“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12
Where has the time gone? Sabra and I will be celebrating thirty-eight years of marriage this June. I will be celebrating sixty years of life in September. And our first grandchild is due in a couple of months. Can any of this be possible?
It is not only possible, but it is true. As the 1977 Steve Miller Band song, “Fly Like an Eagle” (has it really been that long?) says: “Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future.”
God said it even better (of course) in James 4:14: “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”
God says to us through Moses’ prayer in Psalm 90:10: “Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.” We know God inspired Moses to write this because he lived much longer than eighty years. Deuteronomy 34:7 says: “Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone.”
Moses may not have known what the future held as far as life expectancy, but God did. So God—-in His omniscience–is telling us what is true even today. Life is short. It is only “a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”
I’m not trying to depress you–or me. I just want us to think about the time we have left. We might be young or we might be close to “seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures.” Whichever it is, we only have a limited time on earth. What will we do with it?
Benjamin Franklin wrote: “Dost thou love life? If so, do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”
I have counseled many people over my years of ministry who have told me their regrets of how they have wasted time. They have expressed regrets about too much time they spent at work or watching television. They say they have not spent enough time with their spouses or children.
The reason we so often regret issues related to our time is that time is a priceless and irreplaceable commodity given to us by God.
People ask me to give them tools to “make time,” “borrow time,” or “save time.” They ask the impossible, for we all get the same amount of time every day. But, of course, I know what they mean when they ask this. And God does give us ways to make the best use of our time. In fact, Moses continues his prayer in Psalm 90:12: “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” In other words, he’s asking God to help us remember how short our lives are and to use each day to serve Him.
We certainly want this to be true in our marriages.
I recall when Sabra and I were dating and how slow the time seemed to move when we were apart. I would certainly “number our days” or hours until I got to see her. But that other part of Moses’ prayer–“that we may gain a heart of wisdom”–I didn’t quite grasp. As a nineteen-year-old, that didn’t have any impact on me.
Fortunately, forty years later, with God’s help, I have gained some wisdom and my perspective has changed. Time seems to pass a lot more quickly now. I have been through some near death experiences. I now know that time is very limited, and we need to be good stewards of it.
So as we begin this study of time and how it impacts our marriages, we must realize that our time—like everything else—is from God and it belongs to Him. Our time here on earth is short, and we must use it to serve and glorify Him. Therefore, we must surrender our time to him, both as individuals and as a couple.
Let us say with David as he wrote in Psalm 31:14-15: “But I trust in you, Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hands.”
Questions for Discussion
♦ Read this week’s teaching and discuss together how God has spoken to each of you.
♦ Discuss together some ways in which you use your time wisely, and some ways in which you waste or misuse time. Talk about how you can do a better job at being good stewards of your time. Be as specific as possible. The more specific you are, the more likely you are to follow through on your commitments.
♦ Sabra and I look at our schedules together every Saturday during our Couple Connect Bible study and prayer time. This allows us to make better plans to use the time God has given to us more wisely. It also allows us to be more aware of each others’ activities so we can stay more unified and pray for each other. You may want to try something like this. Check it our free Couple Connect ebook: Couple Connect – A Simple Weekly Plan to Stay Close for a Lifetime.
♦ Pray together and thank God for the time He provides. Pray Psalm 118:24 (NASB): “This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Ask Him to help you both to use the time He gives you wisely. Commit to pray this at the beginning of every new day.
Next week we will begin learning what God has to teach us about being good stewards of time in our marriages.
Until then may God bless you in all His wonderful ways,
Other posts in the TIME & MARRIAGE series:
Part 1 – Five Years Ago…Five Years Ahead
Part 2 – One in Purpose
Part 3 – Making Time for Rest
Part 4 – Making Time to Love and Serve
Part 5 – The Value of Waiting
Part 6 – How to Wait Well
Part 7 – Strong to the End
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Scripture quotations marked (NASB) taken from the New American Standard Bible® (NASB), Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.Lockman.org