If you counted up all the times I have talked about God being your #1 and your spouse being your #2, you could spend a lot of hours! It is part of my language and the culture of Awesome Marriage. It’s foundational to everything we talk about. So when we get an email from someone asking what we mean by “God first, spouse second,” it tells me that we don’t all speak the same language and it is important that I clearly define all the terms we use.
How do we put God first? The “how” is easy but the follow through is tough. This is what I do. I spend time with God each morning. I read daily from a chronological Bible in a year YouVersion plan and then read another shorter plan. I pray, give my day to God and ask for His guidance and wisdom as I go through the day. Then I write in my Bullet Journal, which is a new habit for me this year. Some days I feel really connected to God and other days I feel I am just going through the motions.
What I have found over the years is that consistency is what matters. It’s a habit that has paid off. My problem is being consistent throughout the rest of the day. I can let distractions, temptations, and a number of other things get me off track. Some of these I can control and others I cannot. Whatever I face, the answer needs to always be God. What is best for me? What is God teaching me? How do I keep Him first? The bottom line is that when I keep Him first, my life is better - a lot better. When I don’t, it’s not. For me it is a consistent awareness of God’s presence in my life throughout the day and walking through the day with Him as my #1.
Putting Nancy second is so easy when I put God first. There is no one and nothing that God would have me put as my next priority but her. Nancy trumps kids, grandkids, work, play, and everything else in my life. That does not mean that those are not important to me. They are, but they come after God and after Nancy. When God is first, I can embrace and enjoy every day with her. It does not matter if she is in a good mood or a bad mood; God will equip me to be the husband she needs. Does that mean I spend every minute of every day with her? No. It means that I want her to know I am always there for her and that nothing besides God is more important to me.
How are you doing with “God first, spouse second”? My guess is not always well. There are a lot of distractions in this life, both good and bad. We can give them priority over God and our spouse. So here is your challenge for this week. Start your day with Him. Read His word, pray, journal. Then stay connected to Him throughout the day. That’s keeping Him first. Then consciously put your spouse second each day. Tell them you love them. Serve them. Be present with them. Pray for them. Your life will be better and so will your marriage!
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