“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
~ Mark 12:30-31
To have a healthy marriage, it must have heart. What kind of heart? The heart of Christ Jesus our Lord. A heart sold out to do God’s will, see His will fulfilled in others and keep the love of Jesus preeminent, above all others; even a spouse, a child, parent or friend.
“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me… but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy… But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.”
~ Matthew 10:37, 1 Peter 3:15a, Revelation 2:4
Too often in our lives, we get so caught up in the ministry of marriage, training up our children in the Way the should go and other ministries God gives us to serve the Body of Christ, that we forget why and for Whom we began to do this good work. When this happens, the “ministry” itself inevitably becomes our love and our primary motivation for doing anything. We begin to forget God’s order of things: love God, love others. Eventually, this misguided focus begins to spiral down a dark and dangerous tunnel which only diminishes our view rather than expands it. We no longer see the eternal glories that far outweigh the temporal “successes” we think we are gaining (2 Cor 4:16-18). The health of our marriage declines, our relationship with our children begin to falter; while all the time we are deceived by the lust of vain glory because others outside our home applaud us.
The decline of the American family does not begin with good politics or any law established by our government. No, it begins and ends with the heart of the family unit. We all cry for change in this country. Christians cry for revival in the Church. Yet, we neglect the very core of what brings about change and revival: keeping our love for Jesus Christ and His word supreme in the heart of our homes.
Let’s keep God’s order of things (1 Corinthians 14:40), so that our lives will not be ruled by self-inflicted chaos, but by God’s surpassing peace:
GOD FIRST: Matthew 6:33 & 10:37-39; Luke 14:33; Mark 12:30-31; Proverbs 31:30; Psalm 88:13; Psalm 1:1-3;
SPOUSE SECOND: Genesis 2:18-20, 3:16; Ephesians 5:22-24; 1 Corinthians 11:3, 8-9; 1 Timothy 2:13, 3:4-5; Titus 2:3-5
CHILDREN THIRD: Psalm 78:3-5; Titus 2:4; Deuteronomy 6:7; Proverbs 10:1; Proverbs 13:24; Proverbs 19:18; Proverbs 29:17; Malachi 2:15; Hebrews 12:8
HOMEMAKING FOURTH (wives): Proverbs 31:10-31; Titus 2:3-5
“MINISTRY” FIFTH: Volunteering (at church & childrens’ school), work, others (extended family, church family, friends) & Hobbies: 1 Timothy 2:10, 5:9-10; 1 Corinthians 12:7: Acts 9:36; 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12; Romans 12:10 & 13: 1 Peter 4:9-11)
Next article: To have a healthy marriage, requires hard work.