Your daily priorities:
- Leisure Time & Fellowship
All these need to be put in proper order. 1 Timothy 3:1-13 gives us a great description of this:
If anyone wants to provide leadership in the church, good! But there are preconditions: A leader must be well-thought-of, committed to his wife, cool and collected, accessible, and hospitable. He must know what he’s talking about, not be overfond of wine, not pushy but gentle, not thin-skinned, not money-hungry. He must handle his own affairs well, attentive to his own children and having their respect. For if someone is unable to handle his own affairs, how can he take care of God’s church? He must not be a new believer, lest the position go to his head and the Devil trip him up. Outsiders must think well of him, or else the Devil will figure out a way to lure him into his trap.
The same goes for those who want to be servants in the church: serious, not deceitful, not too free with the bottle, not in it for what they can get out of it. They must be reverent before the mystery of the faith, not using their position to try to run things. Let them prove themselves first. If they show they can do it, take them on. No exceptions are to be made for women—same qualifications: serious, dependable, not sharp-tongued, not overfond of wine. Servants in the church are to be committed to their spouses, attentive to their own children, and diligent in looking after their own affairs. Those who do this servant work will come to be highly respected, a real credit to this Jesus-faith.
So, ask yourself: Are your priorities in order?
Also, ask yourself: Are you experiencing the Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control? Is this what people see when they look at your day-to-day life? What about your spouse’s? Your children’s?
When we obey God’s word, this is exactly what happens, starting from within and exhibiting in our daily behaviors.
So ask yourself: Are you and your spouse living in accordance to God’s will by reading the Bible and applying it to your lives as husbands, wives, and parents?
Next, ask yourselves this question: Do you trust God with your finances?
Do you give tithes on a regular basis, as we read about in Proverbs 3:9-10…
Honor the Lord with your possessions
And with the first fruits of all your increase.
So your barns will be filled and plenty
And your vats will overflow with new wine.
Now, you may be asking, “What the heck does that have to do with being married?!”
Well, we want God’s blessings, don’t we? We don’t want the change that falls from His table. We want it all! We want all of His good stuff.
But are we willing to trust Him in obedience to the things that He has called us to do?
When we obey God in every aspect of our lives, including our finances and give generously according to His will, He blesses us. He intercedes in situations that you and I don’t even have anything to do with in order to bless us. In many ways, He wants to show off! He wants to be glorified.
So, we need to receive Jesus Christ, we need to abide in Christ, and we need to obey Jesus Christ. Notice that third in the order is obey. Why is this? Because the byproduct of abiding with Jesus Christ daily in our prayer life and daily devotions is the power to obey. God didn’t give us these instructions, especially when it comes to loving one another and expected us to go do it all on our own. It’s impossible!
You can’t do it and God knows that you can’t. So, He isn’t angry when we don’t do it, but He is grieved when we don’t put Him first and tell Him by our actions that we can do life on our own – when we put off time with Him and allow the noise of the world interfere with our hearing from Him. And then we wonder why we’re not experiencing His blessings and the power of God in and through our lives.
Instead, get in the habit and the practice of putting your first thoughts in the morning on Jesus Christ. Every morning, I tell Him, “Here I am. I need Your grace, Lord. I praise You. I know that I can’t do it on my own, so I’m asking for Your help and Your grace to love my wife and my kids and to fulfill everything You put before me today. I need Your strength.”
So, even before I say my first word to my wife, I talk to God. I’m not trying to be holy. I’m actually coming to Him as a beggar. “I love what you’re doing, God! I love it so much that I give You all the honor and glory for what you’ve done! But, I know that I can’t rely on yesterday’s grace.”
With all the wisdom and knowledge that God has given me to help other people, I can’t rely on that to fulfill God’s will for my life, even for one day. When you understand this basic, simple principle, and you choose to practice it every day, your life will never be the same!
God wants to bless your marriage.
He is waiting every day, with His arms open wide, to pour His grace into us and to give us all that we need for the day to fulfill His will… IF we choose to abide in Him and come get ‘em!
He is faithful to pour out His grace.
We even need His grace when we fail and blow it in regards to our spouse. We need His grace to have humility to go and ask them for forgiveness. And, we’re not going to experience the transforming power if we don’t ask God and our spouse to forgive us.