My wife and children - first and second things
"First things first, but not necessarily in that order." Doctor Who, Meglos (1980)
"Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither." C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
One of the more important concepts or, dare I say, principles of the Christian faith is that of first and second things. God is first and all of what we see in this universe is second. A true appreciation, perception, or even love for the earth can only be found in our pursuit of God. If we pursue Him we receive this earth into our being as it was meant to be received. Something other than that will result in misunderstanding at best or idolatry at worst.
I am wondering if I can press this into something that I had heard concerning marriage especially when children are involved. We have always told the boys, and others, that their mom and dad love each other more than they love them. It is hard to explain to them but I think they have at least accepted it as a reality. Obviously, my wife came before my children. In fact, our children are an incarnation (or enfleshment) of our love. If I were to pursue my children, and place my love for them above my love for my wife, then I will receive neither their proper love nor the love of my wife. If I pursue my wife, and put my love for her above the love I have for my children, then, and only then, will I receive both. Of course God is pursued above all as He is the one who is truly first.
I think this works. Obviously if I am pursuing God with my whole heart then the priorities of the rest of my relationships will fall into line. And that is the key for me. If I find that the love I have for my wife is growing cold it is absolutely due to the fact that my love for God has first grown cold. A hot and bright love for God will result in the same for my wife and children. In that order.
I need to think about this a little more. I hope that I have not added too much to the rather simple concept of first things by making it into a principle. Eh...I've done worse things.