“Some neighbors,” Stan began one morning, “celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary last weekend with a dinner they had at their home. They were kind enough to invite us.”
“Wow!” I responded. “Fifty years. That’s kind of unusual these days.”
“That’s true,” Stan replied. “And at one point during the dinner, the husband offered a perspective on that.”
“In what way?”
“He gave a little talk about something they, as a couple, had learned early on in their marriage that had a positive impact. As well, he gave a great testimony of how the same thing applies to a person’s faith walk, including mine.”
“Tell me about it,” I replied.
“The husband said that when they were first married, he spent too much time focusing on himself and what he wanted. He came to realize the importance of approaching everything with his wife from the standpoint that if it was important to her, he made sure it was important to him as well.”
“If it’s important to her, it’s important to him,” I repeated. “Good lesson.”
“At that point,” Stan replied, “the wife interjected and said that she had learned the same approach to him and that it had done wonders for their relationship with one another.”
“Kind of like the ‘deny self’ part of discipleship,” I commented.
“Exactly,” Stan replied, “and that was the next point that the neighbor made in his little talk. He said that as important as that attitude was in his relationship with his wife, it was even more crucial in his relationship with God.”
“How so?” I asked.
“If something is important to God, he makes certain it’s important to him. And it’s supposed to be the same for me, although I’m not real good at that too much of the time.”
“Did your neighbor shed any light on how he keeps that focus, both on his wife and on God?”
“He did,” Stan replied. “He put it in terms of knowing her and in knowing God. Without taking the time to listen to what’s important to either one of them, there’s little chance he’s going to know what’s important and how to respond.”
“Didn’t Jesus say something about eternal life being about knowing Him and His Father?”
“He did,” Stan replied. “We’ve talked about that before and we will probably talk about it again because it’s important. Once a person has the assurance of spending eternity in God’s presence, that person is to spend the rest of the time on this side of eternity pursuing knowing God the Father and Jesus the Son in an ever-deepening personal relationship.”
“That knowledge,” he concluded, “has the potential to impact everything I think, say, and do while I wait for the train, including making what’s truly important the top priority!”
Bible verses to consider:
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16.
And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. John 17:3.
Let marriage be held in honor among all, . . . Hebrews 13:4.
Consequently they (husband and wife) are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate. Matthew 19:6.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you considered me important enough to send your Son into the world so that I could believe and have life eternally with you when it’s time. Thank you for those who brought me to that truth, as well as to the truth of being allowed to pursue the eternal life of knowing you and Jesus. Thank you, too, that you, through your word and the voice of the Holy Spirit, let me know what you consider to be important. Please help me in following every step of your lead in making what’s important to you important to me, knowing that what you make important to other people is also to be important to me. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: What’s important to God is to be important to you. Do you agree with that? Why or why not? Is the opposite true, that what’s important to you is supposed to agree with what’s important to God? If so, how are you doing with that? How about in making important to you what God makes important to other people in your life? If you sense changes may be in order, do you want to make those changes? If so, how are those changes going to happen?