Devotional

“Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.” And he said, “‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”  – Matthew 19:4-6.

Leonard Bernstein, director of the Philharmonic Orchestra, was once asked what was the hardest instrument in the orchestra to play. The orchestra leader thought for a second and said “second fiddle!” As any musician knows, every instrument is vital to the total sound of the orchestra. The finest musician in each section of the orchestra always occupies first chair. However, there can be no orchestra without those playing second, third, and even fourth chair.

Being second fiddle in a relationship doesn’t sound all that good. Every one wants to be first, number one, the person who gets all the credit. Who doesn’t want to be center stage?  Many times, we aren’t all that willing to play second fiddle to God. We want to determine our destiny. We want to be in charge of our future. We want to make choices based upon what we know, what we want, what we think.

But when it comes to God, I’m not sure we can even be considered “second fiddle” players. And that includes marriage. While most people think of marriage as a union between man and wife, there is also a third entity in every marriage, God. When it comes to marriage, both the husband and wife should play the second chair to God. We think the key to our marriage is loving our spouse better, or them loving us better. But Jesus tells us that the first and greatest commandment is that we love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. (Mark 12:29-30). This means when God sits in the first chair, we see love differently, and can love our spouse in extraordinary ways. When we decide to make our relationship with God first in our lives, everything else will naturally fall into the right order. Our relationship with God should be a top priority.

When we love God first, our relationship with our spouse will transform. This should come as no surprise given God’s tremendous love for us through the death of His only Son, and the fact that God loved us first. What greater foundation can you have with your spouse than one that is formed by the presence of God’s unconditional love? 

If your spouse has put God in the first chair and you in the second chair, that is a good thing. Putting God center stage is the foundation for a stronger marriage.

Discussion questions:

  1. A lasting and fulfilling marriage will require a significant investment in your relationship with God and your spouse. Agree or disagree and why? 
  2. How does the idea of playing second fiddle play out in other relationships?  
  3. Ask God to give you wisdom as you seek His instruction and apply it to your life and marriage this week and year.