CHRISTIAN LIFE & GROWTH
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
Making your spouse #2 and keeping him/her there: Don't allow your children to become more important than dad/mom. Always take each other's side and support 100%. If you can't agree on a topic in front of the kids, set the topic aside until you've come to terms with each other. Don't allow your family to become easily "divide-and-conquer" candidates. United you stand and divided you will fall. There is no person on planet earth that is more important than your spouse. Don't be fooled to think otherwise. If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, WORK at making your spouse your best friend. That's really what your kids need. That's really what your ministry needs the most.
For those who are married: Make a list of the positive things you appreciate and love about your spouse. Share it with them at the appropriate time.
For the yet-to-be married: Make a list of the necessities (not wants and desires) in the attributes that your future spouse MUST possess. Of course, when looking for that special person, God tells you that she has to be a believer:
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14 KJ21If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, work in making your spouse, your best friend. FIGHT to keep your spouse #2. It's important to know that your marriage is in trouble if he/she is #1. That's a place reserved ONLY for God Himself. Also, don't allow any of your kids to take over that position. This is especially easy if you have a child that is learning disabled or handicapped in any way. They need so much more attention for their disabilities that the potential to bump out your spouse is strong. Reserve time for your spouse. Make time if you have to. Schedule it on your calendar and refuse to budge (except for extenuating circumstances). Remember that satan (small "s" intended) desires to kill you and/or your marriage. Don't let co-workers or your boss steal that position. Don't let your parents or in-laws steal that position.
It would be healthy for you to review your instructions from God on which spouse is to do what. Wives, review Ephesians 5:22-24. Husbands, review Ephesians 5:25-33. Buy some books on the topic and study guides. Work on them together. Remember that your enemy is not your spouse. Remember that our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against satan and his demons. See Ephesians 6:12. Don't take jabs at your spouse, or make jokes about spouses.
Here is a key point to remember. In Ephesians 5, the wife is told to "respect" her husband. The husband is told to "love" his wife. Those are two very different "needs" that God has created in a man and a woman. Study together to see exactly what that means. It is crucial that a spouse knows what the other needs, and to supply those needs. Nobody else on earth can supply those needs. That is your calling. Don't let any other priority scramble that need that must be filled by you. Get creative. Watch movies like Fireproof or workbooks like Love Dare by Kendrick, Strengthening your Marriage by Wayne Mack. Great marriages don't just happen. You have to work on them.
One last thing: don't make the mistake thinking you are off the hook from fulfilling these needs to one another because one of you is not saved; a child of God. This passage is unconditional of one's salvation. And by the way, it's not a suggestion from God. It's a command.
Some helpful tips:
Your children are watching. Teach them from your example how to love and respect their future spouse;
Go on regular date nights...weekly or at least, monthly;
Have regular devotions with your spouse;
Always treat your spouse as the next most important person in your life, besides God;
If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, fall in love with your spouse, over and over again;
Be ever watchful for people (including in-laws), your kids, your job, projects, hobbies or even church to not become more important than your spouse;
Grant each other permission to critique questionable priority misalignments.
See also: What does it take to be a born again Christian?
Tags: Biblical-Truth | Christian-Life | Family-Life | Personal-Relationships
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Published on 2-13-17