"Constantly remind the people about these laws, and you yourself must think about them every day and every night so that you will be sure to obey all of them. For only then will you succeed" (Joshua 1:8).
Jim was a driven man. He loved his wife and his four children. But the thing that consumed almost every waking thought was, "How can I be a greater success? How can I earn the praise of men?"
Through neglect his family began to disintegrate, and he came to me for counsel. His wife was interested in another man; he was alienated from his children. Three were involved in drugs and one had attempted suicide twice.
"Where have I gone wrong?" Jim asked.
I reminded him of the Scripture, "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?"
According to Scripture, a man's priorities are first, to love God with all his heart, his soul and his mind, and then to love his neighbor as himself. Since his closest neighbors are his wife and children, his second priority is his wife. A good marriage takes the Ephesians 5:25 kind of love. "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church," a sacrificial, giving love.
The third priority is his children. He must show love to them, not by giving them things, but by giving them himself, spending time with them, letting them know they are far more important to him than his business.
A man must love his wife and children unconditionally as God loves him - not when, if, or because they are good and deserve to be loved.
And the fourth priority I discussed with Jim was his business. A man's business must be dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jim surrendered his life to Christ. After almost three years of implementing the Bible's priorities, Jim's family again was united in the love of Christ, and God had given Jim and his wife a new-found love for Himself and for each other.
The law of God is clear: When we disobey Him, he disciplines us as a loving father and mother discipline their child, and when we obey Him, He will bless us.
Today's Action Point
I will seek to please the Lord in all that I do, knowing that I will experience His blessings when I obey Him, and His discipline when I disobey Him.