Many of you have noticed, I’m sure, that a lot of our recent posts at thefrontieratgrace.com have been about family issues. Some of this is related to the Lord’s current working in my own life. In the past (I wish I could say in the distant past) I once told someone that I didn’t understand why it was important for a man to work on his marriage. By God’s grace, I now have a much better understanding of just how crucial it is for a man to be a steward of his family. If we miss this calling, we miss a huge facet of God’s design for our lives.
Just last Friday I had the opportunity to catch up with two friends from my time living in Chicagoland, and they encouraged me by calling my attention to the marital devotion of Robertson McQuilkin, former president of Columbia Bible College and Seminary. My friend Darren referred me to this link on Justin Taylor’s blog, which referenced an article from Christianity Today Online that McQuilkin wrote back in 2004. Take some time to read the article and I promise you that you’ll be challenged.
McQuilkin’s article is moving, encouraging, and insightful, but perhaps most instructive in this paragraph:
People who do not know me well have said, “Well, you always said, ‘God first, family second, ministry third.’” But I never said that. To put God first means that all other responsibilities he gives are first, too. Sorting out responsibilities that seem to conflict, however, is tricky business.
Maybe at McQuilkin’s urging we should move from “God first, family second, ministry third” to “God first, God first, God first.” McQuilkin knows better than most of us that understanding which of our stewardship hats to wear at a given time takes great discernment. But let’s not miss his powerful point: If God tells us to do be faithful to someone, then being faithful to that someone is not putting that someone above God. It is, in fact, putting God first!
In this vein, I should give our readers a heads up that a soon-upcoming medical procedure for my youngest son may make it challenging for us to post once each weekday for the next couple of weeks. If we miss a day, please consider this a reminder to pray for my son. More than that, consider it a reminder to pray that all of us will put God first, even when that means putting family first.
—Beau StanleyFollow @beaustanley