What Are Your Priorities?

“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave.” – Song of Songs 8:6

Our values are what we care about, but our priorities are what we do. You may have a value for something, but your schedule and budget reveal your priorities. Our priorities must determine where we place our energy, time, and money. When our priorities are out of order, it triggers jealousy. When your wife has a baby, have you ever been a little jealous of the kid because they’re getting all your wife’s time? I love my kids and, for a season when they were little and had all the needs, they cut in line in my wife’s priority list. At some point, jealousy happens when someone’s in my place.

The Bible says God is a jealous God; in fact, one of His divine names is “Jealous.” (Exodus 34:14) God is saying, “I’m supposed to be here, and you have me here. You’ve displaced me or you’ve replaced me, and that causes jealousy.” You know your priorities are out of order when you start hearing from God, your wife, or your kids, “I miss you. I don’t feel like I’m a priority. You’re not present. I don’t feel like I matter.” When you start hearing those things, somehow jealousy is triggered. Don’t get defensive; just listen and consider if your priorities are out of order. 

I love Grace and our five kids with all my heart, but there were times in our marriage when I told her, “Honey, I love the kids. You’re a great mom, but I’m still your husband. We need to have a relationship, and we can’t wait 18 years and then hope to pick up there. We need to be building that relationship now.” 

Sometimes our priorities get out of order, and if you don’t establish your priorities, the least healthy people in your life will. Have you noticed this? If you don’t control your budget, some really unhealthy friends and family will help you get rid of your money. If you don’t architect your holidays, the craziest people with your last name will put them together for you. If you don’t decide what to do with your schedule, some really unhealthy people will crash into your life and determine what your week looks like. If you don’t design, architect, and sequence your life, someone else will, and it’s usually the least healthy person who starts to make the decisions.

Many men then get frustrated, and it triggers in them anger, jealousy, and frustration. They think, “I’m working so hard, but my wife isn’t there for me,” or “My kids aren’t responding to me,” or “No one thanks me.” Once you start feeling frustrated or angry, it’s a warning that the law of jealousy has been triggered. Don’t respond out of anger; use it as an opportunity to ask, “Are we living according to our God-given priorities?” as well as “Do we agree on what our priorities are?” You should love your mother-in-law, but she doesn’t get to be first in line because she’s the loudest. Just because someone at work is causing crisis and drama doesn’t mean they get to be calling, texting, and emailing at dinner time and on your day off. Ultimately, you have to be in charge of your own life and determine the priorities for your own family. 

In tomorrow’s devotional, we will take a look at the importance of covenant relationships, both in the Bible and in today’s day. 

If married, what is one way you can prioritize your wife and kids this week? If single, what is one way you can prioritize a good friend or family member this week? 

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