God created a very specific and harmonized way of living that creates balance, peace, and life within in us.
I’ve best been able to summarize it this way:
#4 Everything Else
On face value no one really argues with this list when I present it to them. Even if you are only known as a Christian by the box you check when Census people come by, putting the Creator of the Universe first on a list makes sense. Yet God’s desire to be #1 in our life goes beyond an ego trip that we may feel He commands.
Placing God at the center of our life provides a rock and foundation that is unmovable, unshakable, and infallible. He provides the filter by which we live the rest of our life and gives us the perfect direction with which to live.
Our spouse takes the second position because it is the most important human relationship we’ve been given. God has asked us to love and respect our spouse like He loved and cared for the Church. If you didn’t know He gave up His one and only Son for it so it’s a pretty big deal.
Our kids find the third spot and rightfully so because had there been no God or no spouse there would be no children. Now I realize we live in a world were dads are optional in some cases or nonexistent, but in the Shalom that God created both mom and dad are present and active. Their position in our lives is important because as we grow and nurture them, they need to see the proper priorities God designed us to have.
The children we have been blessed with from God will learn the most about Him from us. It’s our job to show them His proper place in our life so they have a better opportunity to give Him the proper place in theirs.
Proverbs 20:7 says “The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him.”
Proverbs 22:6 tells us “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
Now don’t get me wrong, I know plenty of people who raised their children in the Lord and the kids strayed. There is no guarantee that church attendance or youth group involvement will lead a child to a relationship with Christ. However I will also say that there is a much greater chance they will find Christ if you do keep them involved and part of God centered things both inside the home and outside.
You see when the children lose their proper place in our lives and leapfrog both our spouse and God the harmony God created gets out of whack. Since the #1 spot is reserved for what we worship the most and give our most attention to, our kids now have become our god.
Don’t believe me?
Here is a few questions to chew on:
- If your child has a music practice on Sunday that will make them miss church which do you choose? Church or Practice?
- If your child doesn’t want to go to church on Sunday do you skip because they won’t go?
- Does your child decide where you go and what you do on a consistent basis or do you and your spouse?
- If you commit to a Life Group and you have to miss one of your child’s games to attend do skip group or go to the group?
Don’t misunderstand me, I love sports, activities, and our kids. I did more stuff growing up than you can even imagine including gymnastics…for 1 day…until they made me do the splits. I got a sports scholarship and academic scholarship for college for crying out loud so I get the importance.
All I’m saying is that if our children’s schedules and needs cause us to step away from commitments, miss church all together, sacrifice our relationship with our wife, or put God on the back burner we’ve got a priority problem.
The problem is not just hurting us but also our children.
By placing our kids in a position they were never meant to occupy we put more pressure and expectation on them that they can’t withstand. We need to take the lead as parents and demonstrate the faith we tell them we have.
Hosea 13:4 cuts to the heart of the matter, “You shall acknowledge no God but me, no Savior except me.”
When we make choices that elevate God in our lives we elevate God in their lives.
If we want our kids to live lives that are God centered than we have to put God at the center of our life all the time not just in the off season of their activities.
I believe most parents don’t mean to do this in fact I think that they just get caught up in doing life and wanting to love their kids well. I also believe that we can start making changes today to our lives that will re-prioritize things to a better rhythm.
In the end, I’d much rather have my kids have an average relationship with their coach than an average relationship with Jesus.