Image by Robert Crum via Flickr
Relationships should be the most important priority of all of our lives. They enrich us and bring meaning to our lives that money, things, and work cannot. In the life of a believer, there is a hierarchy of relationship priorities, which looks like this:
- God. He is our ultimate source of spiritual power and love. He must be the foundation upon which all of our other relationships rest.
- Self. We must be spiritually, mentally, and emotionally healthy if we are to relate well with others.
- Spouse. For those that are married, you have united yourself with another human being to become "one flesh." You must love your spouse as you love yourself with God's love. Husbands and wives need to guard against placing one another as a higher priority over their personal walk with Christ.
- Children. For those that have children, your relationship with them will be richer if you have your first three priorities in the right order. Children will have a deep sense of security within the family if they know that their parents have a deep walk with God and a committed love for each other. Moms and dads need to guard against making their children a higher priority than their marriage or even God Himself.
- Parents and extended family. After our priorities are clear in our relationship with God and our own nuclear family, we can then have healthy relationships with our own parents and extended family members. Unfortunately, many husbands and wives sometimes place their parents as higher priorities than their own spouses. For example, we often hear of husbands who praise their mother's cooking over their wife's cooking - not wise.
- Friends. Our relationships with our friends should be ones that build up and encourage us and not lead us down the path of self-destruction. Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. (Psalm 1:1)
- Professional relationships. In today's high-paced, high octane business world, networking is essential in building professional relationships that will propel you forward at work or in business. Mentors and coaches can be important relationships to develop to take you to the next level. Just remember the old saying, "it's not what you know - it's who you know."