How to Prioritize Your Spouse
by: Jimmy Evans
Sorry…it’s just not a priority for me right now.
That guy really needs to get his priorities straight!
Priorities. We talk about them a lot, but do we really understand them? More importantly, does the way we live our lives reflect the things we say are our priorities?
Our priorities are our values. The person who gives priority to God values God. The person who gives something priority above God values that thing more highly than God. It is that simple.
The same is true of family: the person who gives priority to family highly values family.
The essence of hypocrisy is speaking something that we’re unwilling to live, and if we’re honest, many of us must admit we are hypocritical concerning our priorities.
A husband may say he loves his wife, but he regularly chooses work or sports above her.
Parents may say they love their children, but the allow the kids to be crowded out of their daily schedules by less important things like television, hobbies, or their social calendars.
We say we love God first, but then we are unwilling to sacrifice in order to give, worship, or serve Him. This is hypocrisy.
When God examines our priorities, He doesn’t focus primarily on what we say we believe. He looks at what we practice. When He sees us putting Him first, he knows we value Him. He knows He is being devalued when He sees the ways we have replaced Him in our lives.
Anything that takes God’s place in our lives—even if it is something good and necessary—is an idol. And though God always loves us, He simply will not bless a life that has devalued Him and is practicing idolatry.
Just like wrong priorities breaks down our relationship with God, the same is true of our relationship with our spouses. In Genesis 2:24, God declares that we must “leave” our fathers and mothers. Marriage is to take priority over our parents.
What does this mean? It means the marriage relationship is to be valued more highly than any other human relationship, exceeded only by an individual relationship with God. That’s why our spouses intuitively know they should have priority above everything other than God.
When they don’t, jealousy and hurt feelings result. Marital satisfaction will never be achieved when spouses are not given the proper place of priority.
In the same way, our children’s future happiness and success are less dependent on factors like education, relationships, and income than on God’s blessing and approval—and while His love is unconditional, His blessing hinges on how much we honor biblical priorities in our family life.
To learn more principles that can help you build a stronger marriage, check out Jimmy Evans’ book “Marriage on the Rock, 25th Anniversary Edition.” Read the first chapter free at marriageontherock.com