Has anyone ever thought about a saying, maybe one that you have heard all your life and then it finally hits you that it might not be totally accurate? For me, it was “family first” or even this one: “your family is your first ministry” and while that sounds great and very "christian", in my spirit I just felt the Lord say that this wasn’t the full truth. The reality is that most of our culture defines family as having kids. But is it true? When God made the first family, He made a husband and a wife. They were each other's forever-family. If family was kids, then when they left home to start families of their own, did that mean mom and dad stopped being a family? The full truth is that, even before ministering to my "family", my energy should first be focused on my marriage. My kids are not my first priority, my wife is. She was my first commitment and will always be my priority before any other human on this earth. If you are not married & listening to this…don’t stop listening…this applies to you.
Ephesians 5:25 says
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her."
Notice that it didn’t say husbands love your families or fathers love your kids as Christ loved the church. When you love your wife the way that Christ loved the church (this applies to wives honoring their husbands as well), then your children will be loved and filled up as a natural result! You can't pour out into your kids or others if you are not first investing into your marriage. And you can’t pour into your marriage if you aren’t being filled by time in God’s presence and in his word - learning from him and listening to what He has to say. (One of my favorite ways to do this is through PRISM).
What you value will be passed down to your children and their children. Personally, I want my kids to see for their entire lives, how their daddy was always putting their mommy first. That way my sons will do the same for their wives and my daughters will know what type of men they need, should expect as husbands.
I understand this is counter-cultural. So many people think that needs of the children come before anything. It saddens me, but I often hear many people say that their greatest joy is being a mother and that their life’s responsibility is to be a great father. But you will never be able to give your children what they really need if you are not loving and pouring into your spouse first and foremost. How many marriages have ended because they put their children’s needs before their spouses? Of course parents say “Honey, mommy and daddy didn’t split up because of you” But let’s think about that for a second. Even though the child necessarily didn't "do" anything in particular to cause a break up, what if the way the parents chose to prioritize their family relationship turned into a life that was unsustainable?
Please hear my heart. In no way am I saying that having a kid is a problem. Selfishness is the problem. Misunderstanding priorities is the problem.
If you don’t have kids and are early in your marriage. I would encourage you to learn how to be selfless and put your spouses needs before your own. Learn to serve them. Learn their love language. Find ways to delight them daily. As life gets more and more complicated, this mindset will serve , not only you, but your family well! Kids don’t make things easier. I have one toddler and one on the way, and let me tell you, it's already far too easy to get caught up in focusing on them, meanwhile totally forgetting that i have a spouse with her own needs: physical, emotional, and spiritual!
And If you are single this applies to you too! Learning to be selfless and putting someone else's needs above your own will only help you, not only to prepare you for marriage, but it will enrich every area of your life!
So let’s all ask God to help us change our perspective and make marriage our first ministry and priority, - and let’s see how the generations that come after us benefit. And if you are not married, practice being selfless and looking for examples of couples who put each other first and lay down their lives for one another. Who knows what God could do in next generation if we could make this shift from "family first" to "marriage first"!
I'm praying God would help you and transform your priorities as you obey him everyday in your time decisions (PiVAT) and as your thoughts are aligned to match his heart (PRISM). He is going to show you as you are pursuing Him!
Love you guys,
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Daily Huddle -