Last week at work a co-worker asked me if I would be willing to weigh in on the topic of priorities in relationships. He asked me if your partner should be the #1 priority in your life. Without hesitation I replied, “No.”
He looked slightly surprised. Obviously, he expected me to say yes. I am sure he thought that I would say that once you make a decision to be in relationship the person you choose suddenly becomes your sole purpose for living (which is honestly an insane statement), but I didn’t. He looked even more surprised when I said, “No.” again after he asked me if my husband was the #1 priority in my life.
Then, he decided to be clever and he asked, “Is your relationship with your husband the #1 relationship in your life?” Again, my answer was, “No.”
When I received yet another perplexed look I simply stated:
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33
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He understood then and he asked me if my husband felt the same way which, of course, he does. Well before we were married my husband made it clear to me that I would always be #2 in his life. His ranking was God is #1, his wife is #2.
I joked back with him that I ranked better than he did because he would be #3 in my life as my ranking is God is #1, I am #2, and he is #3. He laughed, but I meant it.
In the Bible, Matthew 7:5 states, “ You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” In context, it relates to cleansing your own life before presuming to cast judgement upon others for their lives. I’ve also always looked at it as a reminder to take care of yourself before taking care of others.
It’s similar to when you’re on an airplane and the attendant tells you to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others with their masks. How can you possibly help others put on their mask if you’re passed out in your own seat from a lack of oxygen?
You have to take care of yourself first and I know that if my relationship with God is not strong, my relationship with my husband suffers.
If I’m not
…humble before God and receiving His grace for my sins, I carry a prideful attitude with my husband.
…asking God for His forgiveness, I am slow to forgive my husband.
…reminding myself of God’s selfless sacrifice, I behave selfishly in my marriage.
…reading God’s warnings, I’m quick to release my temper and harsh words.
…blanketed in the comfort of God, I cannot provide comfort to my husband.
…encouraged through faith, I am unable to provide encouragement to my household.
…enveloped in His love, I do not share God’s love and mercy with others.
…trusting in my Lord, I doubt my trust in man.
Essentially, if I fail God then I fail my marriage. I don’t want to fail my marriage. Marriage is a gift and we are incredibly fortunate that God saw fit to bless us with such an amazing partnership. God provided us with a perfect harmony and we have a healthy balance in our relationship. Where one of us falters, the other is strong. In our marriage, God gave us exactly what we needed to build a beautiful faith-based life.
Yet, we fail each other if we begin to fail God. God has to be #1.