“When Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment, His answer was to love God with all you are and to love others as well as you love yourself. Loving God in your individual life greatly impacts your married life.” – Married People: How your Church Can Build Marriages that Last

I’m married and I love Jesus. I also love this truth from the book from Ted Lowe and Doug Fields. It’s not something I’ve always understood, and it’s not something I’ve done perfectly in 16 years of marriage. It is, however, something I’ve come to see as completely and fully true.

For me to sincerely love my wife with the best kind of love, I’ve got to totally love my heavenly Father first.

Here are some of the ways I think you too could take steps to Love God First:

1. Understand What God Thinks of You

To truly understand God, it’s important that we can correctly answer the question, “What does God think of me?” If your answer is “disappointed, angry, or ashamed” then think again. This wrong thinking will bleed over into your other relationships, most directly your marriage relationship.

In Luke 15, Jesus tells us the Parable of the Prodigal Son as a perfect example of how our Father God responds to our own sin and mistakes. We actually don’t get what we deserve, and instead receive a love from God that surpasses anything we could earn. Love God First, means understanding how much God Loves You.

2. Reflect a Deepening Relationship With God in Your Schedule

My family knows that when I head out to the porch with my journal, Bible, and a cup of coffee that I’m doing more than drinking coffee on the porch. If you want a relationship with Christ that is a priority, then you’ve got to actually put Him first.

If you’re a morning person, then when you seek God will probably be in the morning. Maybe you have a clearer head at night; then the evening becomes the time you learn and grow by reading God’s Word.

The time of day isn’t as significant as making time for the study. If I want my wife and family to know where my priorities lie, then they need to see that it’s actually a priority with my time.

3. Talk Openly About What God is Doing in Your Life

My relationship with Jesus, and my love for Him naturally leads into a deeper relationship with my wife. It happens because this relationship with God, always gives me things to talk with my wife about.

I get to speak of the story God is weaving in my times with Him. I get to tell of the work God is doing in my life. And I get to tell of the areas God is changing in my life.

If you ever struggle to talk to the one you’ve chosen to love the rest of your life, then just share what God is showing you. It’s the private conversations your spouse will appreciate the most.

What are some ways that you love God first?

Jonathan Cliff is a huge advocate for the family and church working together to see everyone experience Christ in rich and new ways. He and his family life in Athens, Georgia. He regularly blogs at www.jonathancliff.com and is found on twitter at @jonathancliff.