The NIV Couples Devotional - Monday, April 21, 2014

The Really Good Life

Micah 6:1–16

He has showed you, O mortal, what is good.
Micah 6:8

My friend Meg keeps a fuzzy blue sock filled with diamond rings, bracelets and earrings—all gifts from her husband—inside her top dresser drawer. She wears expensive clothes, which her husband insists she buy, and they’re always taking trips to the Bahamas or Hawaii.

My friend is tanned, toned, her hair highlighted and her face lifted, but she’s miserable. Although most people who know Meg and her high-profile husband envy their “good life,” only Meg’s closest friends know how much she hates it.

Most people associate the good life with a nice house, the latest electronic toys and sleek cars, but those things don’t necessarily make life good. My friend would gladly give up everything she owns for a more fulfilling life.

In the community, Meg’s husband is generous and giving and the life of every party. He does favors for everyone and is the first to make a showy donation to a cause. But at home, he’s aloof, demanding, cutting and very controlling. With each new gift he tells my friend, “See how much I love you?” Outwardly, his life looks good, but he misses the mark when it comes to what God requires of him in loving his wife.

The Israelites were also guilty of making showy declarations of love for God, but those gifts were mere bribes. And God abhors such sacrifices. Micah told Israel that God was not impressed or pleased with the offerings of “thousands of rams” and “ten thousand rivers of olive oil” (Micah 6:7).

Instead, what God requires, what he says is good, is to act justly, with fairness and equity; to love mercy and kindness, to be steadfastly dependable, respectful and committed; and to walk humbly with God (see Micah 6:8).

So too in marriage spouses are called to live together sacrificially and with respect (see Ephesians 5:33). We are to “clothe [ourselves] with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12). We are to “keep [our] lives free from the love of money and be content with what [we] have” (Hebrews 13:5).

We are to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above [ourselves], not looking to [our] own interests but each of [us] to the interests of the others.” (Philippians 2:3–4).

The good life, according to Micah 6:8, is not diamonds stashed in fuzzy socks; it’s doing what is good.
Nancy Kennedy

Let’s Talk

  • How do we define the “good life”?
  • In what ways can we show each other justice, mercy and humility? What do I treasure from you as acts of justice, mercy and kindness? What do you treasure from me? In what ways do these differ? In what ways are they the same?
  • What areas do we specifically need to work on in our marriage to live according to Micah 6:8?
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