On the first date, they talked for hours. In fact, he got her home quite late, later than her curfew, so he was in trouble with her dad before they even met. Over the following months, talk of their lives together just flowed naturally. Even though they were still in college and knew they would wait to marry until after graduation, discussions often went to how neat their kids were going to be and how fun it would be to raise their family together. They did marry shortly after graduating from college.
One day, several years into the marriage she was researching some information on the computer. It was her husband’s computer because hers had been acting up. A pop-up window invited her to return to a website. It was a porn site. Over the next hour, she learned more than she wanted to know about what her husband had been viewing. Anger, disgust and disappointment were among the plethora of emotions she experienced. Her heart was broken.
I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, 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 your first love. Remember the height from which 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 lampstand from its place. – Revelation 2:2-5. The church in Ephesus was doing good work. Today we might call it ‘doing’ church work. It is good stuff but there is a difference between doing church work and doing the work of the church, ‘being’ the Church. Jesus draws the parallel to having “forsaken your first love.” As in a marriage, the wonderful feelings of love shared between a young couple keeps them on an emotional high for a window of time. From there, couples either mature in a love relationship that reflects Christ and His Church or they become distracted by emotions tied to a worldly perspective of love.
“Fireproof” is the movie that carries this story forward in bold fashion. The Kendrick brothers depict the real-life struggles couples face today and how the Light of Christ can blast through the darkness we tend to get caught up in. Darkness is all about driving a wedge in the most important relationship we have in the flesh, marriage. The “Love Dare” that Kirk Cameron’s dad in the movie challenged him to initiate is a good challenge for all of us to embrace. Do not forsake your first love – learn to love your wife as Christ loves the Church, selflessly and sacrificially.
Prayer guide: Thank You for the love of my life. Too often I have allowed my love of money, success and other worldly distractions to take my eyes off of You. Forgive me. I know through Your word that the closest thing to my relationship with You on this earth is the relationship with the bride You have blessed me with in marriage. Help she and I embrace this to the full in our marriage in order to be Your Church in our home and effectively pass our first love on to the next generation. Guide us and be with us, protect us from evil. Amen.
A faithful father learns to love his wife as Christ loves the Church, selflessly and sacrificially.