Friday, September 24, 2010

Rekindled Love and Devotion

"I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the desert, through a land not sown."  Jeremiah 2:2

Remember when you were newly married?  Loving your bridegroom so much that you would follow him through a desert into uncharted territory?  Just being with your spouse was satisfying enough because the love was so fresh and so sweet!         

My mom has told me numerous times, "I loved your dad so much when we were first married that I would have been happy if our home was a tent.  I was willing to follow him anywhere."  Her young, hopeful love filled her heart.  Her devotion as a young bride seemed unshakable. 

Yet, as the years went on, the harshness of life chipped away at my parents' marriage.  Unchecked and unrepented sin ravaged both of their hearts.  The desert that once represented hopeful adventure was now a harsh reality of intense heat and dehydration.  Devotion waned.  Love was suffocated.  Though my parents never officially divorced, they were separated for twenty years when my father died suddenly of a heart attack in 1998. 

When we first make promises to our spouses through our wedding vows at our marriage ceremony, they often are just words spoken through giggles, smiles and joyful tears on a very exciting day.  The depths of the commitments we make are only realized as the months and years go by.  For better or for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health.  These statuses define themselves over time.  Our devotion, our love and our vows of commitment are tested in the worse, the poorer and the sickness.

Commenting on Jeremiah 2:2, Blackaby writes this:
"God was concerned because the people of Judah had allowed their hearts to drift far from Him. In a powerful moment, God shared His heart with His people, recalling what it was like when they first began loving Him. He remembered how they had loved Him, as a new bride loves her husband, with excitement and enthusiasm for the future. He recalled the kindness they had expressed as they willingly followed Him wherever He led them. God reminded them of the love they had once had for Him, so that the memory might rekindle feelings of devotion and their hearts might return to Him."

A vibrant relationship with the Lord, our First Love, must be our first priority in our lives and marriages.  Our trust and confidence rests in Him alone.  He is our strength, our sustenance and our fruit-bearer.  Soak in these truths:   

Jeremiah 17:5-8
"This is what the LORD says:
'Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
He will be like a bush in the wastelands;
he will not see prosperity when it comes.
He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.



But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in Him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
Its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit."

Rekindled love and unwavering, committed devotion are rooted in our First Love.  But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always.  Hosea 12:6    We are called to "maintain love".  If we have wondered from Him, we must return to our First Love.  If we are abiding in Him, we must remain rooted there knowing that He is our perfect provision. 

Expectant love bubbles over in the heart of a newlywed.  Devotion is unashamedly expressed.  Are you lovingly devoted like a new spouse or has your heart grown cold and unresponsive in your marriage?  Return to your First Love.  Humble your heart before Him and ask Him and your spouse for forgiveness.  Turn and repent.  Read God's Word daily.  Worship Him in reverence and in awe.  Plant yourself by the stream of living water.  Your leaves will always be green, even when the heat comes.  The heat will come.  The desert will call.  But the Giver of Life beckons you to abide and refresh in Him daily.  He will restore the intimate fellowship you once had with Him, and He can restore, renew, refresh and revitalize your marriage as well.  
     
Sharon


3 comments:

Terry said...

That was a great post! It will strike a cord with many of us who have lived through the divorce of our parents.

Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

Beautifully written. As a child of divorce, gone through divorce myself and then living through years of a harsh desert in my marriage today - I know this need very intimately. As you have heard and seen - the LORD has done great and wonderful things our hearts and home. Daily we remember them and thank Him for the LOVE He has for us!

How I pray others will lay down their pride and walk in the ways of the LORD - where the land is filled with refreshment for their weary souls.

I love you Sharon and was just telling Scott how I wish I could spend time with you!
Jill

TRUTH SHARER said...

This was an awesome post Sharon. It is a challenge for each of us to keep the priority of our first love [JESUS CHRIST] at the forefront or any and all human relationships. If HE is #1 - then most likely we will be living accordingly in loving our spouse, children, church, community and beyond.

Do we steal away moments with JESUS, or with our spouse, and even with our children - to let them know how much we love and adore them?

Loved the TRUTH of the scriptures shared here and thanks for not just giving us the good side. We need to hear and heed the warnings of the Word too!

Blessings, Stephanie