Over a decade ago and not too long after Vicki and I were married, she said something to me that we still chuckle about to this day. At the time, it was somewhat surprising and unexpected but it was also exactly what I needed to hear. It made an impact on me then and even now it serves as a reminder of the wisdom of my wife and the need to keep my priorities in order.
In college, I had gotten into a routine that consisted of studying, socializing and spending my free time in front of a computer. I was an avid internet gamer and unfortunately I carried this habit (truthfully it had become an addiction by this time) into our marriage.
One evening, as I sat in front of the computer playing, Vicki came in and began to speak to me and seek my input on various topics. Being quite distracted and trying to divide my attention, I gave short, one word answers and grunts. As she continued to try and communicate with me I continued to play and give her less than my full attention.
Finally, she came and stood in front of me and said “Stop playing! Look at this!’ She was holding something in her hands that she had been desperately trying to show me for several minutes while I sat there obliviously.
Her actions worked wonderfully for a couple of reasons. Vicki almost never raises her voice and almost never makes demands of anyone besides herself. She’s the sweetest person I’ve ever met and probably the most selfless as well. For her to interject herself in front of me and verbally command me to put my attention where it should have been all along was eye opening and very effective.
I immediately realized what a jerk I was being and how unfairly I was treating her. I had let bad habits from my past creep into our new relationship and life together and they were jeopardizing the marriage that we were tying to build.
Needless to say, “Stop playing! Look at this!” became a rallying cry for me to remember that the relationship between Vicki and I is the most important relationship that I have on this earth and is second only to my relationship with the Lord. As long as I am on this earth it is my privilege and responsibility to honor my wife with my time and full attention whenever she needs it.
I wonder how many of us take a similar approach in our walk with God. We bring bad habits and old ways of doing things into our new relationship with our Heavenly Father and when He speaks, we only half listen if we listen at all.
Brothers and sisters, this ought not be so. God not only deeply desires our undivided love and attention, He truly deserves it. Don’t let it come to a “Stop playing! Look at this!” moment between you and the Lord before you decide to love Him with your whole heart and give Him everything you have. There is deep joy and abiding peace in full surrender to the Lord Jesus. Come willingly, come gladly and come before it is too late.