Having right priorities helps you live your life so there are no regrets later. What should our priorities be as Christians? Here's a simple list to use as a guide:
- Your spouse
- Children, and then extended family
- Your church
- Your job
Let’s look at these a bit closer.
- God comes before pursuit of material gain and physical needs. (Matt 6:25-33)
- God comes before our spouse and other family members. (Luke 14:26)
- God comes before church, although church is a means of worshipping God. Often the “busyness” of church can get in the way. (Matt 7:21-23)
- God comes before our job. For example, we should avoid allowing work to interfere with our time with God and our church attendance.
- The bottom line- God is first, over everything!
How do we put God first? We must spend time with Him daily; in the Word, in prayer; in worship. We must MAKE time. Psalms 63:1 (KJV) says “Early will I seek thee.” And church does not substitute for personal time with God. The more we spend time with God, the more we will desire Him.
Our spouse’s needs come before the needs of our children, our extended family and anyone else, except God. Spend quality time with your husband or wife. Learn to value your mate (Ephesians 5:22-29). It is healthy for children to see parents who enjoy each other. A word to the wise: do not place your children in a higher place of priority than your spouse. It is contrary to God's family order and will cause problems in your marriage, especially once the children are grown.
Our children must come before everything except God and spouse. They come before our jobs, before our time with friends, before our own leisure time. Children get their self-image mainly from their parents. We must show them they are valuable and important. The #1 way to show them they are important is to spend time with them. Talk with them. And watch the words you speak over them. (Ephesians 6:4)
Most importantly, live right in front of them. Model a Christian life in your house. Don’t be a hypocrite. Children pick up on hypocrisy very fast.
The Bible tells us that as believers we are to go to church (Hebrews 10:25). Church helps us maintain our relationship with God, but it should not be a substitute for it. Church keeps us sharp (Proverbs 27:17). Being around other believers helps keep us strong in the faith.
The Bible instructs us to work. However, work should not come before God, family and church. When you die, you will not regret not having worked more hours or made more money, but you will regret time you missed with your family… and you will definitely regret time not spent with God.
This is simple, practical information on how to prioritize your life. If you do your best to live by these priorities, your will have no regrets when you come to end of life’s road.