Last week we traveled to California for a little vacation. We visited our daughters and their families and had a great time with out grandsons. The highlight of the trip, and the reason for the timing, was to be there for our youngest daughter’s boyfriend to propose. He’d arranged with us to be present, along with his parents, and some of their friends from church.
It’s so fun to see new love. The excitement. The total focus on one another. The way they go out of their way to please each other. The first bloom of love is beautiful to see and to experience.
They are planning an April wedding which reminded me of my parents, who also married in April. My parents were married for 62 years and had such a wonderful love. To me, they were an example to follow of going from first loving one another to continuing to grow in love. They spent a lifetime getting to know each other, always put the other one first, and loved one another no matter what.
In Revelation 2:4, Jesus says to the church in Ephesus, “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first…”
How many of us have kept up that first love we had for Jesus? That enthusiasm we had to tell others about our new relationship. The way we loved reading the Bible and thanking God for our salvation. How many of us simply go to church now and do our best to get through life without ever working toward a better relationship with God and a deeper love for Him? Are we willing to put in the work needed? And how do we do that?
- Get to know Him: We can spend a lifetime—and should spend our lifetime—getting to know God. He is deep and we are told to seek Him out and know His ways. This is something we need to do every day by reading the Bible and praying for understanding and wisdom. The closer we get to Him, and the more we understand Him, the stronger our relationship will be.
- Put Him first: So many times we approach our faith with the idea of “what can God do for me?” Instead, we need to consider what we can do for Him. Ephesians 2:10 tells us God has a work prepared for us to do. In John 6:29, Jesus tells his disciples, …“This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” Believing in Jesus is a work we are called to do. We are also told to share the gospel. If we look to what God is asking us to do, our whole perspective changes from one of selfish desire—what can God do for me—to one of love and grace and outreach, a reflection of God.
- Love Him no matter what: God doesn’t always answer our prayers the way we want or arrange our lives in the manner we prefer. Sometimes, we don’t understand His ways at all. Yet, God is sovereign. His ways are perfect. He always has our best interest at heart. We need to realize we don’t see the whole picture, and to trust him to be right all the time. He will give us the peace we need for the moment and carry us through the tough times.
While first love is thrilling, love that continues through hard times and grows is even more lovely. It is lasting and fulfilling. It is a love to work for and fight for. A love worth the time and effort to build.
Whether you are just beginning your journey of love or have been in a relationship a long time, consider these points. For your earthly relationships and for your spiritual relationship with God. Take the time to let love grow.