Proclaim. Mobilize. Equip.
Call 866-865-6253

The Worst Thing You Can Do for Your Family

May 28, 2018

“As for your little ones, who you said would become a prey…they shall go in there.” Deuteronomy 1:39

Moses is speaking to a new generation of God’s people on the verge of the Promised Land. Forty years earlier, the parents of this generation sent out spies who returned with the report: “There are giants in the land and the cities are fortified. This is far too great a risk. We have little children. We have to think about what’s best for them. If we go into the land, our children could be taken captive.”

But here is the great irony: If the parents had put the Lord before the children, the children would have grown up in a land flowing with milk and honey. But the parents put the children first, and they spent the bulk of their lives wandering in a desert.

Putting your children first is the worst thing you can do for them. The first commandment, “You shall have no other gods before me,” includes your children. If you let your children take first place in your heart, you have made them an idol. And if you make them an idol, you teach them to worship themselves.

The same is true of marriage. Wives, don’t long to be first in your husband’s life. Long for Christ to be first in his life. If he loves Christ with all his heart, he will love you well. But if you are first in his life, you have taken the place of God, which is a burden that you cannot bear. Husbands, buy a card for your wife that says, “I love you.” But don’t buy a card that says, “I live for you.” That’s idolatry. If you live for your spouse, you make yourself an idolater.

How are you tempted to live for your spouse or your family instead of for the Lord?

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

Explore this topic further

Don’t Miss the Central Message of the Bible

“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things?” John 3:10 (NIV) Nicodemus had the Old Testament Scriptures, not the New. The words “born again” do not occur in the Old Testament. But Jesus makes it clear that a person with the Old Testament should be...

Read Post

This Is Beyond Your Power

“How can this be?” John 3:9 (NIV) “Nicodemus, you must be born again! That’s what needs to happen in your life. Please understand—this does not lie in your power.” It’s not surprising that Nicodemus said “How can this be?” “You must be born again” is not the gospel. It is...

Read Post

You Are Never Too Old for the New Birth

“Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” John 3:4 (NIV) Jesus says, “Your whole life needs to be remade and relived. You must be born again. And… unless that happens you cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus says, “My whole life remade...

Read Post
For your gift of any amount

How Can I Be Sure About Heaven?

From Pastor Colin S. Smith

Get Unlocking the Bible's Weekly Email

"This Week at Unlocking the Bible" features new articles, radio programs, devotionals, and ministry updates

We will never sell or misuse your information.