My wife and I had a date night last night. It’s the first time that we have been to our favorite restaurant in almost 11 months. Needless to say, we were both excited. And we talked afterwards about how much more we appreciate it now that we aren’t going all the time.
But last night, I realized that I had missed out on a great opportunity for it to be more than a trip to a restaurant together. It was partially a missed opportunity for me to really focus on being kind and honoring to my wife. I didn’t dishonor her, and we had a great time together, but our focus was on the meal. To be honest with you, the “time together” was probably secondary to the “great food” for both of us.
How often does that happen and we don’t even realize it until something wakes us up? How often do we let the most important things fall out of their proper order and priority in our lives?
It was an uncommon evening in every way. Amazing dinner. No ministry work. No daughter at home. And I even had control of the living room TV remote when we got home. I even discovered a way to repair our broken microwave so we might save some money. What alternate universe had we landed in?
As my time to hand over the remote approached, we stumbled upon a Christian marriage counseling show that caught both of our eyes. A show that interest both of us? Now we really were in an alternate universe! As Mandee scrambled to DVR the show, we both watched in awe as this couple laid out such amazing truths that we couldn’t turn away. Even while Mandee’ favorite live TV show was running, we couldn’t turn away. We were captured by this valuable and precious message.
And I became very aware of how out of priority my focus for the night had been. We had put God first, thanking Him and praising Him for the great meal – but I had placed my focus on the meal instead of the company. I had taken my wife for granted and missed and opportunity to truly honor her as the focus of the night. Yes, I was humbled.
When we get things out of order, it’s because we’ve forgotten or overlooked their true value. Christ tells me to love my wife like He loved the church. Just like His love and mercy for us while He was here on this earth was only surpassed by His demonstrated love and obedience to His heavenly Father – I am to love and obey my God first, and love wife with that Agape, overflowing, sacrificial, dedicated, unwavering love that pours out undeniably – not letting other things get in the way of my bearing this cross for her. But I had let it slip out of priority, and the great food was our focus, and we were distracted by something so much less valuable than each other.
How often do we do the same thing with God, letting a distraction draw our eyes away from Him?
Have we grown content putting Him on the shelf the rest of the week and only spending time with Him on Sundays?
Where is our fear and respect for God? Have we completely forgotten His value?
Praise God that He is merciful and forgiving.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Lord, forgive us. Rearrange our priorities so that our lives are lived out honoring you. Teach us your love. Teach us kindness. And not so that we just understand the concept in our minds, but show us how to demonstrate it in our life today. Make us aware of those corrections that need to take place in our lives. Convict us of what is not holy and righteous, and be the strength that proves faithful as you overcome and change or lives to be more like you, discipline us firmly but gently to lead us to repentance, and burn away the chaff in our lives, refining us for your use and your glory and your honor.
Do not let those who call out your name bring dishonor to your name by remaining in sin. Let us not only understand the mercies of your grace, but the refining fires of the body of Christ being reconciled to the Lord our God, as your Kingdom is come on earth as it is in heaven, and as your will is lived out in our lives.
Let us forgive freely while encouraging and building up others to live a life that places you at the place of honor and dethrones the love of self that sits too often as an idol between you and the throne of our lives. Destroy this abomination of self love that has caused desolation within our life and that has kept us from living and serving you as a faithful servant. Come and live in us and sup with us, and let your Kingdom come down.
Come, Lord Jesus, come.
Amen. Amen. Amen.