I have to admit that, while I have been VERY busy caring for 3 little girls that I love more than life, I have been intentionally putting this off. This is a very tough subject, one that I am working through right now. God has been showing me that, in order for my girls to bring good to their husbands, they have to learn now to put God 1st!
A woman has many fears and insecurities. Anyone who has lived any number of years knows that man - father, brother, uncle, cousin, grandfather, boyfriend, friend, husband - is going to contribute to those. 99.99% of the time it will be unintentional. 0.01% of the time it will stem from anger, jealousy, selfishness, etc. and will be intentional. Hey, they're human just like we are. If a woman is looking for her safety and security in a man, she will be sadly disappointed. He CANNOT meet those needs 100% percent of the time, without fail. And to ask him to is, in my opinion, wrong. That is not what he was created for. Only God can provide the security we need in every situation and circumstance.
When my dad passed away suddenly, I experienced a deep, agonizing pain. I turned to a man for my comfort, and though he was sweet and kind and caring and let me cry all I needed to, he couldn't provide the relief my heart needed. It wasn't until I searched for God's face that the darkness lifted, and I could smile again. This was an incident that would be considered "unintentional" on his part. It was not that he didn't care or didn't want to relieve those hurts and insecurities, he simply couldn't. He didn't have the ability.
There have been times in my marriage that my husband has made selfish choices. We, as humans, are all selfish by our very nature. I'm selfish. My husband is selfish. When he has made those choices (even something small like walking off while I'm in the middle of a sentence because he is simply not paying attention), he has "intentionally" contributed to to my fears and insecurities. No, maybe it wasn't his goal to hurt me, but he also wasn't thinking of me when he made his choices. The times he has done this and God was not 1st in my life were some of the darkest days in my marriage. See, when God is not first, Satan's lies are louder and can be heard clearer. He does not want marriages to survive and thrive. So, during these times, I would hear "He doesn't love you" and "He wants out of this" and "This isn't worth working on". All of which are lies of the Devil. However, when my husband has done these things and God is 1st, I see my husband as the human he is. I see that he needs my love and support more than ever. I see my opportunity to be his helpmeet - which I was created to be - and I have a desire to help him learn. That doesn't mean it doesn't hurt when he is selfish and that there are no tears shed. I just have a different outlook. The saying "God will not give me more than I can handle" is NOT true. Sometimes people (not just husbands) make choices, in their sinful nature, that are more than I can handle. However, God will help me handle anything He allows me to go through. When my husband makes selfish choices that hurt me, and God is 1st in my life and heart, this is my outlook.
(**These two instances are NOT meant to compare a previous boyfriend with my husband. That first instance was just the most life-altering situation I have lived through. The situations with my husband are the most "real" because it is my life now. I love my husband dearly, and I am 100% devoted to him!!!**)
This is why I need to teach my girls - NOW - the importance of putting God 1st. I truly believe ANY marriage can survive if each partner puts God FIRST!!!
This is where I'm struggling with words. What does it look like when God is 1st? Reading the Bible? Praying? Going to church regularly? Going on the mission field? Serving at church?
A person who has God in 1st place will do most, if not all, of these things. However, I've known people who have done these things and later realized they were not even Christians! They were just good people. So, even though these things can be a sign that God is 1st, doing them does not mean that He is.
So, how do we teach our children how to make God 1st?
Like I said, I'm still learning this myself. As God shows me more, I will continue to post on this subject. I just felt like I had to share what I've already learned and stop putting it off just because I haven't finished learning.
Feel free to share your feelings on this subject. What do you do to teach your children HOW to put God 1st in their life and heart? (And I'm referring to after salvation.)