Think about it. On your death bed, what will you be thinking? Will you be regretting not having more money? How about having watched more TV? Putting more hours into work, watching sports, getting one more promotion, getting the fancier car, spreading more gossip?
Will you be regretting time wasted on things instead of people?
On your death bed, what you will regret will be lost opportunities to build more and stronger relationships.
You can’t take money, jobs, cars, or TV with you when you die. These things are temporal and do not last.
The only thing you can take with you are the relationships you have built. The only thing that lasts forever are the time and efforts invested in developing relationships. Your relationship with God, your spouse, your kids, your relatives and friends will last on into eternity. Relationships with saved loved-ones will last forever in heaven.
Your #1 priority while here on earth is building these relationships. You will not find satisfaction in any other activity.
Satan and the world continue to try and sell anything and everything else as *the* source of fulfillment. These things may provide distraction or pacification for a short time. However, they cannot provide a source of fulfillment, purpose, and strength.
1. The first relationship you need to build is with God.
God has an unlimited supply of strength for you to draw on. He is your source of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If you expect to draw love from anyone else, you will drain them and sap the strength out of them. Your relationship with God must come first, in order for you to be continually filled to overflowing with love that in turn you can pour out on others around you.
2. Your next priority is to minister to your spouse.
The bible says that husbands should love their wives (Eph 5:25, Col 3:19). Notice this is not optional, nor does it say “love your wife when you feel like it”. God wouldn’t tell us to do it without giving us the ability to do it. You must decide and make a commitment to love your wife regardless of your feelings. Once you make the commitment and take action on it, your feelings will catch up. Loving your wife is your most important ministry. You need to treat your wife better than you treat anyone or anything else. You need to speak highly and kindly about your wife to other people whether she is around or not.
God’s kind of love must be learned. (Titus 2:3-5) The natural, fleshly kind of love centers on self fulfillment and is only concerned with what it wants. God’s love is not concerned about self, and instead is more concerned about the other person.
When the husband/wife relationship is out of balance, then there is strife and contention in the home. This strife is like a cancer that destroys everything else in the home and steals any and all blessings that God wants to pour out on the family.
Children look to the parents for love and security. If the parents do not have a loving relationship, then they cannot strengthen each other, and the parents do not have anything left to pour out on the children. The children then become a drain.
3. Train up your children
Next is to pour your love and attention into your children. Time is the most valuable asset we have. Children value time and attention higher than anything else. Too often we bend over backwards trying to buy the best, latest, and greatest toys out of guilt for not having spent enough time with our kids when all they need is your attention.
Train up your children in the way that they should go. If you do not maintain discipline over your children, you are setting them up for failure. They need to learn there are consequences for behavior. They need the consistency and security of a stable, firm, loving home environment. You provoke your children to wrath by being inconsistent with your discipline, or spoiling your children by not disciplining them. They are provoked to wrath because they gain an expectation of being able to get away with bad behavior and then resent being disciplined for things they have gotten away with in the past.
Children learn more from watching you. They learn how to develop relationships by watching how you develop relationships. This again leads back to the importance of a healthy husband and wife relationship in the home.
4. Know your role
God has especially created us to fulfill certain roles. We are “coded” and tailor made to fulfill specfic purposes in our lives.
Satan and popular culture have sold most of the world lies that fulfillment only comes from a career and accumulation of possessions. Those who buy into this lie, end up bitter and/or depressed due living an unfulfilled, aimless life.
We will only truly enjoy the things that we have been created to do.
The role of a husband is to submit to and willingly love and obey God, love his wife, and love his children. After that, his next priority is to provide for his family. The bible says that if a man doesn’t provide for his family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever (1Tim 5:8).