The Vow: The vow of priority.
“Priority” is a very commonly used word today. Our society constantly becomes more frenetic, more frantic, more disjointed, disconnected, more mobile, and more involved. As life speeds up and becomes literally engulfed in so many different things, the word “priority” seems to be the solution to sorting it all out and establishing some kind of pecking order for the things we are committed to. We have books on priorities and setting priorities. You can hire people to come in and teach you how to prioritize things. It’s really become a very, very popular word because it seems to be a very great need in our complex time. When it comes to marriage, God has set very definite priorities. The successful marriage is a matter of following God’s pattern and priorities for marriage.
Bottom Line: The right priorities in the right place will ensure a great marriage.
Something To Talk About:
If you were at a marriage retreat and were asked to “write down on a piece of paper the number one priority for your life as a Christian, what is it?” Your initial reaction would be to think about it because you have several priorities including God, your spouse, the kids, your job, the church, witnessing etc. We know the “right” answer is to put God as our first priority. The Word of God tells us that it is vital to put our priorities in the right order and that order begins with God, then your spouse followed by the kids, as we talked about in this week’s message.
- God is your first and your spouse is your second: God does not want us to place anything before Him. His desire is that we worship Him and Him alone. He must come first in our lives. That reality changes everything, and if followed, everything else will fall in line. Consider it this way: long before your spouse ever chose you, God chose you. Long before your spouse noticed you and set you apart from the crowd, God set you apart. Long before your spouse loved you, God loved you first. This reality puts things in the right perspective. It will put your priorities in order. The benefits in marriage to living according to God’s design are huge, and as we heard Sunday, God should be our first priority. God wants to be first place in our lives (Exodus 20:3). He is to be our number-one priority, with no exceptions. That means that God is over me. His wishes come before mine. I must choose to go His way, not my own. Our relationship to God spills out into all our other relationships. Only when our vertical relationship to God is correct can our horizontal relationships with our spouse and kids be the way God intended them to be. When our relationship with God is right, our family life improves. Putting God first in your life is not easy but remains the best way to have the family relationships we desire. You must worship and serve Him first. And, you must fight to keep Him as your number one priority. If you don’t, you might undermine the very foundation of your marriage. Make the promise that God will be your first priority and your spouse the second.
- Protect the priorities: We talked on Sunday that raising our children is a temporary assignment. The other thing we talked about is that the main thing is the main thing. The main thing is to pay attention to what God is trying to say to us and to receive what He is trying to give us, and in this way to protect our priorities in marriage.You have a one hundred percent chance of success in marriage if you follow God’s plan. He created a foundation to ensure every marriage could succeed, and it’s not complicated. It’s all about putting the right priorities in place and then protecting those priorities.
- How would you define “marriage?” How has culture shaped your idea of marriage?
- Why does God deserve to be our first priority? What gets in the way of making your relationship with God your first priority?
- What are your priorities specific to marriage? What can you do to protect them?
- What does seek the one while preparing for your two mean to you? What happens when we get the order mixed up?
- Keeping Christ as a couple only works if we keep Him first individually. What does this look like for you?
- Are you comfortable with children being third on the priorities list? Why or why not?
- What was new or stood out to you in this session? In what ways were you challenged or encouraged? Were there any points/thoughts that you did not agree with? How could this teaching be put into practical application this week?
Take one Thing Home With You:
There are many worthwhile commitments that a couple can make in marriage, but in my opinion there is few more important than praying together. Make it a priority to pray for each other or with each other. Praying together as a couple grows you closer to God and closer to each other.
Pray for yourself first, that you will be the person God would have you to be. Then pray for your partner. Pray that your partner will always love God more than you love each other. Pray that your spouse would love the Lord so much that it inspires you to love Him more. Pray that you will love others more than you love yourself.