Over the last couple weeks I have been considering some wisdom from one of my favorite radio hosts, Scott Wilder. Scott addressed the issues of the day, and politics was the top category of discussion. On a regular basis Scott would discuss the concept of our Highest Associations. As Christians, we are Christians before we are Americans, or a member of a political party. Our worldview is formed by our highest association as Christ Followers. Since attending family camp this summer I have really been processing this. We should seek to keep these associations in order so that we can accomplish the tasks God has for each of us.
The Top 3 of associations for a Christian married adult would be as follows.
After these 3 then some may add their profession, political affiliation, ministry role, etc.
My family had the opportunity to attend Sky Ranch Family Camp this summer. I was struck how the conversations in our sessions on Marriage turned from Marriage to Parenting. Parents are worn out and marriages are suffering as moms feel like Uber drivers and dads are wrapped up in their careers. After our faith, our families are of utmost importance. Satan would love nothing more to destroy the family structure. When we allow associations below the top 3 to take priority over any of the top 3 then we give the enemy a weapon to destroy us.
In my life, I have had seasons where my work or political persuasion have crept in to the top three. Looking back at those seasons I am thankful that the damage was not devastating to my testimony as a Christian, Husband, or Father but I do know it marginalized my effectiveness. At family camp, I realized I need to make sure that I need to make sure that I simply need to keep the top 3 in order. After being a Christian I need to be husband before I am dad. My wife needs that and my boys need to see this. My young sons need to know that Dad walks with Jesus, loves their Mom, loves them. Our children need to see moms and dads that are one. When our parent title takes priority over our marriage our marriages will suffer.
The weekend before July 4, I got on Twitter to see many Pastors arguing and commenting about patriotic elements in Sunday worship. I found myself agreeing with the comments on both sides. If a July 4 service was an Ode to America and the Gospel was left out, that would be inappropriate. I also agreed that we should thank God for our freedoms and celebrate the birth of a nation where we can freely worship God. There can be a balance if we keep the message of the Gospel as the priority message. If we fail to do so, then the patriotic songs and messages can become idols that take us off of our message. May the people that enter our churches see the name of Jesus lifted high and all Glory given to God.
In today’s political climate we are extremely divided. Not only are we divided, but we struggle to be able to communicate civilly with those we disagree with. In our American political scene, Republicans and Democrats are now Conservatives and Liberals and they fail to work together as American servants. We need people in government that are Americans over their political or ideological association. I am thankful those serving in government our state and country in government that are Christians first. We need more of this. I have been intentional lately to not call myself a Conservative Christian. I would rather be know as a Christian Conservative. As stated before, I would rather be known as the Husband and Father titles than my work or political associations.
I feel compelled to encourage the men and Pastors I work with to consider this in each of your lives. I have seen many men and ministries compromised and even ended as a result of sin. Satan gets us where he wants us when our work, ministry, or our calling take priority over our walk with Christ, our marriages, and our families. When we try to live in our own power its like giving the Devil a stick to hit us with. Seek Christ daily, love your wife, lead your children and look for every opportunity to share Jesus in a world that needs Him desperately.