Deny Yourself

“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”  Matthew 16:24

Television advertisers are experts at “rattling the cages” of viewers. They understand the philosophy of today’s audience: Look out for number one. That’s why we’re bombarded with slogans such as “Have it your way”; “You deserve a break today”; and “Because I’m worth it.” Their goal is to appeal to our self‐centered nature and manipulate us into buying a product. Frequently, they succeed.

The “I’m Third” approach to life is in direct contradiction to the message of these ads. And well it should be! Jesus tells us that our first obligation in following Him must be to deny ourselves—to let go of the steering wheel, so to speak, and let the Lord drive. Secondly, we are to love and care for others. Try implementing these priorities. They will lead to a better marriage in this life and eternal rewards in the next.

God first, others second, myself third. A simple phrase, but it contains far more wisdom for living life to the fullest than anything you’ll see or hear on a television ad.

Just between us . . .

  • Do we have an “I’m Third” kind of marriage?
  • Do we know a couple who model this philosophy?
  • How do you feel about putting my desires ahead of your own?
  • What, if anything, do we need to change to create an “I’m Third” marriage?
  • How can we specifically ask God to help us make this happen?

Dear Jesus, we hear Your invitation to follow You in a life of self-denial. Tonight we make You Lord of our marriage. Help us to live every day by Your example— in obedience to the Father and in loving service to each other. Amen.

Listen to today's broadcast of My Family Talk at OnePlace.com.
For more from Dr. Dobson, visit the resource center at familytalk.org.

This devotional is taken from Night Light for Couples. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.