14th February; Valentine’s Day. It’s the day when every seat in every restaurant is full and when couples who don’t care for restaurants will be preparing nice meals for one another. Flowers will be delivered to offices, gifts will show up in mailboxes, cards will be exchanged, supermarkets sell copious boxes of chocolates and petrol station flowers run out.
I am something of a sceptic when it comes to fabricated days that tell us to tell someone they are special and I feel for all those who for whatever reason are excluded on the 14th. I am very fortunate to have been married to Jane for more than 25 years now and it is so easy to take her for granted so I embrace Valentine’s Day, not for the commercialisation but as a time to say thank you and that I do still love you.
I love Jane and for that reason I love to spend time with her. What’s amazing is that the more time I spend with her, the more I love her. And the more I love her, the more time I want to spend with her. And the more time I spend with her, the more my love grows. And the more my love grows, well, you get the idea. That’s the way the Lord has structured relationships. To love is to spend time with someone and to spend time with someone is to deepen that relationship.
As in any marriage, there are times when I find that my love has lost some of its sparkle. Routine and life dulls the flame. When this happens the solution is simple: I just need to invest in spending time with her. As we spend time together, that love regains its heat. When I stop spending time with her, love grows cold, and when love grows cold I stop spending time with her.
God has structured our relationship to him in much the same way. In Psalm 1 David writes about the blessed man, the happy man, and describes him as the man who delights in God’s law and who meditates on it day and night. There are these two expressions of love: delight and meditation, joy and time.
David himself was a man who delighted in God’s law and who meditated on it day and night. In Psalm 119 he could say “Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.” He was a man who loved the Lord and therefore a man who loved to spend time with the Lord, meditating on God’s Word. Meditating on God’s word fuelled his delight and that delight led him to more and greater meditation. Which came first and which followed? It hardly matters. The two work hand-in-hand. To love him is to spend time with him and to spend time with him is to love him all the more.
When my love for the Lord begins to grow cold, it normally means I have not been spending time with him. My love for God always gets tested by the many things we face in our lives. At different moments in life our faith grows cold, just like an uneaten bowl of soup. We forget to nourish our love for Him, so that it stays hot and fresh The Lord Jesus said that in the last days, “the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12). This will not happen in just the blink of an eye. It will be like that bowl of soup – gradually, slowly cooling down. We miss the warning signs at own peril.
Here are some clues it’s time to fan the flame:
Dead Prayer Life – When our prayer life is frozen it blocks the flow of faith and favour from transforming our lives. Start small and simple. Work prayer back into your day whether its right before you go to bed or on the way to work. God hears.
Lack of Thanksgiving – An unthankful heart is a sign that we have forgotten the goodness of God in our lives. The Bible gives a solution as it reads, “Praise the Lord, my soul and forget not all his benefits” – Psalm 103:2. Give the Lord a sacrifice of praise. Celebrate Him with your words!
Negative Outlook – If the glass is always half empty, it’s time to let the Lord correct your perspective on life. Faith gives us a hopeful, optimism that can outlive any circumstance. Start taking negative thoughts captive and changing them before they turn into words.
Avoiding Bible Time – If you have lost interest in reading your Bible, it’s a sign of spiritual fatigue. Spiritual fatigue leaves you feeling droopy, irritated and joyless because the flesh is advancing. Replenish your energy by finding spiritual strength and joy in the Word.
Chronic Fatigue – A constant tired demeanour reflects negligence of the Sabbath rest. God designed our bodies to need a regular rhythm of rest in order to function properly. Maintaining a balanced and healthy lifestyle, will improve and stabilize your inner life as well.
Disinterest in Fellowship – distancing from other Christians over time dampens our faith. We are to be like iron sharpening iron; so when we don’t prioritize fellowship our faith gets dull.
Loss of Expectancy – Healthy faith is hopeful and expects God to intervene in life’s daily intricacies. If you’ve lost the excitement of seeing God move in your life, it’s time to once again seek diligently after His presence. God promises that when we draw near to Him, He will draw even closer.
I cannot love my wife without spending time with her and I cannot love God without spending time with him. Invest in your relationships and you will guard against your love growing cold.Tags: Dial M, Magazine