Edition 14 – Lord of the Ring, The Most Important Person in Your Marriage
LORD OF THE RING: THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN YOUR MARRIAGE!
Who really is the most important person in your marriage? Clue: it’s not your wife! The second clue: it’s not you!
As a pastor for almost 32 years, I marvel at how many marriages would have been transformed if only the couple would have grasped this eternal, unalterable, inescapable truth! The most important person in your marriage is not your spouse, it is GOD! The God of the Bible, the relationship you have with Jesus Christ, and God the father!
Jesus told us, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing”. Yet, few have I found who truly believed this and lived this in their married life. God himself is the source of all life, the source of all love, the source of all emotional and spiritual strength and vitality. God is the source of all marital and parenting wisdom. God, Himself is our rock, our strength, our refuge. God himself is our Wonderful Counselor, our everlasting Father, the Prince of our peace. God is the very best friend, but is He your best friend?
Jesus Himself tells us in Luke 12:15, 21 (NLT), “Real life is not measured by how much we own. YES, a person is a FOOL to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God!”
Wow, what a profound, living, eternal truth! Think how much time, energy, and effort, that so many men put into the accumulation of earthly wealth, and how very small and paltry is the time, energy and effort most men put into knowing God, walking with God, pursuing God, connecting with God, crying out to God, communicating with God, and seeking the living God!
Men, I cannot overstate this, so many of the Christian men I have known over the last 43 years had in so many ways, a weak, half-hearted, lackadaisical walk and relationship with God. Their pursuit of God was inconsistent, their prayer life very weak, and sporadic, and there was no passion, no enthusiasm and deep emotional connection to God, Himself. Their “walk with God” was mechanical, emotionally lethargic, undisciplined and in many ways, lifeless and so unfulfilling to the soul and spirit.
I have known more Christian men than I would have liked to, to whom Jesus was not there very best friend.
Just ponder these things for a moment. How many texts to friends to you send a day? How many do you receive and read from friends each day? How many friends Facebook posts do you read a day? How many posts do you comment on in a day?
If you compared your texts to friends each day, to the “texts/prayers” you send to God each day, which is more? How long do you spend thinking about, reading about, hearing about the text of the living God each day? How much time do you spend each day talking with God, emoting to God, communicating with God, the deep, difficult things and emotions of your heart and soul? The concerns and anxieties of your mind and spirit? How much and how fervently do you ask for God’s help, cry out for God’s wisdom, and anticipate His marvelous answers to your prayers?
Men, this has to change, and it has to change starting today in your life. It will take deeply committed, spiritually invested, and spiritually fit fathers and husbands, to influence and impact their own children for Jesus Christ, who train them to be followers of Jesus Christ and effectively lead and love their wife.
Many years ago, I found a unique ring that I decided to make my wedding ring. It was several years after I had married, but this ring symbolized to me and is a constant reminder to me, of the true, spiritual reality of my life and what the success of my marriage and family depend upon.
IT REMINDS ME WHO IS LORD OF MY RING!
The ring is made of 3 metals. The primary band of the ring is sterling silver. On the top, which faces me, and I see daily, are drops of copper, and brass that was melted on top of the silver, but of course connected to the silver band. The copper symbolizes Kathy to me and the brass symbolizes me. The silver band itself symbolizes Jesus Christ, God Himself. I am daily reminded that as long as I stay connected to God, and Kathy stays connected to God, we will thrive, and our marriage and family will thrive and grow strong.
I am reminded daily that marriage is a 3-way relationship and the most important person in our marriage is God, Himself! The ring has one other significant feature. Unlike platinum or titanium, my ring tarnishes easily. In other words, it needs frequent, weekly maintenance to stay nice and shiny. I carry polishing cloths with me in my backpack and I clean this ring often, as a constant reminder, “Mark, you cannot put your relationship with God and Kathy on autopilot! You must maintain your relationship with God, and with Kathy.”
Men, I have seen these hundreds of times. Men get married and they do what Israel did in Psalm 106, THEY FORGET GOD!! I mean this with all my heart, the biggest mistake you will ever make is to forget God, to neglect God and not keep God your most important love interest and your most important friendship, your most important pursuit.
Did you know the bible tells us in Psalms to seek the Lord continually?! I love that verse, I love that picture. David says, “the nearness of God is my good”. Hosea tells us, “to know the Lord, to press onto know the Lord, and He will come to us like the spring rain!” David declares in Psalm 63, “O God you are my God, earnestly I seek you. My soul thirst for you, my body longs for you!”
For the last 43 years of my life, I have made seeking the Lord, the most intentionally, most purposeful thing I do, each and every day. Whether I feel up or down, good or bad. Through the joys of my life, and through the great sorrows, pains, heartaches, and tribulations of my life, I have sought the Lord with all my heart, day after day. I have talked to Him about everything in my heart, my mind, my emotions, and brought every request and concern to my magnificent, very best friend, God the Father, and Jesus Christ! Daily, I have sought His counsel, His direction ,His truth, His input into my life, by reading, meditating and applying His word, the Bible, to my life.
Dear men, husbands, and fathers, go after God! Cultivate your relationship with God. Get up, get out and spend time with God. Cry out to Him for wisdom, He will give it to you. Pour out your heart to Him about your marital issues, and pray over your precious wife’s life. Ask God to give you His help, His strength, His love, His comfort. Pray over each and every one of your children’s lives. Ask God to change you and seek Him in the things you would like to see happen in your marriage. Instead of putting pressure on your wife, put pressure on God, by constantly and diligently knocking, seeking, and asking God for the things you need, want, or desire to see change.
Not only will God answer you, but often you will find God changes you in the process, into a greater man, a more sensitive man, a more loving, kind, wise and Christ-like man, for a man becomes like the company he keeps!!!
Some helpful tips.
BE RESOLVED IN 2019 YOU WILL MAKE THESE THINGS HAPPEN:
1. Consider using your drive time to pray and talk to God.
Or use the time, instead of listening to talk radio, or sports radio, to listen to Biblical teaching messages that build your soul, and strengthen your life in spiritual matters, and the things that matter most in life.
2. Find a good prayer routine.
Be intentional about it. Plan it, and make the time for your most important relationship with God.
3. Make the time to read God’s words to you, found in the Bible.
One idea is over your lunch break at work, go sit in your car with your bag lunch and read. Find empty office space or a conference room at work. The Bible is God’s great word and wisdom to you, and you get to know Him and hear His voice as you learn to read with an eager, hungry heart.
Please take the time to hear these messages, they will inspire you and spur you on.