One of the striking and helpful truth Bukola and I have learned about marriage in recent times is on the Foundational Laws of Marriage. We first heard about it from one of our marriage mentors, Jimmy Evans. It’s been a huge blessing. We have shared it with a lot of couples, at an individual level and even with groups. I believe that it is something every couple who is serious about marital bliss should have a critical look at.
While many people desperately want a marriage that succeeds, fewer and fewer really believe that it can happen for them. It’s difficult to find successful marriages when there are so many casualties in relationships. All around us, the statistics speak – and the numbers are not great! Only about 20% of couples really enjoy marital bliss. How should you then position to ensure that your marriage succeeds?
In the next few posts, we want to share the “Foundational Laws of Marriage” with you. God created marriage based on these foundational laws, and when you obey these laws, your marriage is guaranteed to work. It is God’s way of “doing” marriage.
Law 1: The Law of Priority:
This is perhaps the 1st place that I see many couples missing it. The law of priority simply states that marriage works only in the 1st place. Marriage is designed to operate as the top priority, except for your personal relationship with God. If marriage is not your top priority, it will not work. Please, note that the only thing that is permitted to take priority over your marriage is your “walk” with God – not your “work” for Him. Work, children, career, hobbies and the likes, cannot be ahead of your marriage if you want it to work the way it was designed.
Your spouse would resist naturally when your priorities are out of order – when they feel that something else is “deemed” to be of higher priority than your marriage. Legitimate jealousy then sets in and disrupts things further. We are not saying that your work, career or children are not important. They are. They are all good things, but they can be out of priority if you place them ahead of your marriage.
The 1st instruction God gave Adam on marriage was this “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife…. (Gen 2:24). In other words, a man will have to re-adjust his priorities and make unity with his wife a top priority.
How then do you establish the right priority in your marriage?
Priorities must be proven in real terms, and not just in words
It is more than just telling your spouse “you are my number 1”. It is good to say that, but it is better to “prove” it. Here are a couple of ways to “prove” it
- Sacrifice – What are you willing to give up in order to prioritize your spouse? Golf? Soccer? Social media? Excessive meetings?
- Time – Making a conscious effort to spend quality time with your spouse, often.
- Energy – Investing the best of your energy meeting your spouse’s needs.
- Attitude – Your attitude must show and communicate that you really want to be with your spouse.
Priorities must be constantly protected from good things out of priority.
Most times, the things that compete for your time and attention are not particularly bad things, I suppose. A great career aspiration isn’t bad. Working for God in a local assembly is a great thing to do. Spending time with the kids is awesome, isn’t it? The problem comes when these things are out of priority and starts to take the place of God, or your spouse.
We have set an order of priority in our own marriage: God, Marriage, Children, Career/Work, Church, Extended family and friends, hobbies and interests, etc.
Is your priority out of order? Think about that and discuss with your spouse.
See you soon!