“You gotta put God first in your relationship.” Maybe you’ve heard that. It sounds good. But what does that even mean?
When I first started dating Jill, I had no idea what I was doing. I had recently come to faith in Christ. So I understood that God had to be #1. Shortly thereafter, Jill came into my life. Now I was required to put God first between the two of us. It was a concept that I struggled mightily to understand.
As I’ve researched this topic, I’ve found out I’m not alone. Others are as clueless now as I was back then. Oh, they know the cliché. Yet when I look deeper all I find is a verse about marriage or a story about their parents.
So, what does it mean to put God first in a relationship? Let me share briefly what I’ve come to understand. But then I really want to leave the door wide open for you to walk through.
Here are 5 ways by which you can make God a priority in your relationship.
1. Take care of your spiritual life. It is so tempting, and happens often, that a spiritual life gets jettisoned for a new relationship. As the pattern goes, this honeymoon phase can give way to sin and conflict. Once one awakens to this not-so-divine reality, they realize walking with their new love has replaced walking with their first love, God. Don’t let this happen. Protect your time with God so that you can purify your own life and your new relationship.
2. Take care of their spiritual life. I didn’t say “be” their spiritual life. That approach will show itself faulty and the relationship will crumble. Instead, think about their spiritual life as a garden. God is the master gardener. He knows what he is doing. You are a guest within his great work. Walk through this garden with interest and care. Should you ever be asked to exit the garden, make sure you leave it better than how you found it.
3. Take care to discuss God. It is said that “out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” So what are the two of you talking about? People talk about what interests them. Demonstrate your interest in God by talking about him with each other. There is much to your and their spiritual relationship with God. Take time to hear about it.
4. Take care of your sexual boundaries. Temptation strikes in relationships. People do things they swore they’d never do. Why? You believe you’ve finally met the one. This relationship is different from other ones. This new person appears to have everything you’re looking for. Physical love is an easy means to show how deep this love is. But I encourage you to not awaken love until it desires.
5. Take care to marry or end things honorably. Weddings are fun. Breakups are not. But both are a reality. So commit to honoring one another regardless of how it ends. This is all about character. What type of person are you heading into a relationship, amidst a relationship, and coming out of a relationship?
Hopefully, this list will get you started on the right track. I really do believe it’s just a start.
QUESTION: So what would you add to this list?
Do me a favor and leave your comment below!