My answer to this question – it’s NOT a hierarchy! Nothing has to come first.
You don’t need to put an order or absolute value to things. That value and importance changes and fluctuates with time.
And if I must choose one thing that comes first… then my family comes first.
My family consists of me, my husband, and our 4 children in no permanent order. My family is united by spirituality as a central force that keeps us together and moving forward.
Who or what come first fluctuates and flows.
Rather than putting an absolute order to our relationships and important aspects of our life, we can think of these things as part of a bigger picture that ebbs and flows.
When my husband and I first got together, he was separated and had 2 children from his previous marriage that were 3 and 5 years old at the time. He made it very clear to me that his kids come first, and I respected that. It was even attractive to me at the time, because I knew that if we had children one day, they would also come first.
But his words, as honorable as they seemed at the time, were just words. On many occasions he showed me that I did come first, too. And over time we came to see that it wasn’t ‘them versus me’, there was room for the love to go around.
We began to see that our example of love is what’s best for the whole family. And once we began to see that, we started to put the family first. Many times that means putting our relationship first, because our relationship is the basis for our whole family. It’s why we’re all in this together. Through our example of a loving relationship, our children thrive, and by putting ourselves first in many situations, we are indeed putting our family first.
It’s not a matter of putting an order to things (God, them and you)... it’s a matter of putting the family first with your core beliefs & values as the central part of your family that is holding you all together.
Do you have an absolute ‘order’ to the things that are important to your life, or do you go with the flow while holding true to your family vision? I’d love to hear your perspective.