Maybe this is something you have thought about a lot; Maybe it is something you do by default; Maybe you've never given it a thought at all: Setting your priorities. Whether you think you have them or not, you do have priorities in your life. You don't agree? What about this scenario:
It is about ten minutes to dinner time. Your kids come into the kitchen complaining, "Mooooom, I'm staaaaarving!" Your computer e-mail alert rings at the same moment your cell phone rings with your friend's familiar ring tone and the sound of a key in the door announces your husband is home. What do you do first? The answer will tell you who (or what) is your first priority.
Or what about this one:
Your husband has left for work and the children are still sleeping. You pick up your Bible to have your regular morning devotions. As you bow your head to start with prayer, you suddenly remember the load of laundry you left in the dryer last night and the package that needs to go in the mail today. Then, you hear a plaintive voice from the stairs, "Mommy, I need a drink! Can I get up yet?" What do you do first? The answer will tell you who (or what) is your first priority.
I think you are getting the picture. Your first priority (barring emergencies, of course) gets your first time, your first attention and your best of each. So what should our priorities be as Christian women seeking after joy-filled lives? I can't answer that completely for anyone but myself, but I do believe the Bible teaches us through passages like Titus 2 and Proverbs 31 at least the basic top four.
- God. Of course, if you are a Christian, your first priority should be your relationship with God. This is not just about church or even ministry. It is the place you give to God in your time, your devotion and the whole of your life. Our purpose in living is to bring glory to God. He should always come first!
- Husband. Obviously, if you are not married, you can skip this one. However, even if we do put God first, we women often have a myriad of more urgent (though not more important) things to consider before our husbands. Sadly, that can contribute to the decline of a marriage. God has given us the marriage relationship to mirror the relationship of Himself and the Church. Our husbands should always be our top human priority.
- Children. Again, if you don't have children, this doesn't apply to you; however don't be too quick to overlook spiritual children God may give to you. Children are easy to replace with other things because, quite frankly, they can demand more of us than our flesh wants to give. However, God calls them blessings and they are direct gifts from Him. We must put them before any human relationship other than our husband.
- Home. We are called to be keepers at home. The woman is to be the guard and manager of this domain according to God's Word. This is true whether you are single and living in a college dorm, married and living in an apartment with no children or living in a large home with many children. While no single home duty should come before people in need of our love, we must make it a top priority above all other endeavors outside its walls.
What about you? Are these your first four priorities? If not, how would you list the most important things in your life?