Wednesday, July 26, 2017

My Second Priority

Love him well.

Yes, my aim, my goal is that my first priority would always be my relationship with Jesus and I most definitely long to love HIM well.

But, I don't always do so hot honoring my second priority.

They go together, these top two priorities. If I am making one happen, the other should happen too. They not only co-exist, but support each other. If I am doing "it" right, they will never compete, but rather complement each other....

I need to love him well.


My husband, the father of our daughters, the associate pastor, the associate associational missionary, the man - I married.

He is many things to many people and, as he relies on Christ, he "is" all those things well.

I watch him preach, teach, counsel, console, and encourage. I also see him hold his tongue, smile through frustration and prayerfully wait for the "right" time.

He has many friends, but only confides in a few. Honestly, he is an introvert who prefers to stay at home. Crowds can overwhelm him and exhaust him. This is sometimes a challenge for the work God has called him to do.

Sometimes, it is difficult for either of us to be fed spiritually. Opportunities to worship with abandon can be few and far between. Expectations get heavy to carry. Weariness can easily set in.

My man handles all of this with God-supplied grace. I pray to respond and react the way he does.

Recently, we got away for a couple of nights without kiddos. We talked and prayed for our children, our places of ministries, our extended families. We laughed. We remembered. We dreamt.

We also realized that those nights were important. We need to prioritize that togetherness more. It doesn't necessarily mean we call the grandparents in for reinforcements and book a hotel room - but we should make time for each other, for our marriage.

This summer, as I interviewed and hired staff members for the weekday preschool at church, I told the applicants that my second priority is my husband andnI began to think about what that meant.

I mean I do lots of things to pursue my first priority, my relationship with Christ. I read my Bible. I listen to worship music and podcasts. I study, sing, pray, share . . . .

But what do I do to pursue my second priority . . .  I began to pray about what that meant.

For my husband and our relationship, I felt like God kept telling me to "Love him well."

I need to listen to him.
I need to study him, knowing his likes and dislikes, his desires and aversions.
I need to minister to him at all times.
I need to be honest with him - but I can prayerfully pick the best times to "vent" my frustrations.
I need to build bridges to support, not hinder his ministry relationships.
I need to look to my first priority, to Christ, to meet my needs - not my husband.

It's unfair to ask him to fulfill what only Jesus can. My mate cannot validate me. I should not seek my identity in him. My purpose is not serving him, but glorifying HIM. If I ask my husband to "complete" me, I have made him an idol, wanting him to do something he cannot and only Jesus can.

Having a minister for a husband does bring its own set of unique challenges, but I don't think that they are too different than those that Christian wives face no matter their husband's occupation.

If our heart is to pursue Christ as our first priority, we will keep the first greatest commandment - to love Him with all our heart, soul and mind. Then, we should be able to love our husbands well, keeping the second greatest commandment, loving our neighbor as ourselves. Honestly, I can't think of a closer "neighbor" that I could have - after all we do share a bed and bathroom!

As I continue to process and pray through what it means for me to "love him well," I'd love to hear from you. What kinds of things are you intentional to do to show your spouse that you love him well?

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