Does your wife feel like she is your #1 priority? Lisa didn’t – not yesterday when we were recording Marriage Weekend: Give Her Proof that She is Your Priority.
What I’m about to share comes from Lisa’s and my personal experience . . . yesterday . . . the day we were recording this podcast. We’ve come a long way since the early days of our marriage but, even still, we have to learn and re-learn the important things – sometimes the very things we’re teaching on.
Lisa had suggested a “back porch date” for the end of the day. I was all in! Then the day began to do what it does – load every minute with five minutes of activity, priorities, and urgency. (Did you see that that? I just blamed the day for the choices I made?) And I lost focus and let all those things (including the recording of this podcast about making your wife a priority) crowd out her simple date plan. I walked onto the back porch at 7pm, where Lisa was waiting. I was returning from something everyone would describe as an act of giving and service, but it was far past when we were going to get together.
So, where was Lisa on my list of priorities? She didn’t have to ask. I showed her. Get the picture? Not good . . . and about as far from the podcast we recorded on the topic as you can get. We patched it up. I apologized. But she was genuinely hurt. Actions and choices demonstrate our priorities. I have a pit in my stomach right now, at 4 am., preparing this post, thinking about it . . .
She can take a lot, this woman you’re married to. She knows she’s married to a good man – a man who loves people, who puts himself out there for others, who will deny himself over and over again to help friends and family.
It’s one of the reasons she married you. She loves that about you. You genuinely enjoy helping others . . . even if there is a steep cost to your time, energy, and sometimes money.
You’re a good man.
But, there’s something good men who get married forget when they’re busy staying up late, getting up early, taking Saturdays to help others, postponing vacations one more day to give a hand, or canceling dinner plans with your woman because a friend just called with a a serious need.
There is something you are forgetting:
This frenzy of needs will never stop! And you aren’t the only one paying the price of your readiness to drop everything and meet the needs of others. Your wife is paying that price, right along side you.
How many times have you changed plans to help someone else? How many times did you come home late (having left her alone) because of commitments you made? How many times did you meet someone else’s needs before you met your wife’s needs for time and connection with you?
You are not your own. When the Bible says, “The two shall become one” (Mark 10:8) it’s not just a reference to what happens when the lights go out in the bedroom. Every decision you make to meet the needs of others potentially compromises the time, attention, and connection that your wife desires with you. Your decisions affect her every bit as much as they affect you.
You’re a good guy . . . and she’s a good woman, which means that she won’t overreact the first few times this happens. But over time, the light in her heart will begin to dim as you attempt to meet the needs of everyone else, but neglect her needs.
Left uncorrected, your marriage bed will eventually grow cold, not all at once but by degrees, until you’ll discover you’ve extinguished the sparkle in her eye and the life in her heart.
Your wife should have first place in your heart, and merely saying those words to her proves nothing. Actions are where your priorities are seen and felt. Meet her needs first, and you’ll discover she’ll practically kick you out the door to fulfill your desire to “be there” for others.
Spare yourself a discontented wife by saying “no” to old patterns. Choose to mature in this area, and recognize you are not your own.
I do like to help others but I want to make certain I don’t neglect my wife when I’m “doing all that good.” Help me to always remember that she is paying the cost of my service to others. I pray she will never feel “second fiddle”, no matter how good my intentions may be in helping others. Lord, you’ve commanded me to love her as Christ loved the church – I pray that my wife feels this commitment by how I order my priorities, from now on.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Is your heart inclined toward your wife? If you are a Christian man, it should (must) be. Are you ready for a discussion with your wife to discover how she truly feels? Ask her,“Do you feel like you are my number one priority, or do you feel like just one priority among many?
Matt Jacobson is a biblical marriage coach and founder of FaithfulMan.com a biblical marriage, parenting, and discipleship ministry providing written and audio teaching, as well as couples marriage coaching. He is the co-host (with his wife, Lisa) of Faithful Life Podcast and is author of the bestseller, 100 Ways to Love Your Wife. Matt is pastor of Tumalo Bible Fellowship and is married to Lisa, founder of Club31Women.com (they have 8 kids!).