If Jesus’ words to the seven churches in the book of Revelation were used as an evaluation of your marriage, what challenges would he have for you? What words of encouragement might you hear?
The church in Ephesus had been established by the Apostle Paul and Timothy. This church started on the right foundation and they were focused on doing right things. In fact, 35 years earlier Paul wrote a letter to this church and praised them for the love they had for each other.
Now, through the apostle John in the book of Revelation, Jesus said to this church, “I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance….You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.” (Revelation 2:2a, 3) Sounds good, doesn’t it? Some of us might look at a married couple described that way and think, “THEY are awesome! They don’t get distracted from doing things for Jesus. When things get tough in life, they still press ahead.”
And those traits are commendable for anyone and any couple! Perseverance, endurance, and faithfulness to God are qualities we should all strive for!
But all is not perfect in Ephesus. Look at what Jesus says to them: “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.” (Revelation 2:4-5)
We’ve seen some couples fill their calendars doing good things. They are busy for God. They make sure they get to their children’s activities. They are involved in the church and in the community. Their schedule is packed with laudable activities.
But in their relationship as a couple they’ve gone into autopilot. The flame, romance, and passion for each other has slowly ebbed away for lack of attention. There isn’t hatred or seething animosity toward each other—just a co-existing partnership doing good things. Somewhere along the way a slow drift settled in and little by little their hearts have grown distant, distracted, diluted.
What would Jesus say about your marriage?
Would he say: “You have been busy doing good things for Me, your family and community. You have served the poor, taught children, even helped people to trust in me. When you have been weary, you have been faithful in your service.”
Hearing that it would be easy to say, “Thanks, Jesus!” and start to walk away only to hear him say, “But I have this one thing against you….”
Slowly you turn to hear what he has to say. Jesus looks at you in the eyes and says, “You have forsaken the love you once had for your spouse. You’ve become so busy that you’ve drowned out the time and focus needed for the gift I’ve given you as your life-mate. Repent—turn from what you’ve been doing—and revisit the things you once did that made your love alive, full, and passionate.”
Would Jesus say this to you? If so, what steps do you need to take to do an about-face and rekindle the love in your marriage?
In his book, Fall in Love, Stay in Love, Dr. Willard Harley describes how he began helping couples fall in love all over again. He writes: “I began to encourage couples to try to do whatever it took to make each other happy and avoid doing what made each other unhappy….whatever it was, that was their first assignment.”
Perhaps this would be a good place for you to start as well. What did you do when you were dating? When you were engaged? We want to challenge you to go back and do the things you did. Clear some things out of your schedule and make time for each other, and fall in love all over again as you Build Your Marriage!