Priorities in the Christian Life


By Dr. Ron Tardif (D.Div. C.C.)

Priorities in the Christian Life: The Series

Priority #1: God
Priority #2: Spouse
Priority #3: Children
Priority #4: Occupation
Priority #5: Ministry

Whether you are a new believer, or a mature Christian having served the Lord for years, we all are subject to stumble in life with "misaligned priorities." People may tell you that your priorities are messed up. We of course think they are not (Proverbs 21:2). However, caution lights or red lights from our spouse or kids or a mature Christian friend may be telling us otherwise. So, what exactly "should" our priorities be? The answer is found in Ephesians, and also listed in the same order, in Colossians. But before we go there, ask yourself:

If you were to make and list of what the top priorities are in your life, what would it look like? Go ahead and make that list.

I think we could all agree that of the top 5 priorities, God has to be first. However, the question is, is He in fact first? And if not, what do we need to do to make Him first in our lives? Then again, how can you know for certain that God indeed is your priority in all things — priority #1? A question you may ask yourself is this: "What is the first thing you think about when waking up? And, what is the last thing you think about when you go to sleep?" If the answer is pretty often the same theme, and it is not God, then that theme may actually be your priority #1. Things like worrying about money, your home, your kids, thinking about your favorite foods, your body weight, jogging, a new car, a particular person (neighbor, person in church), activities or sports, your favorite sports team, players, video games, pornography, gambling, drinking, drugs, a better job, higher wages, etc. Too often, these topics become all-consuming, and thus top priorities in some people's lives. Oh, we would expect this to be true of non-believers. But what about when it happens in a true believer's life? It might be wise to stop at this point to stop and evaluate if you are a true believer. A link below addresses this concern.

Priorities as spelled out in Ephesians 5-6, along with Colossians 3 are as follows:

#1 God (Ephesians 1-3; Bible verses found throughout ALL of Scripture)

#2 Spouse (Ephesians 5:22-24 and Colossians 3:18 refer to one's wife; Ephesians 5:25-33 and Colossians 3:19 point to one's husband)

#3 Children (Ephesians 6:1-4 and Colossians 3:20-21)

#4 Occupation (Ephesians 6:5-9 and Colossians 3:22)

#5 Ministry (Ephesians 6:10-11; 13-20 and Colossians 3:23-25)

Any time these 5 get out of order, or something else comes into the mix that doesn't belong there (golf, fishing, best friends, parents, porn, etc.: see list above), an individual is going to really struggle and may need a true believer's candid opinion, or may even need outside counseling. THEY MUST BE IN ORDER.

By the way, it is critical at this point to note that in the list of Ephesians, chapter 6 verse 12 is left out. It might even appear to be out of context. I don't think so. It reads:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12
I believe that this verse, strategically located at this location, is a warning to all of us that satan (small "s" intended) desires to destroy your walk with God #1, destroy your marriage #2, break your heart with a rebellious child #3, get you in trouble or even fired at work and cause havoc in the home #4 — but then, comes verse 12, just before priority #5: ministry.

To find out more about how to make/keep priorities in the correct order, consider going to the following related additional topics in this series:
Is God actually first in your life? To make certain He is, go to the next topic in this series, "Priorities in the Christian Life #1. God."

Is your spouse really and truly, next in line in your mind and heart, as the priority right after God? To make certain they are, go to "Priorities in the Christian Life #2. Spouse."

Often times, I hear that a married couple, struggling, have their kids as top priority. Does that describe you? To make certain they are not, and why they should not be, go to "Priorities in the Christian Life #3. Your Children."

People often get so confused about how important it is to support their family that they go to work and put in a crazy amount of hours. Is your job taking over a more important priority? To make certain it is not, go to "Priorities in the Christian Life #4. Your Occupation."

Last of all, and an often-violated item, is people putting their ministry (church, elder business, deacon business, witnessing, missions business) ahead of their loved ones. Are you guilty of this? To make certain you are not, go to "Priorities in the Christian Life #5. Ministry."

Most important of all, if you are struggling to put your priorities into proper location, and are not actually sure of your salvation, that is the most important step you need to take for your family. Jesus said "Unless you are born again, you can not enter the kingdom of heaven" (See: John 3:3, 5, 7).

See also: What does it take to be a born again Christian?

TagsBiblical-Truth  | Christian-Life  | Family-Life  | God-Father  | Personal-Relationships

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Published on 1-31-17