So, how does a family get put together? A family gets put together by... first your grow up, you learn to take care of yourself, then you get married and have kids. So the first thing, your first priority is taking care of yourself, being mature, caring properly for yourself. Then, you can add someone to your life that you care about. They don’t have to take care of you because you’re doing that, but you can seek their support, you can put your heads together and make more things, like children.  So, then you have children, but that’s the order of things.  Children come last.  The first part of the house is you. You are the foundation. Your spouse may be considered to be the walls, and the children the roof. But, you need all those parts to make the house... but they do go together in a certain order. And, I’d like you to keep that order in mind, however much humility it takes, you need to recognize your first priority is to yourself.