How to Return to Your First Love
- Janet Thompson Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2014 6 Feb
February is the month of love and romance. Red and pink hearts are everywhere in honor of Valentine’s Day—the universal day for showing and sharing love. Of course, we don’t just love in the month of February—or one day a year—but Valentine’s Day is the day we focus on finding ways to demonstrate our love.
Fill in the blank with the first thing that comes to your mind: I LOVE_________.
Love is a word we use freely....
- I love pizza!
- I love pink!
- I love my husband!
- I love my kids!
- I love my new vacuum!
- I love my new shoes!
Obviously, we love our husbands and kids more than we love pizza or shoes. So how would you fill in the following blank?
My FIRST love is _____________.
Maybe you had trouble completing that sentence. If you’re married, how could you possibly differentiate between your husband and your children as your first love? If you have more than one child...how could you determine which one of them you love first? You can't. But when you fill in that blank with . . . My FIRST love is Jesus...he gives you the ability to have limitless love for him and for others.
Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.” —Matthew 22:37-40 The Message
You probably know people who would fill in the blank with …
My FIRST love is myself.
My FIRST love is my career.
My FIRST love is fame and fortune.
My FIRST love is my car or house or bank account...
Every day we see on the news or in our neighborhoods, the tragic results of lives lived with misplaced priorities.
I once read a satirical advice column: Dear Dr. Lovelorn, Where do I go to find a lukewarm love for the rest of my life to grow old with?
No one plans for romantic love to turn lukewarm. Remember when you were first in love? Time, money, and energy were never a concern. You talked lovingly about each other nonstop, couldn’t stand to be apart, showered each other with affection, and wanted the world to know you were in love.
Then if you marry and children join your happy family, it becomes harder and harder to find the time, money, and energy to expend on each other. Yes, your love has matured, but you have to be careful that mature love doesn’t mean the passion and excitement has turned to lukewarm and routine. Even God wants our marriages to stay as on fire, as when we were first in love….
“Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you.
Rejoice in the wife of your youth” (Proverbs 5:18 NLT)
Love for Jesus
God also wants us to maintain the passion and excitement we had when we first fell in love with his Son, Jesus. Have you been around a new believer lately? They have a radiance and glow...just like a new bride. New believers are on fire for the Lord. There’s a contagious joy and exuberance about them. Others want to know the source of their happiness.
Unfortunately, our original passion sometimes fades as our faith matures. We may become like the church in Ephesus who Jesus spoke of in Revelations 2:4-5 (NIV):
“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.”
Removing the lampstand meant they would no longer be an effective church...or effective Christian witness...or effective role model to the next generation.
Only when we place Jesus first in our life and heart, can we love others with a genuine Christ-like love. His love fuels us to be better wives, mothers, and grandmothers. Jesus helps us serve our families—and him—lovingly, not dutifully.
How Do We Return To Our First Love?
Periodically, we have to rekindle romantic fire in our marriages and reignite first-love fire in our relationship with Jesus. The following acrostic for L O V E will help you keep Jesus in first place in your life:
L-inger With Him!
“Oh, how I love your instructions! I think about them all day long.” —Psalm 119:97 NLT
Find ways to have a quiet time with the Lord daily. I know that’s not always easy if you have small children. Susanna Wesley, the mother of John and Charles Wesley the founders of the Methodist movement, had 10 children and believed strongly in daily prayer. If she couldn’t find a private place in the house to pray, she put her apron over her head as a sign to the children to be extra quiet, mom was praying.
So throw your "apron" over your head, and help your children learn to respect your time of prayer and reading your Bible. This will teach them more about the value of prayer than any Bible study.
O-bsess Over Him!
“I will praise the LORD at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the LORD; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the LORD’s greatness; let us exalt his name together.” —Psalm 34:1-3 NLT
The dictionary describes obsession as:
- Immersed in
- Gripped by
- An Infatuation
- A Passion
Ah...that we would all be deliriously, madly, obsessively, and passionately in love with Jesus!
“Let the whole earth sing to the LORD! Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise! He is to be feared above all gods.” —1 Chronicles 16:23-25
Synonyms for value:
We can tell what we value most by looking at our checkbooks, credit cards, and calendars. Where do you spend most of your money and time? Ask yourself if it has Kingdom value.
“I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence.” —Proverbs 8:30 NIV
When we L O V E Jesus Christ with total abandonment, our hearts change—we can then love others as Jesus commanded:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” —John 13:34-35 NIV
Share with us ways you’ve found to keep Jesus first in your life and how you L-inger with O-bsess over V-alue and E-njoy Him!
Have a Happy Jesus is “My First Love” Day!
Janet Thompson is an international speaker and an award-winning author of 17 books including: The Team That Jesus Built, Woman to Woman Mentoring Resources, Face-to-Face Bible study series, Dear God, They Say It’s Cancer, Dear God, Why Can’t I Have a Baby?, Dear God, He’s Home! and Praying for Your Prodigal Daughter. Janet is the founder of Woman to Woman Mentoring and About His Work Ministries.
Publication date: February 6, 2014