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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.

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