We think that the progress of society somehow means better–better me, better you, better job. But even with all that society can accomplish, we can’t seem to solve the big problems facing humanity. We can genetically modify seeds to produce endless amounts of corn, yet people still die of hunger every day. We can harvest stem cells and perform embryonic research, but disease continues to ravage humanity. We can connect with anyone on the planet, but we still suffer from depression and loneliness. We can amass billions of dollars, yet our cities swell with the homeless and impoverished. People still murder and get sick and leaves their spouses. Society could build a tower that reaches the moon if it wanted, but it will never mend all the broken pieces of the human race.
In generations past a father was judged solely in terms of our ability to provide economically.
Today, being a godly father also means having a close relationship with our children and being actively involved in their lives.
Gallup studied men who had been super successful in exceeding business, financial, and career goals to identify their keys to personal success. The most essential factor found was the consistent attention they received from their fathers when they were young.
The supreme challenge a man faces is not on the athletic field, not in the boardroom, not in the gym, and not in reviewing his net worth–the greatest challenge a man faces is learning how to be a God-fearing dad for his children.
Don’t set yourself up for disappointment; 2 imperfect people can never have a perfect marriage.
God uses the imperfections in each of us to constantly remind us that the true source of joy and satisfaction is not in our spouses but only in Him.
At the same time, it’s not our job to inform our spouses about every blunder we find in every situation. When we find fault in something our spouse has done, we are usually adding a negative element to our relationships.
The dominant response to consistent criticism will ultimately cause the other person’s personality to close up and go silent. There needs to be twice as much affirmation as criticism. At LEAST!
Jennifer and I are very different. But “imperfect Marcus” gets to celebrate with “imperfect Jennifer” our common love for the “perfect Christ.”
Galatians 6:8, “Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.“
This does not mean that God is a vengeful God looking to avenge any slight sin. The image of sowing-reaping indicates that the process of moral consequences is much more natural than that. This reference to agriculture indicates that the moral universe has processes. If you sow seed poorly, you reap a poor crop. If you eat fatty foods, you reap a poor heart. If you give in to your sinful nature, you reap spiritual breakdown and even destruction.
God is clear: “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below (Exodus 20:4).”
So what is an idol today? Tim Keller defines it as “anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give.”
In other words, an idol is a counterfeit god that has such control of your heart that you can spend most of your passion and energy, your emotional and financial resources, on it without a second thought. It’s basically “spiritual adultery.” We can locate them by looking at our daydreams. What are our fondest dreams? AND because idols give us a sense of control in life, we can locate them by looking at our nightmares. What do we fear the most? Because they replace God as lord of our lives we can locate idols by looking at our most unyielding emotions. What makes us uncontrollably angry or anxious?