My priorities are in the right place…I think.

Priorities

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I’ve read a lot lately that talks about priorities. Many discussions about where are your priorities. Most of the posts that I read say that the priorities list looks something like this:

1. God

2. Self

3. Husband/Wife

4. Kids

5. Friends

6. Career

7. Etc.

I struggle with these lists. Mostly, because I don’t have a husband or kids, so my priorities list naturally differs from this one.  But no matter how many times I begin thinking about what my priorities are, I start to feel a twinge of guilt that I don’t have my priorities right because I place my career towards the top of the list.

I know that these lists exist for my priorities, and not someone else’s, but it’s tough when I read so much material written by married folks.  I’ll keep working through that, but what I want to know is –

Does anyone else have a tough time believing something because it’s true for you, and not for someone else? Do you struggle with similar issues? Are priorities something you think about and if so, how do you arrange yours?

Grow , ,

10 comments


  1. Jeffrey R

    I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing to have your career be a high priority as a single. Mine right now tend to be:

    1. God

    2. Sharing Faith

    3. Friends and Social Life

    4. Self Improvement

    5. Career

    6. Church Activities (Worship Team, Teaching S.S.)

    Yeah I know, some of these seem out of order, and yes I am working on that 🙂 But, one I understand how it is to hear only priorities from married couples, mainly I think because people feel the need to prioritize things once they get married, no longer free. But for those of us that are single (or single again as it may be) who want to prioritize…I think it's important to put what you think is important first…once you know you and what you want, its easier to incorporate others.

  2. Oh woman, I hear ya! I feel the same way because it seems most of my friends/family are married with KIDS…and I am always feeling the pressure on that one. But I do know in my hear that it's not right for my hub and I to have kids right now and that's what matters. Only you know what's between you and God. I am always trying to tune out the 'you should do this' noise around me. You hit the nail on the head, what may be right for one person, may not be for another…otherwise we'd all be clones of each other and certain areas of ministries would never be filled, etc.

    • kylajoyful

      I've thought about writing a post specifically on the word "should" and how we listen to it more than we need to. Would a post like that interest you?

  3. I find it interesting that so many people list God, family and friends over career–in a society where people are working more, harder and longer hours. Not judging, just observing. I'm guessing that those people who are very focused on their careers don't have time to write about what their priorities are because they are working so much. I do think there is a difference between what many people say their priorities are and how they live. I think many of our lives would look different (mine included) if we truly lived our lives based on our priorities. For example, how many of us say that God is our top priority but the only time we read the bible or spend time in prayer is on Sunday?

    As far as what you posted, everyone needs to decide for themselves what their priorities are. I do think that every Christian should have God at the top of the list. I also believe that all married people should have spouse/family second. And based on your JOY rule, self should be third. 🙂 But you're right. As a single person you have to decide what comes after God. Is it self? Is it your career? Is it your ministry (different from God)? Is it your friends? With that said, I struggle with the whole "priority" thing. For me, God and my family are my top priorities. But that doesn't mean that I won't put myself first sometimes to do things that I need to do for me. Or someone who says family is more important than career will most certainly have to sacrifice family sometimes for the job. Or they may risk the job for making family priority. So I think the lines can get fuzzy.

    I agree with Jeffrey that the issue of priorities is different for single people, married people, and those with kids. Not because you're not free, but because you have more in your life demanding your time. It's much easier with a family to spread your self too thin and not do anything well. There is even a difference between being totally single and being single in a relationship. Or being single with a job and being single with a career. If you just have a job to pay the bills, that job won't be nearly as important to you as a career that you love and gives you purpose. So every phase of our lives constantly changes our priorities.

    • kylajoyful

      Great thoughts, Gina. I disagree that we should place our families before ourselves. It goes back to "put your own oxygen mask on before helping someone else". If I'm not taking care of myself, how can I be strong enough to care for others? I think you're right, though, that our priorities change with different phases of life. Michael Hyatt talks about re-evaluating priorities several times a year. I think this is a great idea!

      • I think that's where the lines get fuzzy and it makes me want to throw priorities out the window. When I say family, I am really talking about all of us. I can't say that my husband takes priority over my child, and vice versa. They are just different and their needs are different. At the same time, I can't separate myself from that and say that I am a higher priority than my family or they higher than me. I honestly can't put "self" in a priority list because I am a part of all of it. If I make myself priority over everything else, that means that when I need a nap, it doesn't matter what my child needs because I am going to take a nap. Or if my boss wants me to attend a meeting when I was ready to go to lunch, I'm going to go to lunch because I'm top priority. You and I may be viewing this differently, but that's how I see it. Now, I might make aspects of my life priority. For example I might make running every day a priority, which would be taking care of myself, but I still wouldn't list that as priority over my family. I would just try to schedule things in a way that suits everyone. And if that doesn't work then something has to be sacrificed. Maybe it's me sacrificing, maybe it's my family. It's all a very complex issue, but I don't believe that I have to put myself above all else in order to take care of others. In fact, when I put myself first, I can't take care of others because I am too focused on myself. I know a lot of people who put themselves first, and personally, I think it's very unbecoming. Those are the people that I really don't want to be around. Believe me, in a marriage relationship it's very difficult to have a happy one if you make yourself priority over your spouse. 🙂 And with a child it's very easy to buy new clothes for him while you continue to wear the same clothes that you have for the past 10 years. Or to make sure the child is bathed when you haven't showered in 2 days. Yes, ultimately you have to take care of yourself, but it's all give and take. I think I'll quit now because I'm just rambling. 🙂

  4. All that said, I do very good at taking care of myself when I should be taking care of others. 🙂

  5. On my priorities list, I list myself before my wife. I showed it to her and she agreed. I know that if I'm not taking care of myself spiritually, emotionally, and physically, I'll just act a fool and be quite disagreeable. I have to be the best Jermaine I can be so I can be the best husband, soon to be father, writer, poet, slayer of dragons I can be.

    It's not easy by no means, and it doesn't play out in every day life like it does on paper. But in the long run, I like to think it's worth it.

    • kylajoyful

      "Slayer of Dragons". I don't think you'll have any problem slaying those dragons, Jermaine. Thanks for sharing!

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