Who gets the first-fruits of you?

This probably is a silly sounding title for a post, but what I am asking is: who gets the cream off the top of the milk when it comes to getting the best from you? We are so many things to so many people that we can at times be spread quite thin and we can find that we are giving the first-fruits of ourselves to people, projects and things that do not deserve first place in our life's priorities.

Because we are so many things to so many people, and we only have so many hours in our day to be that special person, I have to ask: who really gets the best of you? God? Husband? Children? Home? friends? extended family? work? or church? Is your best given to those who do not truly benefit from your best? Are you so bound up in cleaning your house that you forget to play with your babies? Are you so busy spinning your wheel that your husband gets the dregs of your best self at the end of a busy day? Did you hit the floor running this morning and forget to have some time with the LORD? and do you fall into bed exhausted and strangely discontented and frustrated because you haven't accomplished half of what you set out to do today and you feel out of control? I have been there- and still am sometimes.

I think it is then that we have to sit back and look at what is key in our life- who warrants the first-fruits of our being- our person- our spirit-our time. Do we really want to shower our lovely smiles on strangers in shops but scowl at our spouse? Do we want to be caught up in soap operas on TV or endless shopping trips when we could have spent that time playing with our children? And could we have organised our day better so that our house was clean and tidied up before our husband came home to find us agitatedly trying to do in 10 mins what should have been done earlier on in the day? Is he greeted with a scowling face because he is already home and dinner isn't even started yet? I have been there I am afraid to say.

Life is short and we owe it to ourselves and our families to settle what our priorities in life are. For all of us God is our first priority. He deserves the creme de la creme of our lives. Our love, our attention, our obedience and our service. We simply must take time to study our bible, meditate on the Word, pray and worship. And meet with the Body of Christ on a regular basis if possible.

Secondly for those of us who are married, our spouse needs a major part of the first-fruits of our being- because he is one with us. We must love, honour, respect and (yes) obey him as unto the LORD. We must plan to spend some time with him deferring to him, listening to him, paying close attention to what he is saying and taking an interest in him. This is key to having an ongoing vibrant and intimate relationship with him. It would be disastrous to our marriages if our husbands had been so neglected that they felt that they had lost closeness with the one woman they really ever need- us: the wife.

We must do all in our power to fill the deep longing for loving sexual intimacy with our husband. He must never feel that he must grovel for our favours or compete with his children- much as you both love them- he must know in his heart that after God, he is Lord. Even Sarah called Abraham Lord out of respect for him. I do not feel that we have to call them "Lord", but we must respect and love our husbands with the deferential treatment we give to our LORD as a service unto Him.

Then in our priorities comes our children. They need most of the first-fruits of our being- our love, patience, training, feeding, clothing, teaching, nurturing, nursing, and caring of bodily needs. And they deserve a mother who is there as Mom whenever they need her. Mothering never stops- not even when the children are grown. They will still call for advice with their children or with their relationships or jobs. It is imperative that we reserve our energies for them too.

Then there is the home: our haven. We have a responsibility under God to look well to the ways of our own household. Our home needs to be tended and protected for this is where the family grows and the seed of civilisation is sown. Here is where the principles of faith are not only taught but shown in the little things as well as the big. Here we train our children to cope with life, to be godly, domestic or mechanical, caring, honest and disciplined. From here the springs of water in knowledge will flow into the hearts and minds of all who live there. The home will be firmly imprinted on our minds for good or bad- yet that imprint will be indelible. Home will forever be etched in our hearts and will draw us back in thoughts if not in deed. Your home then demands a large part of the first-fruits of your endeavours and discipline.

How can this all be achieved? I don't have my days so well planned yet that I have found the perfect answer for my own home. Some days my illness makes me extremely tired. But one thing I have found to be true- the day must be started with God. It is amazing to see how much more can be accomplished after a time with the Lord Jesus. I find that He clarifies my thinking and helps me establish my daily path. I pray about what must be achieved this very day. Then I write it down. I continue in prayer for personal needs or guidance and I finish up by playing worship music. This sets the tone of my day.

I then continue throughout the day trying to focus on that which I have planned to do, crossing off things as I finish. Because I am aware of the other priorities in my life, I try to have time set aside with my husband and I try to allow for unforeseen events such as taking my mother to the doctor or so on. No day is ever going to go to plan precisely, in fact life would be very dull without any challenges. But I truly believe if we start to realise our priorities and keep to them, then those people and things deserving of the best of our lives will be satisfied. By establishing a routine with those priorities in mind, you will not stretch yourself too thin and the first-fruits of your life will be given to those people and projects that have eternal value. If you plan your life on these Godly priorities, I guarantee you will find rest comes easy and life is much more fulfilling.

  Glenys Robyn Hicks



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