Who is #1 in your life?


I’m getting married in July and reading everything I can get my hands on in preparation. Right now I am reading The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. She makes the point that your husband should always be #1 in your life. While I agree that your husband should receive very high priority, I always believed that God should be #1 in your life. I even told FI once before we were even engaged that he would never be #1 in my life because that’s God’s spot. Am I missing something? Is this an issue of semantics, in that God is a part of everything and everyone, He is too great to be tied just at #1? What do you all think?


Dr. Laura is talking about prioritizing people and things in our lives, not God, when she states that your husband should be #1. She is especially talking about our children and our families of origin-- which should not come before your husband.


In my opinion and the way that I and my h2b will be running our house it that our children (if we are so blessed) will always be number 1 in both of our minds my husband (currently h2b) is an amazing man and will be an amazing father but my children will always be number 1!


That’s unfortunate.

That is not the way God ordained the family and that is not a good example for your children at all.


The OP is right. God should be first in every household. It also should not be a competition between husband, children or God. Acknowledge who is the Maker and Creator of all things, and you’ll find that putting God first in your life is actually quite harmonious to all aspects of your life.


Dr. Laura is not a Catholic. How can she give substantial advice on a Sacramental Marriage? Would you go to Dr. Phil for teaching on Confession or to Oprah to learn about the Eucharist :confused:

Stick with Catholic teaching, read Catholic authors who understand that marriage is a Sacrament.


I think a lot of it comes down to common sense. Of course, the well-being of our children comes before our whims. If sacrifices are to be made, the grown-ups make them…

But I think what it means to say that your husband is first is that you make a great effort to sustain your friendship in your marriage and care for it. I speak from hard experience that it’s very easy to end up with separate lives: mommy and the kids vs. daddy. Raising children takes such time and effort, that it’s easy to become ships passing in the night. Make sure to dock the boat!!

A good, secure, and loving marriage is the best gift you can give your children. Putting daddy first doesn’t mean you kick the kids to the floor in your rush to get him his after-dinner drink. But it does mean that the kids grow up knowing that their parents’ relationship is important.



Marriage is a universal institution, created by God. It is not limited to Catholics-- the Catholic Church itself recognizes non Catholic marriages as Sacramental between baptized persons and as valid natural marriages between the non baptized.

She is a licensed family therapist, and I do believe she is qualified to speak on the topic.

Unlike marriage, these two Sacraments are not universal.

I am not sure why you are having such a reaction to the fact that that OP read a Dr. Laura book. In fact, many of the books recommended on this site are not written by Catholics and yet they are excellent books with sound advice. The fact that they are not written by Catholics does not make them of no value. The great Catholic philosophers read Aristotle, let’s not forget.

Nothing in the book the OP refers to is contrary to the faith.

No one suggested that the OP exclude Catholic books-- on another thread she asked for suggestions on Catholic teaching regarding marriage and I suggested Casti Connubii.


In my personal opinion, the proper order should be:

  1. God
  2. My wife
  3. My children
  4. My family
  5. All others
  6. Myself

Now if only I didn’t always screw it up…



I would assume it depended on who needed you most at the moment, not that either your husband or your children ever came before God, Who is always First.
But Dr. Laura has never seemed to me to have any more than at best average knowledge of how to treat people. I was listening to her on the radio as long as I could stand it once and she just tore people apart who had called her in a vulnerable state for her advice. They gave her the compliment of asking her advice and she repaid them with criticism and really seemed to be stretching for something to attack. I turned it off. I read Ten Stupid Things Women Do and found it witty but not helpful in any real way. I read Care and Feeding and it made me sick to my stomach. So I myself wouldn’t let Dr. Laura be my first or final source on how to have a happy, loving relationship with anyone. All I get out of her attitude is criticism and attack regardless of the topic. I hope I’m just misinterpreting her, though.


From what it appears, Dr. Laura is neither Catholic NOR Baptized Christian. She could speak to natural Marriage, but, would not be an authority on Sacramental Marriage.

While books by those who know natural marriage may be informative, they should not be primary for a Catholic.


God is always number one. Period.

