I was watching a TV show. It brought up the discussion of how so many of the things in the TV show do not follow the same guidelines discussed in the Bible. Similarly it brought about the discussion about how many things we watch influence our thinking in either positive or negative ways. For what we define as culturally and socially acceptable often come from what we watch and see in our world. It is easy to just fall into these same patterns of thinking especially if you do not have anyone in your life showing you the biblical ways of doing things.
I tend to learn a lot from observation. Thus when I read the Bible this is a very intellectual thing. If I do not see the practical application and the positive effects of this application then I get easily confused. Knowing how to apply the Bible to my life is more abstract than practice. This is true of most people. For the Bible to come to real life we often need to see it first hand. I have been great full that God has put the right people into my life at the right time to show me the practical application of biblical teachings. For I learn more from observation than any book, sermon or the Bible itself.
One such topic is the topic of how to prioritize relationships in our lives. For we often have 10 people wanting and needing things from us and we cannot meet them all. When we cannot meet them all we have to know who comes first. This is why God gives us these priorities. It is this orderliness that allows for the least amount of needs to fall through the cracks.
Based on what I have seen in others, experienced myself and read in the Bible this is my understanding of priority in terms of relationships. First is God. Our relationship with Jesus and obedience to him supersedes all other relationships. Next comes your spouse or if you are single yourself. Once we are married our spouse becomes an extension of ourselves. Thus loving your spouse is loving yourself and loving yourself is loving your spouse. Thus I define self and spouse as the same. Next would be children. Next would be elderly parents who require a caretaker. And finally would be those within your area of ministry.
I think one important lesson I have learned is that although this is the priority list it does not mean I have to be the one active doing the work. For instance I may pay someone else to do the work or maybe intrust someone to the care of the church.
Our world often pushes us to put our jobs before other relationships. Our society often encourages putting your children before your spouse. Young adults often put there friends before themselves. When we do not follow the guideline set for us by God our relationships will always suffer and many times we loss those we cherish most. God always knows best and I often have learned my lesson the hard by making the mistake and suffering the consequences. Are you prioritizing your relationships the way God instructs us in the Bible?