set (someone or something) before (someone or something)
1. To place or position someone or something directly in front of someone or something else. Set the prisoner before me so that I may render my judgment. We set the holy items before the image of our deity.
2. By extension, to place a greater value on someone or something, or to regard someone or something more highly or favorably, than someone or something else. You really shouldn't set the needs of your company before the needs of your family. I always felt like Mom placed our baby brother before Tommy and me when we were growing up.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
set something before (someone, something, or some creature)
to place something in front of someone, an animal, a group, or something. I set the plate of sandwiches before the children and they were gone in a few minutes. Jane set the bowl of food before the cats.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.