Fan the Flame
"Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place." Revelation 2:4,5
A newfound faith in Christ is exciting. That excitement also being easy to lose. The first feelings of excitement and joy of the Christian walk will not automatically last forever. The newness of the relationship with the Father, free of guilt and full of purpose, is thrilling but must be maintained. If it is not maintained, the pressures of the world around us will put out the fire. Prayer and obedience are essential to keep the original passion alive.
This principle also applies to our marriages. We've all experienced the moment when we said, "I do" to our spouse. In some ways, we feel we've reached our goal on our wedding day. But, as with graduation ceremonies that honor young men and women who have successfully completed their course work, our wedding day should be called commencement, which means "beginning."
The wedding ceremony signals not so much the end of one era as the beginning of another. The man and woman are starting a new life together as one. Just as the book of Revelation comes at the end of the Bible-some look at it as the finish line or end of the story. But we know that our lives on this earth are just the "dating years," just the course work. Revelation is our commencement. We're getting ready to live forever. Hallelujah!
So, we begin our relationships passionately with high expectations. The newness of our love for each other propels us through the first adjustment period. However, as the complexities and concerns of life begin to place pressure on the relationship, we can lose our excitement. Just as our spiritual lives need continual maintenance, so do our marriages.
First, it is important to anticipate the reality stage. Knowing that as a couple when we enter that stage it will help us not to become disappointed. Both spouses are human beings who are going to make mistakes. That is a reality. There will be times of disagreement.
Second, couples need to maintain communication. They need to talk about how they can keep the joy of their love alive. Relationships take time, effort and thought. Just as the benefits of renewing the enthusiasm for our spiritual lives are countless, so is renewing our marriage. Excitement about the marriage is not a flash of fire that ignites and then quickly burns out. It's an ongoing flame that must be maintained.
It is so easy to fall into a rut when it comes to our marriage relationship. Think of ways you can reach out to your spouse that maybe you used when you were dating. Plan and prepare a special dinner you know he enjoys. I have always said that the everyday, little things sometimes mean the most. A kind word; a smile; a hug can go along way in keeping the home fires burning. And when you feel you are being taken for granted talk about it, don't harbor ill feelings, allowing them to mount up inside of you.
Find that loving feeling in each new day and show it to your spouse. Live today in the light of knowing that we are getting ready to live forever and move in the light of that eternal view.
I love you & He loves you more!
Lord, Bless our marriage. Help me to see the importance of 'marriage maintenance' and seek to work at loving my husband the way You love me. Place a flame inside of both of us to move us to work together to make our marriage the best it can be. In Jesus' name. Amen.