Upon meeting my husband, people often comment to me, “He seems like a great guy.” The reason for this impression is because it’s true, and I quickly assure them of this. In fact, my response usually is, “He is a great guy. After my salvation, he is the best thing that has ever happened to me.” I say this for two reasons. First, it gives a honest representation of the blessing that my husband is and has been to me. Secondly, because it’s an important reminder that while my husband is awesome, he is not the most important thing in my life.
That last statement may seem harsh to some, but it is not intended to be. Instead, it is meant to reflect that while there are hundreds of reasons to love my husband, my primary reason has very little to do with him – and mostly to do with my relationship with Christ. In other words, because God graciously saved me through the death and resurrection of His Son (I Cor. 15:3-4), my desire is to live my life to please Him. He has made it clear in His Word that one of the most important ways we do this is through our marriages. Marriage was a gift from God (Gen. 2:18), and is a representation of the relationship between Christ and His Church (Eph. 5:22-33). Therefore how I consider my husband, how I talk about him, and how I treat him should reflect the importance that God places on marriage. I love my husband first and foremost because I love God. Pleasing my Heavenly Father is the priority, my husband gets spot number 2.
If you were to talk to my husband, this wouldn’t come as a surprise to him. In fact, he fully supports this order of deference, and if you are unmarried and looking for a spouse, doing so should be one of the criteria you have in place. And I support the same order of priorities for him. On the good days, it’s a reminder of ultimately Who gets credit for the blessings of our marriage. On the challenging days, it’s a reminder of Who ultimately we are displaying our commitment to when we respond to each other. Having God in the top spot in each of our lives means that even when we temporarily aren’t on the same page – we are both working towards the same thing: bringing Him praise.
I’m exceedingly grateful that God saw fit to give me a wonderful man as my spouse. I’m even more grateful that He rescued me from sin and death so that I might have a relationship with Him. And in order for our marriage to be great, it’s the relationship we have with Christ that must drive our relationships with each other.