Priorities in marriage

Peter and Debbie Pollock

Most of us struggle with prioritizing things in our life.

If we stop and think about what our priorities SHOULD be, most of us would say that God and our relationship with him should be our number one priority – and I agree. I question whether or not we actually live that way, but it’s there at the core of our beliefs.

From there, it gets a bit tricky. What should be our next priority? What about the ones after that?

I’d like to suggest that the list should look like this:

  1. God (duh)
  2. Pursuing your spouse (if you hve one)
  3. Your children (if you have any)
  4. Your ministry
  5. Your job (although for most people, #’s four and five are inseparable)
  6. Other stuff

You may be wondering why I worded number two the way I did – pursuing your spouse. I won’t keep you in suspense and longer, here’s why:

To be able to give your all to any of the other ‘priorities’, you need to be emotionally stable and content. That is simply not going to happen if you and your spouse are not on the same page, working as a team, united and fully supportive of each other.

When you first meet, date (or court) and marry your spouse, the two of you are ‘in the zone’, united in every way. Things are great… but then life steps in and something changes. All of a sudden, you’re not working together as a team any more, you’re somehow out of sync. Things are still OK, but it’s not like it was.

Time goes on and you become less and less ‘in-sync’ and you begin to feel that you’re fighting against each other to get things done, like God is giving you different callings that don’t work together.

Why is that?

The answer is simple: When we get married, all too often we stop pursuing each other.

When you’re pursuing someone it means you are focusing on their needs, desires, dreams and callings. Those things are at the forefront of your mind. They have to be so that you know how to pursue them.

Once you stop pursuing them, the space in your mind which was previously taken up with trying to learn all you can about that person suddenly becomes empty and you fill it with things that are all about you.

In effect, when we stop pursuing our spouses, we start pursuing ourselves. We’re not ‘in-sync’ because we are not focused on each other, we’re focused on ourselves.

My number one piece of advice for any married person (apart from to pursue God) is for them to pursue their spouse relentlessly. Every day for the rest of your life, pursue him, pursue her. It will radically alter your relationship and it will have a huge effect on everything else that you do.

I encourage you today, despite how you may be feeling, despite recent hurts and offenses, make your spouse your number one priority (after God) and pursue them as hard as you possibly can.

I forgot to pursue my wife for a while but am making up for lost time now and the benefits for all of us are incredible!

It might be hard at first and it might seem strange for a while but it is so very worth it. Even if they don’t reciprocate and start pursuing you again, keep at it for the rest of your life.

Three blogs I would recommend to help you as you pursue your spouse are:

***** Update **** Kevin Martineau reminded me that I should put myself on my priorities list. That’s something I’m very bad at doing, I don’t make myself a priority at all. Advice on how to do that would be appreciated!