Jesus wants to be first. When we don’t make Jesus the first priority in our lives, our relationship with Him suffers. Just like in a marriage, when a wife gets distracted and makes other things, besides God, in her life more important than her husband, or a husband makes things in his life more important than his wife, the relationship can grow distant and estranged. The following story exemplifies this dynamic.
A husband came home from work one day and said, “Hi honey, how are you?”
“Fine,” said his wife tersely, which of course, meant, “I’m not fine.”
Then he asked, “Is there something you want to talk about?”
“No,” which, of course meant, “Yes.”
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
“Nothing,” which meant something.
Then she blurted out, “You never pay attention to me. You’re always bowling or hunting or working. I’m the last thing you ever think of during your day, and you don’t spend any time with me!”
So the husband thought about it, and thought about it, and said, excitedly, “Honey, don’t worry! It’s okay! You can go hunting with me!”
The wife said, “Oh okay,” which really meant, “No way in hell.”
Needless to say, that relationship suffered.
So this man didn’t want to give up his distractions, in order to pay more attention to his wife. He wanted to keep his distractions and try to fit her into them.
Sometimes we do the same thing with Jesus. We expect him to come along with us, as we busy ourselves with distractions, rather than put our distractions aside and give Him our focused time and attention.
Any relationship takes work, focused work, loving work, sometimes hard work, and our relationship with Our Lord is no exception.
At my friend’s wedding, I heard an African priest tell the following story about a couple from his homeland. He said that a husband came home to his wife and said, “I’m done with this relationship. I want you to leave and go back home to live with your parents. Take everything you love in the house with you, if you want. Take it, and just go!” Then he fell over drunk and passed out.
So the wife started taking her favorite things from the house and bringing them to her parents’ house. Then she took a blanket and wrapped up her husband in it, and took him to her parents house, too. The next day, he woke up in his in-laws’ house and said, “Hey, what the heck’s going on? Why am I here?”
Then she told him what he’d said the night before, that he had told her to leave and take with her everything she loved. Then she said, “And the thing I love the most is you.”
A wonderful thing happened to them after that. Their relationship healed greatly, because as hard as it was for her to do, the wife put her husband first.
This story is not to compare Jesus to a drunk, belligerent husband, but to say that when we make Jesus a priority in our lives, our relationship with Him heals and strengthens, and can become the marriage of hearts that God yearns for it to be.
Copyright 2012 Christine Watkins