Exodus 20:3 reads “you shall have no other gods before me.” I grew up hearing this verse over and over but it took on a much deeper meaning to me in my adult years. I always considered “other gods” to be something physical like a statue or even a celebrity and therefore felt like I was certainly exempt. I never once thought to worship a golden calf! The truth is that we can begin to idolize not just a physical object, but also someone, or even the idea of someone to a point where God is certainly not pleased.
The reality is the moment we invest so much of our mind, heart, and hope into something that it takes precedence over God we are out of order. Have you ever wanted someone so badly that they were all you could think about? Have you ever longed for a relationship or a marriage so deeply that it consumed your every moment? Have you ever been so deeply in love with someone that they were all you could focus on? If you answered yes to any of these questions, fear not because I can assure you that you are not alone.
At one point in my life I longed so deeply to be in a real, loving, and meaningful relationship I forgot that I was already in one! For there is none greater than the pure, honest, and even passionate relationship we ought to have with our Father in heaven. I vividly remember reaching my mid twenties and feeling the pressure to be married and start a family. That pressure turned into a form of infatuation for the idea of an everlasting union.
The simple truth is that God will not grant you the desires of your heart if you cannot give Him what He deserves first! How can He give you a husband or a wife, (which by the way so happens to also be one of his beloved children) and you have not proven that you can maintain a healthy relationship with Him? Any married person will tell you that marriage is a large commitment. Marriage actually takes time and devotion. If you are granted the privilege to enter into a union, God has to know that you will still put Him first.
I Corinthians 7:32 reads, “ I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs-how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife—and his interests are divided.” Scripture goes on to state the same message for a woman. God knows the time, attention, and discipline marriage takes. He believes in marriage and encourages us to get married, however, when we are single we have no reason to divide our attention. It is in our single years that we should focus on growing our relationship with our first love in heaven.
God is not excusing us married folks, we still have to place Him first and give Him the time and attention he deserves. However, what I have learned is that when we practice this in our single years, maintaining it in our married years is not as difficult. Do the work now! And watch not only how you grow, but also how God prepares you for the desires of your heart.
If you are single and reading this I truly hope you determine what needs to be done in your personal walk with Christ. And remember, the right mate will understand God’s place in your life. You will grow closer to Him when you are with the person He created for you. If you are married, I hope this will serve as a reminder to you, He gave you everything you have and you are STILL required to place His name above all names! Do not ever let the thing you prayed for be the excuse you give God at the pearly gates.
"Everyone wants a relationship until it requires sacrifices. The same applies to our relationshipwith God. Can you truly deny yourself and put God first? Denying yourself is the first step to building a healthy relationship with God. Every ship in your life will reflect how you proioriteze God. That includes your frienships, loveships, workships, and relationships. Make Him first, or prepare to come in last."
Exodus 20:3- 4, NIV
"You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or onthe earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God..."
1 Corinthians 7: 32-35, NIV
"I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned abotu the Lord's affairs- how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world- how he can please his wife- and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world- how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord."