A new family moved into our church’s neighborhood and while I say they were new, their family had been going to our church for years, but this one branch had finally settled with the rest of the family. I was a young girl in college, playing the piano at church on the weekends. The woman sang in the choir. She situated herself so that she sat beside me when I stepped down from the piano. She would whisper to me about her son that would soon be visiting, place photos of him in my Bible…just plain harass me about the guy. I asked my mother to always be a bearer between me and the crazy lady.
Then her son finally started coming to church with her and he would stare at me through the entire service.
But one Sunday I didn’t play the piano and sat on the back row. Low and behold if the son didn’t sit right in front of me. I thought about slipping out…but then I noticed his shoulders and his hair. Broad and blond…his hair was blond, shoulders broad. He was a professional boxer and had just had his last fight, retired at the age of 28. He had come to his parents’ home to recuperate and plan his future.
His mother decided I was his future.
And I guess I was. We’ll be married 26 years this June.
It was not love at first sight, but there was lots of laughter and the love soon followed. He chased, I told him to get lost, he teased, I laughed, he offered free food and I accepted!
Looking back over the past 26 years…well 28…we dated for two years first….I’ve noticed that sometimes, we take each other for granted, the specialness of our relationship is sometimes missing, we just expect things from the other person because it’s always been given before. Words of thankfulness don’t always appear in our conversations and worst of all, communication sometimes lacks completely.
It’s not that there isn’t love; it’s that the love relationship hasn’t always been tended to. We’ve been busy making sure there are groceries in the cabinets, the cars are all running, the bills are being paid, and the clothes are being washed (just to name a few distractions). These are all good, but not the most important thing.
The love must be nurtured above all else.
But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Luke 10:42 KJV
Unfortunately, this could also be said about some spiritual relationships.
I look at new Christians much like I look at newlyweds and I’m envious. I want that spark and sizzle I see in them, that “can’t stand to be apart from each other” attitude. Their love just oozes….it would be sickening….if it wasn’t so sweet.
When did you fall in love with Jesus? Was it just a few years ago and is the tingly feeling still there? Or has it been many, many years and you sometimes find that you take Him for granted….no need to pray, He knows your every need, and He’s always come through for you in the past….no need to read the Bible, you’ve read it before, nothing has changed, Genesis is still the first book of the Bible, Noah still builds an ark, Jesus still goes to the cross. You know those “stories”, why re-read them? They are kind of hard to understand anyway and sometimes depressing. You would much rather focus on the “Polly Anna” verses…those that make you feel good.
I also remember the first time I met Him. I was a little girl watching Billy Graham on TV. I felt something, this strange heart-racing fear that if I didn’t do exactly what Mr. Graham said, I would not be in Heaven with my family. I ran to the den, hid behind the sofa and prayed for forgiveness of my sins. I begged Jesus to be in my heart like He was the rest of my family’s. I didn’t want to be left behind; I wanted to be with Him and with them.
Don’t ask me what words I said. All I know is that when I stood up from behind the sofa, the fear was gone. I felt….loved, chosen, special.
Much like a bride on her wedding day.
My beloved is mine, and I am his…Song of Solomon 2:16 KJV
Just like our marriage, our spiritual relationship takes work. We have to choose to spend time with The Groom, talk to Him, and listen to Him. We don’t do things to win His love…we already have that….we do things (like love, be kind, follow Him, study His Word) because we want to please Him, we want to know Him on a deeper level.
It takes commitment, it takes obedience, and it takes time. Little by little, we come to the place where all things pale in comparison to Him. We fall in love with Him. We choose Him over activities, over hobbies, over our own private time.
I interpret Luke 14: 26, 33 and Psalm 37:4 in this way:
If you love anyone else more than you love Me, you cannot be my bride. You must love Me so much that even the love you have for your parents, your children, even your spouse looks like hatred. You must forsake all for Me! But, my bride, I will give you the desires of your heart, if you will only delight yourself in Me.
So this month…the month of love…what are you doing to fall in love with Jesus again? What are you doing to revamp your relationship?
I’m sure you’ve been reading this month on some way to re-ignite the fire in your marriage. I challenge you to do the same in your spiritual marriage and you know, most of the suggestions will work either way, for your earthly husband or your heavenly Husband!