Everyone has the exact same number of hours in their day. Rich people. Poor people. Men, women, and children. Time is a non-renewable resource that evaporates quickly.
We all have the same amount of time, but not all of us make the same decisions about how to use it. Those choices reveal our priorities far more than our words do. Our priorities are indicated not by what we say, but by how we live.
Genesis 2:24 is about making sure marriage remains a priority: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be one flesh.”
These words give husbands and wives a foundation that ensures every marriage can succeed. In fact, God reveals His first law of marriage in the statement about a man leaving his father and mother. This is the Law of Priority.
In this passage, the word “leave” doesn’t mean ignoring your parents or mistreating them. It means reprioritizing your life. Before you got married, your parents were your closest blood relatives. Naturally, that relationship was the most meaningful one in your life.
But when you get married, the relationship changes. In order for marriage to work, you have to reprioritize. Instead of your mother and father, your spouse must now come first.
Marriage only works in first place. It doesn’t work in any other position. So how do you establish and maintain marriage as a priority?
It has everything to do with your actions. People can say anything—I can go around telling everyone “You’re first in my life”—but those words mean nothing if my actions don’t back them up. Priority must be shown by action. Here are the two most important ways we show priority:
1⃣ Time: Time is the essential commodity of relationships. To ruin a relationship, all you have to do is stop spending time on it. If you don’t have time for your family or don’t have time for your spouse, then you are not going to see those relationships improve.
Sometimes we don’t have time for each other because our lives are so busy. This isn’t always a good thing. There’s an old saying: If the devil can’t get in front of you and stop you, he’ll get behind you and push you too fast.
People are moving too fast these days, and it’s taking away the time they should be dedicating to their marriage. To free up your precious time, some kind of sacrifice may be required. That leads to the second action…
2⃣ Sacrifice: In other words, what will you give up for me? If something competes with your marriage, it needs to be set aside. Early in our marriage, I played golf all the time. I played so often, in fact, that it damaged our relationship.
My actions showed Karen that I valued my time on the course more than my time with her, so I had to hang up my clubs in order to save my marriage. Golf itself wasn’t a bad thing. It was just out of priority. Many of the things that destroy marriages aren’t bad things, but good things that are in the wrong place of priority.
God created marriage to function according to His laws. When you follow these laws, your marriage has a one hundred percent chance of success. Does your marriage follow the Law of Priority?
Jimmy Evans // Marriage Today