I love my husband. He is my best friend, lover and leader of our household. He is a pretty swell guy. He makes my heart swoon. And yet, there is another man in my life who trumps my husband every time.
Jesus. My one true love. My Savior.
My husband knows that he will always be second in my life and in the same way, I am second in his. In our relationship, we have found how desperately important it is to put God first and each other after.
I would never want to be my spouse’s sole source of happiness. How I would fail him time and time again in that sort of position. I strive for but will never fully reach the level of unconditional love that the Lord has for him. I am impatient where the Lord is patient. I am anxious in situations where the Lord is calm. I am angry in times where the Lord is love. In these qualities that my husband needs to depend on I am sub-par where the Lord exceeds all expectations.
In the same way, my husband is not my sole source of happiness. Yes, he makes me happy, but my happiness doesn’t depend on him. When we depend on another for joy, contentment, and peace, rather than on our Creator, we set that person up for failure. Our expectations are unrealistic, and place heavy burdens on them. When we expect a “perfect person” to fulfill us, we are missing the greatest opportunity to be fulfilled by God.
“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV)
We are called to love the Lord our God FIRST above all things. If we love God first, we more easily love others. God is love and if we love Him above all else we will overflow onto those around us. That is what brings human relational love to our door.
“Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.” 1 Corinthians 10:14 (NIV)
It is important to me to make sure that my husband does not become an idol in my life. Because, he is someone whom I love so much it is easy for my thoughts to be solely on my him. I love spending time with him. Speaking to him. Thinking about him. Planning our future. Taking care of him. Idolatry can easily manifest itself in this sort of situation.
There are several lifestyle choices that we have implemented into our marriage to keep Christ first. Some of them include:
Praying together is something we strive to do daily. This allows us to come together and focus on God and what He is doing in our lives. Moments like these take the spotlight off of us and puts it on God. Through joint prayer we are not only able to strengthen our relationship with one another but also our relationship with our Saviour. We help each other talk to God, and have the gift of sharing in that communion.
Joint prayer is immensely important but, so it independant prayer time. There is something about coming before the Lord on my own that really effects my heart and outlook on my day. This is the time I spend in conversation with my true love. Just God and myself, working on the most important relationship I will ever have. If I am not continually working to improve my relationship with God my marital relationship won’t improve either.
Serving alongside my husband is a big part of putting God first. It reminds us that we are not living this life for ourselves but, instead, living to glorify Him who gave us life. Our marriage is not for us; we want our marriage to honor God and show that marriage is not selfish but, selfless. Our marriage is a gift God has given us, and our devotion is to honor that gift by holding Him as the center of our union.
I love my husband. But, I do not rely on him to complete me. My completion comes from the Lord, the source of all love. Through whom, I will never be disappointed.