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Paul J. Bucknell
Purpose: Godly marriages and families don’t come by accident! Couples need to learn WHAT kind of marriage they are seeking and HOW to form priorities to gain those godly families. Defining Priorities in Marriage: Part 4/9 of Setting Priorities for Godly Marriages
So what is a priority? A priority is something of such importance that one makes time to manage and care for it.
If I know something is important but do not properly care for it, it is not a priority. It probably should be but it is not. If I say I am sorry, I have not done what I had said I would do, then I have failed to make it a priority. It is important to face our failures, admit sin, seek apology and reset priorities.
Oftentimes we make mistaken priorities and prioritize things such as education, job success, riches, etc., which cause us to neglect God-given priorities.
Do you know any couples that place sport games as a priority? “I have to see that game?” Or education, “I need that degree.” Or a house? “That is the house I want.” Marriages face a lot of trouble over differences in priorities and especially because they both do not seek godly priorities.
It is not what you state is a priority that makes so much difference in your life but what you in the end do. What you do defines your genuine priorities, not what you say or even hope. If you know you should spend more time at home, but because of your pursuit in research, do not, what does it say? It says that your work is more important than your family.
Actually, if we refined this a bit (and we should), we could probably say something like, “My sense of need for acceptance and excellence is so important to me, that I am willing to ignore other important things in my life.
I need this recognition from others.” This kind of priority develops most often in homes where the parents push the children to academic excellence so that the child ends up believing he or she is valuable and acceptable only if he or she obtains a high degree.
Here is another hidden but powerful priority. “I think it is important to look rich and successful so I will work later and harder than everyone else even if I disregard the needs of my spouse and children.” People don’t say these things aloud (though they should to identify their idols).
This priority develops when the parent trains the child to think being well off is the most important thing in life. If your parents were poor, they often–without thinking–instill this kind of drive for materialism. Again, you only feel valuable if you are successful.