"...and hold fast to his wife."
Every woman wants to be held. And when a man’s wife senses at the core of her being that we’re holding fast to her, there’s no cap to how rich and intimate the relationship can become. When we put a ring on our bride we make a covenant before God that she is in first place and she'll stay there "until death do us part". This is why marriage is such a weighty decision. The moment we say "I do" there is a shift that must occur in our heart and mind that is consistent with God’s plan and our pleasure. Every other earthly relationship can only compete for second place and beyond. God has established the rightful slot for our bride–first place.
But our woman needs more than just knowing she's first, she has to feel it. The more deeply a woman feels that her place is secure in your heart, the more she'll flourish. The greatest investment we can make in life is placing deposits in our wife's soul that fill her with unshakable confidence. And the return on this investment is staggering. Every act of love, all the creativity, and every bit of energy we pour into our wife will come flooding back to us in ways we've not even imagined. But a man can’t wait for his woman to move. Real men go first. We need to plant our flag, and be poised to tell anyone who may wonder how much we value our wife, “my bride comes before anything or anyone else on this planet.”
So let’s get real practical. There are at least three big areas in every man’s life that will compete for first place. But our wife must always come before any-one or any-thing.
Before Our Career - Our wife is the ultimate sounding board and career coach. She may have limited working knowledge of your expertise or skill set, but she knows you better than anyone else knows you. And more than any other person, she has a vested interest in you winning in your work. But no matter how fulfilling work becomes, never let your woman fall from first place, even a close second.
Before Our Kids - Kids are a blessing from God. But the greatest gift we can give them is to never let them take moms place–first place. When we hold fast to our wife, it’s like having a strong axel at the center of our home–no matter how bumpy and rough the ride gets with the kids, the wheels will never come off. Even after the kids leave home, your love will roll on.
Before Our Friends - You better believe your friends have a vital role. They can help keep you balanced, accountable, encouraged and even somewhat normal. But the most vital role a friend plays is to help keep you stay tight with your wife. Hang close with those friends who value most that they can never take the place of your wife–first place.
Chivalry says “babe, you’re in first place”. And wise men aim to make her feel it.