Falling in love again

At a local school 4th graders were asked questions about love.

Roger was asked what falling in love is like. He said:  "It’s like an avalanche where you have to run for your life."

Jan was asked why love happens between two particular people. She said:"No one is sure why it happens, but I heard it has something to do with how you smell. That's why perfume and deodorant are so popular."

Harlan was asked the same question. He said:"I think you're supposed to get shot with an arrow or something, but the rest of it isn't supposed to be so painful."

Bobby added: "Love will find you, even if you are trying to hide from it. I have been trying to hide from it since I was five, but the girls keep finding me." 

What’s harder -- to fall in love or to stay in love?  Unless you’re Dr. Spock from Star Trek it’s harder to stay in love. A healthy marriage is the greatest picture of God’s desired relationship with fallen man.

Do you remember when you first fell in love with your spouse?  After 45 years of marriage I can confidently say falling in love was easy compared to staying in love.  What’s so amazing of love at first sight?  It’s staying in love for half a century! Now THAT’S is a miracle! 

Pastors, how many of you remember a time when the romance in your marriage was dying?  When the special feeling wasn’t there?  When the spark had gone out? What did you do?  

I believe a great answer for us is found for us in Revelations 2:5 when Jesus was talking to the church that had lost its first love for Him. In my opinion if you do what Jesus told the church in Ephesus to do, you too can get back your first love in your marriage! Four things to do if you’ve lost that loving feeling.  

Revelation 2:5 “Jesus said ‘The love you had at first is gone.  Remember how far you have fallen.  Return to Me.  Change the way you think and act and do what you did at first.”

The first thing is to Remember. He says if you want to get the lost love back you start remembering why you fell in love in the first place.  Think about those good times.  Remember the happy days.  Remember the feelings of being smitten and rekindle those feelings. The first thing you do is to simply remember. “Why did I fall in love with her (him) in the first place?”

Next, Jesus says to Return.  Turn your focus back to your spouse.  Over the years your focus can get fixed on a lot of other things – important things; your church, your effectiveness, your finances, your kids. Jesus says if you want to return to your first love you’ve got to turn your attention back. Refocus. 

Third, Jesus says to Repent.  Change the way you think and act. Love is a choice.  It’s a commitment that says, I’m going to put your best interests over my own. Anything other than that is not love. It’s not love unless you’re saying, “I want to put your interests ahead of my interests.”  That’s what real love is.  And love is a choice. And you can choose to love.  You choose who you’re going to love and you choose who you’re not going to love.

So you can make a choice and say, “I’m going to choose to draw close to my spouse afresh and anew.”  That’s called repentance – changing the way you think and act.  

And finally Repeat.  Do what you did at first.  Do the things you did when you first fell in love.  Act the way you used to act. Feelings always follow actions.  I heard someone say, “It’s easier to act your way into a feeling than it is to feel your way into an action.”  If you wait to feel like you want to draw close to your spouse the devil will make sure you never feel it.  So you choose to act in a loving way. The feelings will come back. 

This foolishness that says a guy can’t continue “pretending” to be in love with his wife so he needs to be honest with her and walk out of the marriage?  That’s a bunch of…something. Hey!  If you’re not doing the things that you used to do ----  THAT’S why you’ve lost that loving feeling.

You know what the greatest enemy of marital romance is? It’s not adultery.  It’s not anger.  It’s not bitterness.  The number one enemy of romance is busyness.  In a manner of speaking you’re just too busy telling other people how to fall in love with Jesus. Meanwhile you don’t have time to stay in love with your spouse.  What you DID when you fell in love you must CONTINUE to do to stay in love.  And if you don’t -- you won’t. It’s that simple.

Hey, nobody in Foursquare is going to make you spend time with your spouse.  Fernando is not going to say at our next District conference , “Forget conference! Go home and spend more time with your spouse.”  YOU have to make time.  Nobody else is going to do it for you. 

If a healthy marriage is the greatest picture of God’s desired relationship with fallen man then guess who wants to keep you from spending time with your spouse?  Church friends, family, parents, even your supervisor would rather have you spend time with your spouse than with them if it meant saving the marriage!   

I don’t care how dedicated a pastor you are or how wonderful a leader you are, if you don’t spend time with your spouse you’re neither a good pastor or a good leader.  The common denominator in every great relationship is real simple: Spend a lot of time together!  That’s how love stays alive!

Nine year old Greg was asked to say something about love. His response:  "Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good too."   

That’s a great quote to end this article and say “Amen!” Love you all!