wisdom of the first date

feb renewal

My cheeks felt hot.

Any minute now I would explode into little tiny pieces, I simply knew it. I had avoided the gaze directed my way, unsure whether I should smile, wave, or simply walk over and say hello.

He was cute…really cute!

Within a few hours, we were hovered over a table, talking above the ruckus of the crowd that surrounded us.

Nose to nose…

…as though no one else existed but the two of us.

I remember that first encounter with my now husband, as though it were yesterday. And looking back I see the efforts that we each put into our new relationship.  Discovering all of the intricacies of

Who we were

What we liked

Our hopes and dreams for the future.

We poured into each other with incredible fervor then, without thought of ourselves, desiring only to please the other and gain favor. It was a sacrificial type of longing, to live only for the benefit of the other.

I remember this as I sit across from that same guy now, on our 21st anniversary.

We look a little different now of course, years evident in the lines of our faces.  The trials and pain that we each experienced along the way, etched deeply upon our souls.

….the joys too  

Yet somehow we had let that sacrificial longing fade. Life had become….

Expectant

Tedious

Unremarkable

How did this happen to us?

The question haunts my thoughts. How is it that once those first days together pass, so does the desire to please – unless it is cultivated daily, the courtship becomes passé.

This tendency not only marks many marriages today, but ironically our relationship with the #1 lover of our souls.

As a new believer, or even a newly committed one, we seek God earnestly. We read our bibles, searching for all of the wonders within, that will show us who He is and what His desires are:

His hopes and dreams for our future.

It is like new love: all encompassing, exciting and passionate

And then life happens

Pretty soon our commitment to reading His love letter to us is pushed to the back burner in favor of other pressing commitments. We spend less time praying and more time running after the trappings of this world. Sleep becomes more important than beginning our mornings talking with the one who can bring desperately needed peace to our day.

And the relationship begins to suffer. Peace is elusive. The world becomes more important than it should be…and those around us suffer as a result. But there is good news…

He is still waiting there – your Lover.

Patiently He waits for your return, for your heart to choose Him first.

I write this to you not as a success story, but from a place of failure. I struggle daily to honor the commitment that I have made, to both God and my husband. What I have found is this:

as I fulfill the commitment to one, the other begins to fall into place.

God is first.

I think we can find great wisdom in the patterns of dating

Think about what it was like when you first met your husband [or boyfriend if you are not yet married…or girlfriend, wife and soulmate]

What consumed your thoughts?

Your actions?

How did your desires revolve around who they were, instead of what you wanted?

What was the first thing you thought about as you woke up each morning?

How many times did you go out together before deciding that he/she was the one for you?

Did you stop getting to know each other once you became engaged?

Those first days of dating give us great clues as to how to cultivate relationship, not only with a potential mate…but also with God.

Dating takes time.

Relationships take time.

Marriages take time.

If that time is not invested, the relationship will not grow. Ultimately the love will fade over time and eventually destroy the bonds that once existed.

The culture of today does not value commitment.  If a promise is too hard to keep, we make excuses. When a task becomes too difficult, we quit. And when the intense initial feelings of love fade, we head for the door.

More and more people are walking away from their commitment to both God and marriage, in favor of something that will make them happier. But the instant gratification that we all crave is an illusion. We only feel that satisfaction temporarily, for it too will soon fade.

May I encourage you to renew your commitment?

Break out the dating handbook, and give it another go!

~My love is poured out daily. Each morning I spend it all; I give everything I have to Him… the one who loves me most. There is nothing left of me

…and He fills me back up

Soli Deo Gloria!

~Lisa

I have a short piece of prose on my personal blog today that reflects deeply a walk toward a renewed commitment. Take a look and be inspired to take steps toward the love of God. Read it here: http://wp.me/p3FW2F-tH

 

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