SERMON NOTES | Truly Madly Deeply – Right Priorities
Written by Phil Kniesel
February 7, 2021

This is a series focusing specifically on marriage relationships. When someone says “I do” to someone else they promise a lot of things. Sometimes those promises get mixed up. For the next four weeks we are going to be looking at lasting promises that make marriage last. Four promises you need to make beyond the promise of “I do”.


Tension is a byproduct of any relationship. Tension is usually caused by unmet expectations. We expected one thing, but it never happened. A helpful tool in any marriage is to know your spouses top three expectations for the relationship. This helps to understand and get to the bottom of tensions that may exist.


Promise 1 – I will pursue God first and my spouse second.

  • When asked, “What is the most important thing in life?” Jesus answered with these words – Matthew 22:37-39.
  • If you aren’t married – seek God first while preparing for your second. Become the person you want to marry.
  • Husband and wife are “one flesh” and what God has joined together, let man not separate. (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:6). Marriage is ordained by God and therefore we need to make sure we are connected to the One who makes the connection.
  • Problems come when we flip this promise around. We tend to idolize then demonize. We are asking our spouse to meet a need they were not designed to meet.


Results of this promise:

  • God is love (1 John 4:16). When we pursue God we end up pursuing love. Scripture defines love – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
  • The attributes of love are what make every relationship work. They are the things that increase enjoyment and fulfillment. They are needed to make a marriage last.
  • When you pursue God first and your spouse second you begin to guard your heart. Guarding your heart is critical in marriage since tension always attacks the heart.
  • Mess up this promise and you will become self-centered over God centered. The marriage becomes about someone else meeting yourneeds and what you want out of the marriage.



  • When kids are introduced, they can supersede our number two pursuit. When this happens drift always occurs.
  • Don’t be child centered in your marriage. If you want to love your kids well prioritize your marriage.
  • Children are a temporary assignment. Your marriage is “till death do us part.”
  • Failures, mess ups and divorce might be in your past. Move forward and say this time I will illustrate what a God honoring marriage looks like.
  • This illustrates grace and forgiveness. Repentance is key. Perhaps you need to repent for things you have done in your marriage, things you are doing, or for the past that follows you around. Repent and the good news is “he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
  • Confession leads to transformation which leads to a new way of life and a new way of doing relationships/marriage.


Protect the priorities:

  • It’s not always bad things that can ruin a marriage. It’s often the good things that are out of place. Therefore, you need to protect the priorities. (Ephesians 5:25)
  • If your marriage is struggling in any way, you can most likely trace it to the root issue of not protecting this promise – I will pursue God first and my spouse second. (Mathew 6:33)
  • To keep God first as a couple you need to keep God first as an individual. Faith in Jesus must be authentic and real in your own life because you can’t prioritize God through your spouse. Get to know God personally.
  • Two things matter on your deathbed. God and family. Before you reach this point make it a priority to live this way.


I will pursue God first and my spouse second.  Protect this at all costs.