We all know marriages that struggle or fail to survive because a spouse has gone and made their career, a substance, their kids, a hobby, or themselves the number one in their life. And we also know that if a marriage is going to work at all, it will be because it was a made a high priority. Most of us have been told to put marriage first. I value my marriage to Craig and want it to always be the best it can be, but my marriage doesn’t come first. And neither should yours.
Craig is truly a wonderful husband. He is caring, thoughtful, full of wisdom and integrity. I love him more than mere words could possibly express. Our marriage of 26 years has become like an abundant and fruitful garden. But this is not from luck or chance. It’s something we’ve continually chosen to cultivate and protect—with the help and strength of Christ. And, again, it’s not because we put marriage first. Sound harsh? Okay, I’ll explain!
You see, I’m convinced one of the main reasons Craig and I have a strong and healthy marriage today is because we both have Christ as our primary relationship—not each other. When Christians say, “Put Jesus first,” it’s not meant to be some “churchy” cliché. Making Christ our life’s focus is at the very foundation of who we are as God’s children. When we make this change, marriage is no longer about just us. He becomes the help and hope of our marriage.
Really, I don’t want my marriage to come first. Christ is my first love. He forever loves us with all that He is, and He calls us to love Him with all that we are. You can’t be the spouse you want to be without continually pursuing Christ first. Think about it. With Christ as your primary focus, He can help you to be a loving and life-giving spouse. Personally, I know patience, humility, and kindness wouldn’t exist in our marriage without the help and hope of Christ in our lives. His love is continually changing Craig and me, and because of this, we love one another more completely.
Take an honest assessment:
What or who is your life’s first priority?
How can you rearrange your life to make first things first?
Love the Lᴏʀᴅ your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
Deuteronomy 6:5 NIV