In this day and time of economic uncertainty in the United States–the land of dreams. American dreams–many of us have had to relegate our dreams to the background. Dreams of owning a home with a white picket fence. Dreams of a summer cottage in the Hamptons. A loaded bank account filled with savings from years of honest employment and 401-K investments. A thriving, family-owned and run business. Our grand country is the land of opportunity. A place known for its wealth and gumption to be # 1 at all costs. What does it mean to live in this land of dreams when one is a Christian (no, not the bubble you check just so that hospital staff know to call a priest on one’s sickbed). What does it mean to be a true believer and follower of Jesus Christ? How can married Christians pursue both the Lord as well as their dreams of attaining wealth and success? For many, these questions register confusion. I might as well have asked, “What came first? The chicken or the egg?”
When you are married with children, it is reasonable and necessary to pursue financial provisions to maintain one’s family. A spouse may work long hours in order to pay the bills. However, in pursuing wealth, one must be careful in spite of his/her intentions to utilize it for their family’s benefit. We have to ask ourselves if what we are pursuing is overshadowing our obligations to be present in our roles as a husband, wife, or parent. If employment or pursuits of a dream continually carry one out to sea while the spouse is standing on the shore waiting for him/her to bring in a fresh wave of commitment and company, priorities may have been lost in the undercurrents.
Sometimes when we pursue things to better ourselves or our families, we can get caught up and lose our purpose. God purposed us to live our lives in this order:
God FIRST, Spouse SECOND, Children NEXT, Career, Hobbies LAST. If one’s job or leisure activities prevent you from performing your spousal and parental duties as given by God in His Word, it is time to relegate them to the back burner and reorient your priorities.
More often than not, the pursuit of anything–career and dreams–involves the pursuit of wealth; but we must look to God’s Word to see what He says about it.
~1Tim. 6:9-10 “But those who crave to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish (useless, godless) and hurtful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction and miserable perishing. 10 For the love of money is a root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have been led astray and have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves through with many acute [mental] pangs.”
~James 1:10-11 “10 And the rich [person ought to glory] in being humbled [by being shown his human frailty], because like the flower of the grass he will pass away.
11 For the sun comes up with a scorching heat and parches the grass; its flower falls off and its beauty fades away. Even so will the rich man wither and die in the midst of his pursuits.”
~Mark 10:23-25 “23 And Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, With what difficulty will those who possess wealth and keep on holding it enter the kingdom of God!
24 And the disciples were amazed and bewildered and perplexed at His words. But Jesus said to them again, Children, how hard it is for those who trust (place their confidence, their sense of safety) in riches to enter the kingdom of God!
25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
~Hebrews 13:5 “5 Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]”
~Matthew 6:24 “24 No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stand by and be devoted to the one and despise and be against the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (deceitful riches, money, possessions, or whatever is trusted in).”
Moreover, we must pursue more than happiness which the United States of America’s Constitution declares is our right; but WE MUST PURSUE CHRIST!!!! Money and dreams cannot save our souls or our marriages, but He can/has for those who accept Him in their hearts and lives!!!! As husbands and wives and parents, we need to pursue to obey God’s commands and instruction.
~Ephesians 5:22-33 “22 Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord.23 For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the church, Himself the Savior of [His] body.24 As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her,26 So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word,27 That He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [that she might be holy and faultless].
28 Even so husbands should love their wives as [being in a sense] their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself.29 For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes it, as Christ does the church,
30 Because we are members (parts) of His body.31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.
32 This mystery is very great, but I speak concerning [the relation of] Christ and the church.
33 However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly].
~Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Amen!!! Pursue the eternal Jesus Christ!!! Jehovah Jireh is our provider!!!! Fret not!!!! God is good!!!:)