How to Have Good Things in Your Life

Do you want good things in your life?
Do you want to have good friends? Do you want your children to love you? Do you desire peace and love in your marriage? Do you want to have a relationship with your family (mom, dad, grandparent, uncle, etc.) It has been said many times by far more intelligent people than me that the true “good things” in life can not be bought with money. That may be true, but they can be bought. Or, at least pursued.

“I thought, ‘Surely I will die surrounded by my family after a long, good life.
Job 29:17-19

Want Good Friends?
If you want a friend, be a friend. Pursue your friends. Don’t wait for them to call you, you call them. Don’t wait for someone to invite you to lunch, you invite them to lunch. Drop by their office, chat for a minute, say something kind, and let them get back to work (Don’t ever waste their time, that’s not friendly). Did they hurt you? Forgive them. Forgive them before they apologize. Do they need something? Don’t wait for them to ask, just give them what they need.

The seeds of good deeds become a tree of life; a wise person wins friends.
Proverbs 11:29-31

Want Good Kids?
If you want your children to love you, if you want your children to love what you love (whether that is Jesus, Baseball, playing guitar or getting good grades), then you have to pursue your children. When they are little you have to get down on the floor with them and play with their toys. You have to watch the TV shows and movies that they are interested in – with them. You have to read books to them that fire up THEIR imagination. As they get older YOU have to be the one to pursue them to play catch, throw the frisbee, play PS3, go with them to the animal shelter to look at the puppies, go on a date with your daughter, talk about school, their friends and what’s going on in their life. It has to be your idea to pursue them IN THEIR WORLD. Text with you daughter. Be playful. Don’t constantly scold them about how “when I was young we had actual conversations with our friends, not all this texting nonsense.” (BTW, men, pursuing your own children is one of the most attractive/sexy/awesome things you can do to make your wife thrilled with you. I’m just saying.)

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
Deuteronomy 6:6-8

Want a Good Marriage?
Pursue your wife. Pursue your husband. There is nothing more encouraging and affirming in this world than to have the person who knows you better than anyone else in the world (warts, rolls and all) take hold of your hand and smile at you. Ask them how they are feeling. Tell them how you are feeling. Snuggle up next to them on the couch, scoot over next to them. Leave them a note by their keys just to let them know you were thinking of them. Send them an Email. Make a Google Calendar appointment for ice cream and a walk. Use the new Cards app to send them a silly or thoughtful card, a real card, in the mail! Men, the best way to ruin your marriage is to work all day, come home tired and distant, and sit on the couch “relaxing.” Women, the best way to ruin your marriage is to hold a bunch of expectations in your heart and build a silent wall of resentment. Pursue each other instead with kindness, compassion, mercy, grace, forgiveness and hope.

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Ephesians 5:20-22

Want a Good Family?
Pursue your family. I’ve already mentioned that we need to pursue our kids and our spouse, but we need to pursue the original members of our family, too. We must honor our mother and our father. We must be our brother’s keeper (and sister). There are probably no deeper wounds than the wounds that are inflicted by mom, dad, brother, sister, aunt and uncle. The worst damage ever done to you was probably by one or more of them, and the worst damage that you will ever do to someone is probably something you say or do to your child, your niece, your nephew, your grand-child or your brother or sister. It is sobering and depressing to think about, but the heaviest baggage we carry was probably handed to us by close family.
So, we need to do two things. First, we need to pursue our close family with kindness and grace. We must be careful to not inflict damage on those who are closest to us. Second, we need to pursue forgiveness (and possibly reconciliation) with family members that we have hurt and who have hurt us.
We should call our mom and our dad on the phone. Visit them in person as much as possible. Make them feel loved and appreciated. There is very little that is more depressing than the feeling of being abandoned by your children, or unloved by them. Just keep them in the loop for what’s happening in your life. Ask them what’s happening in their life and how they feel about it. Don’t try to fix them, you are not their psychologist or their pastor. Give them what they need without asking. When the time is right bring them into your home and provide and care for them.

If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”
Ephesians 6:2-4

Because We Were Pursued First
In all of these things we are imitating Christ. God pursues us. He is the Seeker. He did not require that we get things together and come up to His level, instead He incarnated into our world, became one of us and gave His life for us. He reached out to us, forgave us and continually pursues us. God wants us to pursue the people in our lives in the same way that He has pursued us.

We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4:18-20

So, pursue the good life. Pursue your friends, your children, your spouse, and your family. Don’t sit there waiting for them to pursue you. It doesn’t matter if they ever pursue you or not. Everything good is a gift from God. He gives to us and in response we give to the people in our lives. You love God by loving others. You go first. Your life depends on it!