Bible Order: Jeremiah 43–47
Chronological Order: Jeremiah 51-52
New Testament Only: Romans 13:8–14:12
Eye On The Prize
My wife’s birthday was a couple of months ago, and as usual I was in the store the day before trying to pick out an appropriate birthday card. Yes, I was cutting it down to the wire. I won’t go into all of the reasons for that disgraceful situation. I am not, nor will I be, the last husband to wait until the last minute on such things. My point isn’t my trouble with procrastination but the difficulty in finding a decent card. Now I don’t mean the cards were “indecent”; they were perfectly respectable as far as language and subject matter were concerned. My struggle was with the object of the cards. Here are cards for men to wish their wives a happy birthday and they all seemed to be focused on the husband.
The cards would go on about how lucky the husband was to have such a wife and they would talk about how the husband didn’t tell the wife how much he loved her or voiced appreciation for all the things they did for the husband and the family. All fine as sentiment goes but I was reading a lot of “me, myself, and I”. The cards seemed to focus on what the person being praised could do for the one doing the praising. Is the value of my spouse only equal to the sum of what she does for me?
Of course I appreciate all that my wife does for me, and I would be lost without her, but she has such great worth beyond all of that. She is beautiful, intelligent, funny, caring, compassionate, supportive, talented, and so much more! She loves God and is a child of the King! She is fabulous far beyond what she does for me and I would know that if I didn’t stay focused on “me, myself, and I”.
As husbands we need to widen our vision beyond ourselves and what our wives can do for us. We need to take a step back and look at this wonderful blessing from God. Our wives are our partners; flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone. God has ordained that we be good and faithful stewards of the wives placed in our care. We must put ourselves second and our spouses first. We should cherish our spouses not for what they do for us but because of who they are; a wonderful gift from God!
Beyond that relationship, how do you view God? Is it the same story there? Do you love God only for the things He does for you? Does this mean that if you feel like He isn’t doing enough for you, or that He failed to do what you wanted, that He is no longer worthy of your love and praise? I hope not. As I read the Psalms today I was moved by the verses of praise that focused not on what God could do, and does, for me, but on His worth beyond my own self interests.
The moment I stop thinking about myself and start marveling about my wonderful wife and my awesome Lord and Savior is the moment I am full of joy. I recommend you join me in that exercise. You will be glad you did.
I’d like to close with another quote from J. Vernon McGee. I find his commentary illuminating.
“As I said in the beginning, we are dividing the Book of Psalms according to the Pentateuch. The first forty-one psalms we call the Genesis section. Psalms 42–72 are known as the Exodus section. Now we come to Psalm 73 which brings us to the beginning of the Leviticus section. It corresponds to the Book of Leviticus because in this section—even in Psalm 73—the sanctuary is prominent. You see, the Book of Leviticus is the book of worship for the tabernacle and later for the temple. It is one of the greatest books in the Bible. Now as we come to this Leviticus section of the Book of Psalms, we find the emphasis upon the sanctuary and, in particular, on two aspects of the house of God. The Book of Leviticus emphasizes two things: that God is holy and that without shedding of blood there is no remission of sins—the key words are holiness and sacrifice. These two words will also figure largely in this Leviticus section of the Book of Psalms.”
McGee, J. V. (1997). Thru the Bible commentary (electronic ed.). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Have a fantastic day guys, and keep your eyes on the prize; Jesus!
Your brother and servant in Christ,
Dying to self, living to serve!
(Originally posted 6/27/10)