How often do we form new friendships with such a lovely intensity only to lose that perhaps gradually perhaps sooner than later? How often do friendships linger on without that same bond experienced at the start ‘tolerating’ one another? How often do marriages last for decades and decades with a beautiful show to the outer world, enduring much hardships and staying put together yet having no love between them, sleeping in separate rooms under the same roof? To those looking in from the outside, the couple who have stuck it through the ups and downs with each other would be a ‘role model’ of a marriage congratulating them and using their life as an example, while judging and pushing aside those whose marriages fail. Little do they know that this ‘model’ marriage is a loveless marriage
Oh no, let me clarify that I’m not saying all marriages that endure for decades are loveless marriages.. I have seen and admired couples who have stayed together but where you can see the sincere love for one another without having to hide their fights and misunderstandings . Now that’s a winner – where both are transparent with love and trust… What you see is what you get, no hypocrisy, no pretense..
What I am talking about in this post is that of marriages that are like white washed tombs.. so many heartaches and hardships are ENDURED so they look awesome from the outside, but within the first love has been lost.. the chemistry, the sparks, the intimacy is no longer – perhaps they are continuing on because of the vows they made, perhaps they are continuing on because of their offspring, perhaps they are continuing on to keep up appearances, to have a stand in society, to be accepted and not be frowned up.. whatever the reasons are they have lost their first love and have thus obviously drifted apart emotionally but staying put with each other physically.
Even more heartbreaking is that of the one sided love in such marriages – where one spouse is yearning for the love of the other, continuing to do all that is possible to get the attention and win the love back, but that spouse is preoccupied with other things, with misplaced priorities obviously!
- For those who are married reading this, reflect on your marriage and ask God whether your marriage is indeed bearing witness as to how Christ loved the church? Or is it actually pushing people away from wanting to know Jesus. Remember some can be fooled but over time most won’t be! More importantly, is God happy with the way you are ‘playing’ marriage or with the way you are actually being married?
Why am I thinking of all of this? Why am I bringing all this up now? Well, to be quite honest, I have been wanting to research and delve deep into the spirit of Jezebel. However in the process of the search that I began last night I have deviated! No, nothing new!! I came across these verses and it first shocked me! I was like, how can that even be possible?
“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ….
I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for My Name, and have not grown weary. 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. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place. – Revelations 2:1-5
All these incredible things that the church of Ephesus had done FOR GOD mind you.. even to the point of enduring hardships for HIS Name and haven’t grown weary. Yet, God rebukes them for having forsaken the love they had AT FIRST.
My first response when reading these verses last night was, “Oh God, how can people endure hardships for you and have forsaken the love they had for you at first? Is it even possible? Isn’t it the love that keeps them going?”. He didn’t answer me yesterday. I was hanging out my washed clothes to dry and began to ask Him the same thing again.. and He led me to reflect on marriages, loveless marriages. Do I know of anyone like that? Yes, I know of many.. So of course it is possible!
The motives of enduring the hardship for God just like that of the married couple without love … for reasons that are ‘external’. Some would like to get a platform of cheerers for people to look up to them as a miighty ‘man’ or ‘woman’ of God, perhaps to fill a void or insecurity. Some have got so used to the motion that they simply continue on having accepted it as their portion, being robotic about it … All of these people have indeed started off well – that’s why God is reminding them that they have FORSAKEN their first love. This situation is like the one sided love in an ’empty’ marriage!
God loves us with an everlasting love. He is yearning to have intimacy with us.. He is yearning for you and me to spend time with Him.. not quantity with long strings of empty words but quantity of talking and hearing Him, to take delight in His voice, to immerse in His love, feel His embrace and His heartbeat.. If this wasn’t His desire, would He have had to sacrifice His one and only Son to go through such trials on earth? He loves us so much!
We are human beings.. not human doings. Ever so often, in our doings, we can get carried away even if the doings are good doings or doing for God! We get carried away that we forget the purpose, we forget that it is about LOVE, intimacy, relationship with HIM and through that with others around us too..
God is calling all of us today to search our hearts … He is warning us today:
Consider how far 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 lamp stand from its place.