Then, it really depends on a lot of things as to who is number two, etc. For example, now that our youngest child is going on 8 years old, my husband and I put one another first for the most part. However, when our children were infants, we BOTH put their needs first because they were incapable of meeting their own needs. Quite frankly, neither my husband nor I could see how anyone could put their spouse before a young child who is incapable of caring for him/herself, so that’s what worked best for us as a couple. :shrug:


Sorry the interuption…God always comes first…then your vocation with your wife, children, then others and then career/job. That last would disturb most, But in fact you are not supposed to pub your job before the others. But that goes with a little qualifying.

I have always put God first, scriptural old and new. Then family then career. I consider family to extend to church family and friends. But also in Peace and Justice to some degree as well. Learning to not by a hypocrit is very difficult. My dedication to this principal has not come without great loss though. But I still believe it is the way to salvation or the way of Peace.


My baby then my hubby


I am with 1ke 100% – that’s rare if you look through our posts. Children should come second to your spouse, BUT while you and your spouse work harmoniously together: those children will naturally come first. Maybe that doesn’t make sense – and it’s HARD to explain until you are actually there.

OP – I am GLAD you are reading that book. I am REALLY glad you are. It’s a great stepping stone into a marriage, because us women of Western mindset can really sabotage our selves, our husbands, our marriages, our families, our entire lives over undeserved selfishness. I have read it and DH and I were reading “Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage” so your post just reminded us to keep at it. I mentioned it to DH and he agreed.

GOD is number one, but to each of us (DH, myself, and to each one of my children), separately and as a family, he’s PERSONALLY number one. But the personal part of the equation is just THAT: personal. We don’t mention it to each other in a get-in-line kind of way, we just know that God IS God, he is naturally first. In our natural world we have to have proper priorities, and therefor, spouse one, children two, et all. Some people may attack and say “why are your children not first and foremost in your life?” They are, but they are with my DH together. If one of them were sick we would both walk the Earth to make them better…if it came down to my 8yo trying to rule the house through tantrum and playing one against the other: DH wins every single TIME.:cool: You have to experience it to understand what we are saying really.

Good luck with your upcoming wedding, and my suggestion, no matter what you read, is to not come at your fiance with “you are not as important as…” even with GOD. Simply change some wording “Aren’t we so blessed to find each other and create a family in God’s Grace?” He’ll get the message without feeling undermined. :smiley:


The best gift a father can give to his children is to love their mother. Visa versa. Spouse should precede children for the sake of the children. Get this down and you will begin to get the covenant relationship within the church. It’s marvelous, simply marvelous, darling.

  1. God
  2. Husband
  3. Child
  4. Extended family and long time friends
  5. Others


That sounds noble natural but it’s really not -in the sacrament of marriage you become one flesh with your spouse -not your children. Your children will grow and leave home, your spouse will be by your side for a lifetime. It’s not healthy for your marriage or your children to place them before your marriage relationship.

(I am assuming you mean your children are number 1 after God, ofcourse because nothing should come before Him.)


Recent posts make me wonder - in the talk of husband before children or VV… real life situation.

Your husband has a business dinner, spouses are invited. This is a team building exercise only, it is not client related. Attendance is not manditory, but, it is politically wise to be there. Your husband is up for a promotion that would mean a 10% salary increase. Dinner is taking place at a restaurant you have so wanted to visit, very expensive and impossible to get reservations. Dinner is from 7 - 9 PM.

The same evening is scheduled your 10 year old daughter’s school play. Your daughter, who is very shy, tried out for the lead role, but did not get it. She was cast as one of the mouse-friends of Cinderella. The play begins at 7:30 and lasts one hour.

It is a 30 minute drive from the school to the restaurant.

Which event do you attend, your husband’s or your daughter’s?


**I think if we all lived as perfectly as possible, hubby and I would be as one and we would BOTH go to our daughter’s play. I think it’s easy to put God, spouse, children, others etc first when there is no conflict. It’s when that conflict arises that we see just how committed we are and if we truly have our priorities straight.

In real life though? Honestly not sure. I would try to do both but would most likely end up going to our DD’s play at hubby’s urging.


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