Last Saturday I conducted my first wedding. In meeting with the bride and groom to plan their wedding there were several options as far as the vows they would make to each other. The different options said the same basic things, but in differing ways. One of the options included this phrase:
"Will you love her, comfort her, honor and protect her, and forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?"
Those were words for the groom to speak to his bride, and there was a parallel option for the bride to speak to the groom. Within those words of promise is a phrase that makes it an exclusive promise, "forsaking all others." The bride and groom promise that the faithfulness they have to each other will by its very nature exclude anyone else from entering into the closeness that they will share with each other.
For Christians that commitment to forsake all others doesn't just apply to marriage. More importantly, it applies to our relationship with God. In Deuteronomy 5:6-7, God speaks these words in the first of the Ten Commandments:
"I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me."
We are told to "have no other gods" but it seems as if other gods are continually in front of us. They may take the form of relationships, or habits, or pastimes. They may look completely innocent to people seeing us from the outside, people who may even applaud our commitment to some aspect of our life. But what those other people don’t see, what sometimes we don’t even see, is that those other things have a place in our lives that bumps God from His place.
Sometimes it seems as if dealing with "other gods" is a never-ending struggle. But is it too important of an issue to ignore. And God is full of grace and mercy. There is never a time when we can’t come to Him, confess our pursuit of other gods, and take comfort in His embrace.
So take a look at your life, and take a look at the Lord, and then do what it takes to make sure each is in their proper place. For God alone deserves our praise and glory. All day, every day.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.