Monday, December 14, 2009

You Go First

That can be a harmless invitation or a clear command.

Opening a door for someone to go into a home is putting that person first while telling someone to walk out onto a frozen pond first is more self serving!

So much of life is more about being first. We want to be the first to get a new product or to be recognized as the first choice for a position or honor. We wouldn't necessarily say it that way but when push comes to shove we want to be first. This is also true in our conversations, we want to go first. "Let me explain myself first and then you'll understand."

The scriptures are filled with warnings and instructions about striving to be first. Jesus himself said the first shall be last. The Apostle Paul instructs us that we should be more concerned about the interests of others rather than ourselves. Putting others first is not in our nature. It means we have to deny something, whether it's our opinion or our rights. That just feels wrong.

What's that got to do with your marriage? EVERYTHING!

The challenge is not who gets to go first but who is invited to go first. The gospel is not about being served but serving. The call is to see your husband or wife as a gift from God and the recipient of working out that call of Jesus in your own life. That 24/7 presence in your life is there not to manipulate but to be the object of the love of Christ. A Christ-centered humility must be a growing reality in our marriages. We become more and more desirous to put Jesus first rather than making sure my needs are met first.

Think about it - the beauty and power of the gospel is that God went first. "In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins...We love because he first loved us."
I John 4:10,19 Isn't that the uniqueness of this Christmas season? God came first to us before we came to him.

If he did that for us how should that look in our lives and particularly in our marriages? It should free us to be the first to put someone else first. A heart being changed by Jesus is a life that is reflecting Jesus.


1 comment:

k80 said...

Thank you! I needed that today! Some stressful moments b/t me and my fiance! Even if I think my expectations are right, being Christ-like trumps even that.

So thanks! (PS - saw your blog from Erin. I worked w/ her at Stony Brook Camp in '03!)