Lately, I have become fascinated with American history. It did not matter much to me when I had to learn it in school; but, now that I’m older, it amazes me how far this country came in just a few hundred years. When I look at everything from the pilgrim’s determination to all the battles we fought for freedom, it is clear that God’s favor was on us. And even though so many want to deny it, this nation was founded on Christian principles.
I love the Preamble to America’s Constitution:
We the people…
Of the United States,
In order to form a more perfect union,
Insure domestic tranquility,
Provide for the common defense,
Promote the general welfare,
And secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,
Do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
And, of course, this famous statement from America’s Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their
Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
I was born during the Reagan administration and it seems like American patriotism was celebrated much when I was little. It affected me as a child. I had such pride in this country, even before I was old enough to understand how it came to be a nation.
When I think about all the men who died in our war for independence (and in both world wars), I think about how incredibly devoted to America they had to have been in order to pay the ultimate price for their country. We enjoy some pretty incredible freedoms because of the men who said, “No, you can take our lives, but we will not give up our freedom!” Devotion to one’s country is powerful!
As I was thinking about what patriotic words I could write for today’s post, I had the thought, “What if we were as devoted to our marriages as soldiers are to their country?” It seems like we would have a much lower divorce rate and a much higher rate of marital satisfaction.
The truth is: we are soldiers. We are told in Ephesians 6 to put on the whole armor of God (see Ephesians 6:10-20). As His followers, we are called to give our ultimate devotion to Him. And here’s the beauty of devoting ourselves to our Heavenly Father first: when we do, all the rest of our priorities fall into place.
There are some amazing military families out there. When I think of the devotion it takes for a woman to hold down the fort while her husband is overseas fighting (and the devotion it takes for a man to leave his family to fight), I am overwhelmed with respect for military families.
Sadly, many military relationships fail after soldiers return from war. I cannot begin to understand the horrors of war. I don’t know what our men go through when they are faced with the realities of death and desolation. Yet, it saddens me when men (or women) who are willing to die for love of country lose their families for a lack of devotion to their marriages.
Our Ultimate Master
I’m thankful that my utmost devotion is to the Lord. I love my country. I pledge my loyalty to my country; but, America… is not my permanent home. My eternal home is waiting for me and my deepest devotion is to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As I said before, when we devote our lives to following Christ, our priorities fall into place. When we love Him first, His love trickles down into our love lives. We love our spouse (and others) more when we have the love of God flowing through us.
If we will devote ourselves to God, we will also naturally devote ourselves to our spouses and families. When God works in our hearts, He also works in our priorities. It is good and noble to fight for freedom. I am so thankful for my ancestors who stared death in the face and were not moved. I am thankful that I was born in this land that I love. But, more importantly, I am thankful for the land which is waiting for me and the Savior who is preparing a place for me (John 14:1-6).
Where do your devotions lie? Do you find yourself wholly devoted to your country, but half-heartedly devoted to your sweetie or spouse? What about God? Does He have your ultimate devotion?
As you celebrate Independence Day, consider who you are serving. Are you serving your country first, and God and your sweetie after, or does God take precedence over everything else? Choose you this day whom you will serve (Joshua 24:14-15).
Happy Fourth of July!
Who has your ultimate devotion?