Last week, my wife and I went out to dinner and to see a movie. It was our first date night in awhile. Sadly, I had almost ruined it by being a butthead earlier that morning. But we had a great time and later that night on Facebook I posted, "Great date night with my beautiful bride. I don't show my appreciation as much as I should. I love you, Abby. Im nothing without you. :-P."
I got a few favorable responses about it but I got a couple of smart alec comments from some guys. That probably shouldn't come as too much of a shock. After all, when you make as many smart alec comments as I do, you tend to invite them back towards you. Secondly, guys also tend to give other guys grief when they openly display affection. So calls of man-card revocation should be expected, especially after posting something like that on Facebook, huh?
I realize that comments like I made that are frowned upon in public displays. Some people may thing that telling my wife that I love her is something that should be reserved to quiet times between her and I, when we are alone. Abby is kind of shy, so she may actually agree with that statement. But I am one who tends to be open about what I like. I wear my identity on my chest. I have a ton of t-shirts with my favorite sports teams on them. I have another ton of shirts with "Police" on them and a half ton with "Catholic" slogans on them. If I can wear a Kansas City Royals shirt with pride, I can certainly feel comfortable telling my wife that I love her on Facebook, can't I?
Here is the problem. My faith and my family should be the most important things in my life. And they are. And it's easy to say I love God in a blog post or that "my wife is beautiful" in a Facebook status. But I do not always treat them like they are the most important things in my life. At the top of my list any time I go to confession is, "I've failed to keep God first in my life." I've also put less important things, such as work and friendship, as priorities over my responsibility of being a good husband and father.
This is dumb, I know. I am fully aware that God and my family will still stick with me when everyone else has abandoned me. I know that I can't be wrong if I always put God first and my wife and kids next. Granted, I have to leave home to go to work so that I can take care of my family. But there are too many times when I pull extra off duty shifts so I can buy me something I want or there have been times I haven't prayed so I can spend time with friends. Those are examples of putting myself in front of God and in front of family.
Priorites . . . will I ever have them in the right order? Nothing should come before God. My vocation is being a husband and a father. They should always come before work and friends.
How do you keep your priorities straight? Is there something you try to do every day? Do you have people to keep you in check? Will your wife smack you upside the head when you aren't spending time in prayer or paying attention to her? Or, ironically, do you have a friend that is a role model who keeps you straight?