Keep At It

For those who have been blessed with a good number of great realtionships, especially a wonderful wife or a terrific husband - not only was there a Blesser involved, God, but you had some kind of influence in the establishment and continuation of the relationship. I encourage you to keep it up.

In Revelation 2:1-7, Jesus is having John pen words to not only a local church, but to a dispensation or age of church history and the individual believer throughout time. In this address, Jesus tells them candidly what He "holds against" them. But He does not deliever a conviction without revealing a solution.

"Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first." (verses 4-5)

The issue: "You have forsaken the love you had at first."

The solution:
  1. "Consider how far you have fallen!"
  2. "Repent" (change your mindset)
  3. "Do the things you did at first."
Since Jesus requires His spiritual and physical bride - The Church - to Reflect, Repent and Restore within our relationship with Him, there might be a good chance we will have to apply this to our earthly spouse as well.

So, whether you are just starting out with someone or have been with someone for decades, be sure to remember what drew you to each other and keep that fire lit. The strength and passion of the relationship falls on both partners, not just one. Here are some helps to consider on your joureny as I speak from 29 years of blessed marriage to Tanya.

Whether a newly wed or veteran of marriage, having a regular status check, a check-in meeting on the condition of your marriage is a wonderful aide to keep up.

Another handle to implement daily is heartfelt and mind engaging communication. Speaking to each other about the work-day, dreams, aspirations, etc would qualify. Another thing is simply asking quesitons. Too many times issues could have been avoided if questions were asked and a matter talked out before assumptions were made and accusations flew. I also would advise the communication to be somewhere other than the bedroom so as to leave this area for gearing down and other marital activities. 

Prayer and study of God's Word is a great way to grow in The Spirit together. I love to hear my wife pray for me and I love to pray for her. We pray for each other separately but I have challenged us recently to pray for each other together. There is effective power in hearing what is being prayed over you and it does the heart good too.

Also, I tend to be the study geek of Scripture and share-time leader. Recently I have challenged us to have equal time presenting what both of us have been studying. I really love to hear Tanya's perspective when I present so I know I will love it when she will present.

The last handle I will submit for consideration is time for yourselves as a couple. The Lord Himself squirreled away the seventh day as a day for Himself, a day of rest for Him and His children. I encourage all couples to take this lesson and save a day out of every week or specific time where it is just you and your spouse. Perhaps the time is a dinner or a hike on a beautiful trail, but whatever it is make it special and just about the two of you.

Whether you have forsaken your first love like the church in Sardis or not, the solution can be applied to any marriage at any time for great benefits. Whether your partner is doing his/her part at the moment, be sure you are doing yours. Try always to show your unconditional love, forgiveness, grace and mercy as Christ did and the gaps or struggles will be filled in with God's provisions.

"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." (1 Cor. 10:13)

I have witnessed so many molehills turn into mountains that should have not have been. I have been a part of mountain-sized issues that could have been "tossed into the sea" if only the time would have been taken for constructive questions beforehand. I have heard of so many marriages quick to hit the divorce button over the silliest things that you would wonder how they got married in the first place. Whether you have been just married or like my parents, just celebrated 60 years of marriage, the key to it all is to Keep At It.