Spiritual Priorities: God first, spouse second…

Question:  How do you put work #3 and still get ahead? 

Answer:  Sometimes you don’t.  Generally speaking, when we find a way to make sure we are following the Lord first, and loving our families and giving them priority over work, we are both happier, better supported when we need to put in extra hours, and more successful at doing our jobs.  However, there will be times when putting God first and family second will cost us in our job.  If that seems unacceptable to us then we are not fully understanding what God has called us to do.  Our ultimate calling is to fulfill His great commission to the church (Matthew 28:19,20).  If our ultimate goal is to succeed in our jobs, we will find ourselves miserable failures after all.  God knows what we need.  He knows we don’t need to make our work number one.

Question:  It’s hard having my spouse put family second to God now that my spouse is a Christian. 

Answer:  It is sometimes hard to lose what seems to be the old way of doing things where you were number one to your spouse and didn’t have to compete for his or her attention.  Now that he or she is trying to follow the Lord you have to vie for his or her attention and he or she doesn’t always come at your beck and call.  This is not unlike having that first child and suddenly the baby is the focus of all a mother’s attention and energy.  It might be possible that adjustments need to be made so that your spouse is not devoting all his or her time to the Lord in a way that gives short-shrift to the family.  The best thing to do is to sit down and talk about each of your needs and openly discuss how you view the Scriptures addressing the issue of priorities, then working together to find a solution that meets everyone’s needs and fits Scripture.

Question:  If the kingdom of God is all important, why shouldn’t I give up my job and family and live completely for the kingdom? 

Answer:  Because you would be disobeying God’s direct commands (1 Thessalonians 4:11,12; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13; Ephesians 5:22-31).

Here are some exercises for Spiritual Growth…

1. Write down the things you want to accomplish in life.  This list should answer the question, “What do I value the most and the doing of it would leave the most significant impact on the world around me?”

2. Ask someone you trust to look through your list and help you evaluate it in light of Scripture.

3. Using your list, determine what aspects of your life you need to change in order to make the accomplishing of this list your priority.

4. Discuss with the meaningful people in your life how they would enjoy, struggle with or otherwise be impacted by the changes you are considering making.

5. Allow God to shape your thinking and give you conviction as to how to implement this list.

For further reading:

Ordering Your Private World, Gordon MacDonald

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