Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)

When God created marriage, He had a plan. In order to understand God’s plan, we must begin by realizing the importance of priority in our lives. The first thing God ever said in the Bible concerning marriage was that a man would have to leave his father and mother to be joined to a wife.

Leaving our father or mother doesn’t mean that we can’t see them anymore or that they aren’t important to us. It simply means that they must be reprioritized in our lives and that our spouse must take the number-one spot—with the exception of our relationship with Christ.

Marriage only works if it is first in our lives. In my book Marriage on the Rock, I call this The Law of Priority. God created marriage to operate as the most important human relationship in our lives, and it only succeeds on that level. It is more important than children, work, friends, or anything else except for God Himself.

When marriage is first, it thrives. In fact, it’s how you fall in love and stay in love. Because you prioritize the relationship and focus on each other first, there is a great deal of passion and good will in the relationship.

Priority means you give each other the first and best of your time, energy, and focus. Lack of priority means you are transferring your best to someone or something else.

In marriage, this creates legitimate jealousy and problems. Whether it is a husband who is distracted by work or a wife who is too absorbed in the kids—it is going to cause trouble.

By the way, most things that violate the law of priority are actually good and necessary things—like work or children. The problem is they should never take priority over the marriage.

Priority must be proven daily in real terms and not just in words. Good intentions mean very little in marriage. The only thing that matters is what you do and continue to do consistently. For your marriage to work, you must establish it as the first priority and be willing to protect it against good or bad things that try to distract you.

Talk It Out | If you recognize that you have made mistakes in this area, apologize and ask your spouse to forgive you. Talk about ways you can rearrange your individual schedules and priorities to protect your time and energy for each other.

Walk It Out | Take a break from your usual responsibilities at least once this week and take a walk together or go out for coffee or dessert. Make it a time to let your spouse know your relationship is the most important priority in your life.

Taken from: A Marriage Devotional by Jimmy Evans