No one ever plans to fall out of love. It’s just one of those things that happen gradually, over the course of time. Maybe you stop putting in the effort you used to, or have been hurt along the way, and by the time you realize that things have changed it, it seems impossible to get things back to the way they used to be. Realizing you’ve fallen out of love can be a painful, and sobering realization, but it’s not to late to turn things around.
When love is new, you don’t care who’s watching your interactions. Your admiration for one another is obvious to everyone around you. The sound of your loved ones name, is on your lips as often as you exhale, and spending time together is something you just can’t do often enough. Every waking moment, of every single day, doesn’t feel like enough time with one another, and late nights followed by early mornings become a part of your new routine. Every midday yawn is worth being with the one you love.
When you’re newly in love, you willingly and eagerly go out of your way to show you care for each other. Maybe you memorize the seemingly insignificant details of your loved ones character, goals, and passions, hoping to grow more like them. Maybe you rework your schedule or plan activities around being able to spend time together, because there’s nothing more important, and no place you’d rather be.
But what happens when you’ve fallen out of love?
Do you find yourself spending more time alone, doing the things you want to do? Do you think less about what your loved one is passionate about, and seek only the things you enjoy?
Do you feel unimportant, and forgotten? Do you feel like the things you do on a daily basis go unappreciated and unnoticed?
Do you find yourself scheduling activities or work extra hours because you’d rather be anywhere other than home?
Does the sound of your loved ones name create tension in your soul, because you know that things aren’t like they used to be? Maybe things are rough because of you…
Do you find yourself going through the motions, no longer having the passion you once did. Are you just trying to make it through one more day feeling hopeless, that things will ever be like they used to?
I know sometimes I feel like that.
Sometimes I find myself wondering “how did I ever get to this place where I’ve started falling out of love?”
When did my former passions become meaningless tasks I perform, just because I know the box has to be checked? I look at the circumstances knowing I signed up for this, so I follow through even if that means I do it without the joy I once had.
I’m not talking about my marriage (or yours) for those of you who are starting to worry. I’m actually not talking about romantic relationships at all. I’m talking about the way I love and serve the Lord.
When my relationship with Jesus was new, being in His house (the church) was my favorite place to be. I wanted to be there, praying and praising, every time the doors were open. I looked forward to every single sermon, and took notes on every envelope in the back of the pew. I sang His praises as long as there was air in my lungs, and the name of Jesus was the sweetest name I know. (Still is) but if I’m being honest, I find myself struggling at times with going to church. I’ve come to the realization that many times, I’m there because I’m supposed to be, not because it’s the place I love to be. There was a time when 3 services a week just weren’t enough to feed my hungry soul. I’ve realized that sometimes there are days when I show up, because I said I would, and because people are expecting me to, not because it’s the home of the Man I love.
There was a time when I read my bible more often. I was highlighting, and underlining EVERYTHING because every word, on every page was so profound! I couldn’t get enough!! There was a time I was so in love with Jesus, that my new love for Him left me wanting to know every beautiful detail of what He is like. Reading Gods word gave me more and more insight into who He is. I wanted to know what His goals are for me. I wanted to know what He was passionate about when He walked this earth. I wanted to be just like Him. But now I feel like I know Him so well, I don’t need to remind myself of the things that are important to Him. I often find myself forgetting to even bring my bible with me to church, let alone read it in my own time.
There was a time when I was eager to serve in many ministries. I thought about what I had to offer, and how I can learn more and be more effective in the areas I serve. I wanted to volunteer for any and every opportunity there was, but if I’m being honest again, there are times I’m serving in ministry because frankly, someone has to. If you’ve ever been in ministry, you know what I mean. The same people serve just about everywhere, because if they don’t, no one will. That leaves many of our church body worn thin, and approaching spiritual burn out, because if we’re not serving, who will?! I’ve forgotten that my serving is about serving Him because I love Him, not because it’s something I’m supposed to do. I’ve let overcommitment and the feeling of being insignificant in ministries overrule my love for the Lord. I’m supposed to serve Him because I love Him, not because there’s a task to complete.
““I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.”
Revelation 2:2-5 NKJV
Does any of this sound familiar to you? Are you like me, realizing that you found yourself, forgetting your first love? Are you going through the motions in your relationship with the Lord checking the boxes of the things you’re supposed to do, rather than spending time with the Lord because you love Him? Are you working more hours, or involved in more activities than you used to be, letting those things get in the way of being at church? Do you spend hours mindlessly scrolling the Internet, but rarely crack open the pages of your bible? Are you reluctantly serving in ministry because you have to, rather than for the sake of loving the one whom you serve? Do you feel forgotten or like an insignificant member of the body of Christ? I know there are many times I do.
Today is the day of my repentance.
Forgive me Jesus for the times I’ve fallen out of love. Thank you for taking me back time and time again. Help me go back to loving you, with the passion I first had. Help me remember you, my first love.