JANUARY 8

Why God Comes First

When I pondered to understand this, it was troublesome in my sight until I came into the sanctuary of God. PSALM 73:16-17

If you were asked to name three things that pose the gravest general threats to the health of today's marriages—and to your marriage in particular—what would be on your list? When Barbara and I were asked the same question recently, here are the three we gravitated toward:

Threat number one is not really knowing who God is. In his book The Knowledge of the Holy, A. W. Tozer wrote, "The low view of God entertained almost universally among Christians is the cause of a hundred lesser evils among us."

When we fail to attribute to God the majesty of His supreme position over us and all creation, we weaken our need to stay accountable to Him in our behaviors and attitudes toward each other. We also lower the healthy self-esteem that's derived from measuring our value in the light of His love and grace. Tozer summed it up, "The most important thing you think is what you think about God."

Threat number two is selfishness. This shows itself in numerous degrees, from not wanting to help fold socks . . . to not caring what our schedules are doing to our families . . . to outright adultery. But in reality, this second threat breeds on the first one. Lives that are being constantly molded and characterized by a fear of the Lord will move toward humility and self-denial rather than living to satisfy self.

Threat number three is lack of biblical skills in resolving conflict. Conflict happens in marriage. It is simply unavoidable. But many people are not fully aware of the wealth of scriptural truth on this subject. Just following the admonition of a verse like Ephesians 4:32—being "kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ has forgiven you"—will change your life.

DISCUSS

Which of these three threats strike the closest to where you are right now? What commitments should you make to each other to counteract them?

PRAY

Ask that you may see God in greater grandeur and glory with each passing day and that the resulting glow would enlighten and enliven your marriage.

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