What you starve will die and what you feed will flourish. Is your marriage top priority? Are you at risk of allowing good people to threaten your great marriage?
Imagine this: You head out for a month-long adventure in the Rocky Mountains. You’ve studied maps. You’ve charted trails. You’re bubbling with anticipation over the places you’ll camp, hike, rock climb, and explore. Everything is packed—the tent, sleeping bag, flashlight, toilet paper, ropes, carabiners, and all the gear you could possibly want.
But while distracted with the busyness of packing, you somehow forgot about food and water—the absolute essentials for life.
It seems far-fetched, doesn’t it? Who in their right mind would overlook the fundamental necessities on a trip like that? Yet we often make an equally devastating mistake. We bring along all the good people in our life, yet somehow neglect our most precious human relationship—our marriage.
When God planned our adventure, He reserved the first-place spot for Himself, but deemed marriage a close second—a mysteriously powerful illustration of how Christ loves the Church. We bring additional good things and good people along with us on our marriage journeys. However, if we only focus on the good without prioritizing the essential, we can find ourselves in real trouble. It’s not rocket science. If you don’t feed your marriage, your marriage will starve.
Here are 4 good people who could be threatening your great marriage:
- Your co-workers. There’s power in a team. There’s value in healthy, working relationships. There’s honor in a hard-earned career. We often prioritize our work, but do we prioritize our marriages? Who gets the best part of you—your boss, your teammates, or your spouse? Your marriage is worth more than a million-dollar meeting, so arrange your life accordingly. You must be intentional to keep your marriage before your work.
- Your friends. There’s nothing quite like a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Friends make us laugh, pick us up when we fall, and encourage us to try again. But who gets more of your time—your friends or your other half? If you’re investing more emotional energy into your buddies than into your marriage, something’s got to give. It’s not just about balance; it’s about order. You must be intentional to keep your marriage before your friends.
- Your family. Family is one of the very best gifts from God. But too many people elevate their family’s opinions over their spouse’s advice—creating an unnecessary point of contention. The command to honor our parents is timeless, but God also affirmed a shift in priorities when marriage enters the picture. (Genesis 2:24) You must be intentional to keep your marriage ahead of your family.
- Your kids. This is probably the hardest one! Because, yes, our children are our pride and joy. Yes, they require lots of love and attention. Yes, there are urgent needs that sometimes must be met right away. But are you carving out intentional time for each other? Do your kids get the main course while your spouse gets the half-eaten leftovers? Putting your marriage on the back burner for 18 years is a likely path to divorce. You must be intentional to keep your marriage second to God alone.
Even though all these people are good, none of them should be given more priority, value, or intimacy than the relationship you have with your spouse. Get these in order, and you can go ahead and mark good people off the list of things that could threaten your great marriage.
“So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matthew 19:6 NIV