Loving God First

Good Housekeeping ran an article promoting love of God above all

By Don Ruhl

When one of our daughters was younger, she would say, “Dad, I love God and Jesus more than I love you.” She would say the same to her mother. She was not attempting to hurt us or put us down. Truly, we were happy to know that she put God uppermost in her heart.

Jesus Taught Us to Love Him Above All 

In Matthew 10, Jesus, as the Son of the Father in heaven (Mt. 10:32–36), explained that to be worthy of Him, we have to love Him above all, “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me” (Mt. 10:37).

Jesus is the true or ultimate giver of life. Therefore, He can make such a claim upon our hearts. If our children then state that He is their first love, how can we argue with that? We should rejoice.

Jesus Taught Us to Love God Above All 

Later (Mt. 22), a man asked Jesus to state the greatest commandment found in all of God’s word. He showed what is first, and in doing so, He also showed to what degree this commandment must engulf us. Notice what command falls second to the first and great commandment, “But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Mt. 22:34–40).

How shall we react when someone, such as our children, tells us that he or she loves God even more than that person loves us? We should rejoice and tell it to the world.

A Mother in Good Housekeeping 

My wife showed me an article that appeared in Good Housekeeping magazine. She has shown me other articles in the past that were not in harmony with biblical teachings. However, in the article she gave me (and I do not know the issue, but it was a recent one), a mother tells the world what one of her children told her.

The older boys had a half day at school, so they had to come with me on an important errand — heading over to the Sonic Drive-In to get my giant Diet Coke.

As we were leaving, and just as I was taking my first swig of that glorious goodness, Elliott looked at me.

“Do you love Sonic more than you love Dad?” he asked.

“I don’t love anything more than I love your dad,” I replied. “Well, except God.”

“You love God more than you love Dad?”

“Yes,” I said. “Not much more. But if I didn’t love God, then I couldn’t love Dad. At least, not the way I’m supposed to.”

“Am I supposed to love God more than I love you?” asked Elliott.

“Yes,” I said. “At least just a little bit.”

“Well, I love you a little less,” he said tentatively. “But only about 6 percent less.”

I’ve started the school year 106 percent happy.

In Romans 12, Paul said, “Rejoice with those who rejoice…” (Ro. 12:15). Therefore, let us rejoice with her. I do not know all the beliefs of this woman, but she encouraged something good in her son. We should rejoice with her.

Let us pray that more people in secular magazines will, without shame or embarrassment, make such bold declarations, and that more Christian parents will teach their children the truth of loving God supremely, for then, as Rachel Balducci correctly taught her son, people will love others as they should. Love God first, then we can love others as we love ourselves.

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