Be First: A Crucial Marriage Principle

In most cases, we want to be first. The first in line. The first to accomplish something. The first to figure out the complicated equation. I like being first, don’t you? Can we apply this principle to marriage?

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The sport my oldest son chose was boxing. I cringed every time he got in a ring. We put him in boxing so he wouldn’t be bullied or get hit and watching him in a ring pretty much guaranteed he’d get hit.

Oh, the irony.

Bloody noses with bloody t-shirts were common.

I remember pleading with him, “Tim, you are good at hitting people now, can you please stop boxing?”

“No, Mom I like it.”

“What if I told you to stop?”

“I’d just go to Dad.”

“Okay, fine. Then you better be good at sliding punches because my heart can’t take this.”

Now, don’t get me wrong, he was good, he was really good. Every single time his arm went up signifying he had won a fight, I jumped in the air with glee.


One time, when he won a tournament along with a giant belt, I got so excited that I almost passed out. I had been “holding my breath” through the fight, and screaming, and once his victory was declared, I jumped with excitement and got dizzy and almost went down.

Even though it was hard being a “boxing mom,” I was so proud of him. He went into a boxing program as a young kid and worked extremely hard until he got so proficient that he could have headed for the Olympics or become a pro, but instead, he went to Bible college, and today is a pastor.

I’m such a proud mom, can you tell?

There was a term I learned from the other “boxing moms.”

It was: “Be first.”

Yes, “Be first.”

That’s what the moms screamed while their sons were in a ring. “Be first.” In other words, be the first to throw the punches. “Be first” in leading the bout. The fighter who dominated, throwing more punches, was usually the one “being first” and most likely the victor.

What if we were to apply this principle to the battle of fighting for our marriages?

Yes, I’m using the words fight and battle. Our marriages are under attack. The enemy’s mission is to cause conflict, separate families, and blow up relationships. We need to be on guard and proactive.

“Being first” is a way of fighting for your marriage.

I’ll get specific:

  • Be first in saying I love you.
  • Be first in saying I’m sorry.
  • Be first at forgiving.
  • Be first in jumping up to do the dishes.
  • Be first in offering compliments.
  • Be first to offer encouragement.
  • Be first to consider the other’s needs.
  • Be first to say good morning, how can I help you today?
  • Be first to offer kisses and hugs.
  • Be first to give yourself completely.

Be first.

And don’t worry about if they are second or third or fourth to get on board, just focus on being first in doing what God has called you to be as a husband or a wife.

Maybe, just maybe, this might prove to be beneficial?

Apply this principle and see if you’re not happier in your marriage.

Try it…

I’m betting on great results.

Be first.



Lucille Williams is the author of “From Me to We: A Premarital Guide for the Bride- and- Groom- to- Be.” For updates on posts and to join the CLUB give us your email in the subscribe button.

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