If you were to sit down and write out a list of the priorities in your life, what would it look like? Most lists would look something like this:
- God (seeking and serving Him personally)
- Children (if you have any)
- Church (seeking and serving God together with His Body)
- Extended family and special friends
- Work and career
- Hobbies and other interests
Of course, it’s easy to make a list. The real test is confirming these priorities. How do you prove them in real ways?
Many people say they love God first, but give very little time and attention to their relationship with Him. However, God isn’t satisfied by lip service. “If you love me,” Jesus said in John 14:15, “you will obey what I command.”
If we neglect God’s commands but keep telling him how much we love Him, we’re only fooling ourselves. God knows whether or not we love Him because it’s obvious from how we operate in every area of our lives.
Priorities aren’t made clear via our words or our good intentions, but by our actions.
The same principle is true in marriage. A husband may ignore his wife’s needs and take her for granted. So when he says “I love you,” the wife might be thinking No you don’t. If you really loved me, you would work less and spend more time with me!
Your wife will only feel loved if you sacrifice your wants and desires to meet her needs. If you can’t sacrifice, all the words in the world won’t convince her of your love.
The same holds true for women. Your husband will know you love him when you give him the energy and attention he deserves. Just like you feel let down when he refuses to meet your needs, your husband feels the same way when you make it clear that you are too tired—from the kids, from taking care of the house, or from your job—to provide him what he needs.
If you really mean what you say about the priority of your marriage, you must learn to put action to your words. What will you give up to meet your spouse’s needs? How important is he or she compared to the other things in your life?
If you do what is right in prioritizing your life and communicating through actions, words won’t be necessary to convince your spouse of your love. It will already be clear because you act upon your convictions.