God has been teaching me about the blinding light of urgency. When I turn around and look at the recent past, urgency has been what has set the tone. Down to the simplest of things. When the sink is full – without getting these dishes done today, right now, tomorrow I will have nothing to eat on. But the problem goes much deeper. Urgency feels connected to what is important but in retrospect the first often goes without the second.
It is true that DUTY is a bad master. If I am obligated to do something, most people wait until they MUST before it gets done. Urgency to get through it becomes the only motivator. Husband, when was the last time you passionately shared with your wife how much you loved God and her? As an older teenager, I watched the tone for passion between my parents dwindle. I didn’t understand it or fully appreciate it at the time but what I saw is telling and a caution I’m feeling now. In my parents marriage, what started as an assumption of ‘love understood’ over the course of several cold years turned into ‘love neglected’ and then ‘love obligated’. Eventually, after that, the marriage reaped what it sowed.
You see, our kids see what’s normal by watching us. Reading in Deuteronomy 11:2 we see God’s perspective – “Know today that I do not speak with your children, who have not known and who have not seen.” He reminds us that our children won’t have the experience of our history. God has proven himself to me and my wife, but in my 7 year old’s life the exposure is more limited – have I lived in a way she knows it anyway? Relating it to marriage, maybe in the first 10 years of my marriage I kept the proof of the importance of my marriage on display but was it visible and understandable to my children yesterday?
Deuteronomy 11:19 continues with importance – “You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” This passage is referring to the need to teach our kids about God’s love, provision and expectations in daily activities! At our meals, when we stop before we eat, do we pray to thank God because its our duty or because we are blown away by His providing hand one more time? Does my son hear my love for God or just observe what might be faithfulness? The way we walk with the Lord is on display before our kids – whether you are thinking about it or not.
This morning it hit me – we are the same ‘moment by moment’ example for our children about marriage.
If my kids see the reward of a Godly, loving, passionate marriage, they will follow the example. If they see the drudgery of an obligated, lifeless marriage, they will rightfully question the validity of what I say about doing marriage God’s way.
Do your kids see you lock lips in your home when you first see each other? Do they see the passion power of years of Gods faithfulness? Or are they seeing the hollow quotes of obligation in the painfully occasional “I love you.” What are we doing for the marriage our kids haven’t even started yet?
Deuteronomy 11 in my Bible is subtitled Love and Obedience Rewarded. The order is important but the result is key. God is compelling us to live and breath with such a remembrance of his love in our life (AND OUR MARRIAGE) that our kids continue life in that example. Join me in praying for a natural reminder of Gods faithfulness played out today in my marriage before my kids. Don’t lose sight of the important in light of the urgent!