Who comes first in marriage? Does the Bible say your spouse comes first? How do you decide who should have first priority? Let’s dive in and take a look!

man and woman facing each other

My husband had become the most important thing in my life – my everything.

I was in my early twenties and married only a very short time when the Lord whispered deep into my heart that I had put my husband in a position that wasn’t reserved for him.

You see, I had placed my husband high up on a pedestal…yes, even above my relationship with the Lord.

I remember quite vividly where I was when the Lord showed me that my husband had become an idol in my life. We were counselors on a retreat with the church’s student ministry.

It was on that trip when the Lord opened my eyes to the situation that was going on in my heart and life. I promised the Lord that, along with His help, I was going to do everything in my power to make Him number one in my life again.

Choosing to put the Lord first in my life and marriage was the best decision I could have ever made. It was also a huge step in learning to truly rely on the Lord. Little did I know that just a few months after that trip with the students would become one of the most difficult times in my life. I would discover that my husband was having an affair and we would divorce the next year.

Take it from me, putting the Lord first in your marriage will allow you to have a much healthier relationship, not only with your husband but with the Lord as well!

Has your spouse become your idol? Take a bit of marriage advice from me as I share my personal journey and a hard lesson that I learned.

Does The Bible Say Who Comes First In Marriage?

The Lord should be your first priority in your marriage.

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, ‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’

‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.'” – Mark 12:28-31

The Bible is very clear about who should come first not only in your marriage but in all relationships. The Lord!

The Christian Marriage Triangle

triangle with husband and wife at bottom points and God at the top point

Picture you and your husband as the two points at the bottom of the triangle and the Lord as the top point of the triangle.

When you put God first in your marriage and make Him the first priority you not only begin to grow in your relationship with Him but with your husband as well.

Putting the Lord first creates a healthy marriage…and that is what we all want isn’t it?!

When you put God first in your marriage you’re setting your husband up for success.

We’ve all seen the movies with the girl that has the perfect husband who does no wrong. He reads her mind, knows everything she needs, fulfills her deepest desires and they live happily ever after.

While this looks like the perfect marriage, I hate to break it to you, the perfect marriage doesn’t exist. We are all broken people living in a broken world!

Set your husband up for success by putting the Lord first and letting Him fulfill the deep desires and needs in your heart and life.

man and woman facing each other


Your spouse should be your second priority in your marriage.

As women, oftentimes we get offended and feel denigrated by the verses in Ephesians 5:22-25

“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

I’ll admit it, those verses step on my toes too!

Keep in mind that first and foremost we are all called to submit to the Lord. And your husband is too!

Ephesians 5:21 says, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

In our broken state we struggle with submission, and find ourself unwilling to submit.

But as we submit to the Lord together we are able to navigate this life better.

Does this mean the husband is the Lord of the wife?

Your husband has a high calling on his life too. Take a look at Ephesians 5:25.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

Your husband is called to love you as Christ loves the church.

When you read about Jesus in the Bible did He “Lord it over” the people?

No, he served them and ended up giving his life for them.

This snippet from Rebecca McLaughlin’s book, Confronting Christianity, is very enlightening.

“[this] is a call to pay attention to the character of Christ. If we hear the call of husbands as a mandate to oppress and dominate, we are forgetting that Jesus came not to be served but to serve, not to lead an army but to give his life as a ransom.

When husbands are called to love their wives, ‘as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,’ the word translated “gave up” is the same one the Gospels use when Jesus is handed over to be crucified.”

Jesus submitted to dying on a cross.

What better way to navigate this life as a follower of Christ than submitting to the Lord together.

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