Love affairs are intense, exciting, and fleeting. Our feelings of love will fizzle over time, which is why we must be continually falling in love with our Lord. This maturing of our love leads to a deep, intimate relationship.
Every now and then I realize a need in my psyche to listen to chick music. I’ve told my husband that this is necessary for healthy, female existence…at least for me. It consists of different artists for each of us, but I imagine you know what I mean. Your gal may growl out her salty words or she may purr velvet blues, but depending on the day and my mood, I can bounce from Sara Bareilles wanting to see me be brave to Adele sending her love to his new lover. Probably like you, I can swing from Julia Fischers’ fingers dancing over her violin strings to Taylor Swift singing “Getaway Car.”
And that, dear sister, is where I landed the other day while upstairs doing particular household chores which I least enjoy. It was a Taylor day. Her song, “Sad, Beautiful, Tragic,” tugged at my heart in an unusually strong way. I replayed it several times, listening intently to the words as I questioned internally why this and one other song (“Begin Again”), on the album was arresting my attention. Most chick music falls in this category: girl meets boy; boy breaks girl’s heart; girl is shattered, can never trust again OR she’s tough, moving on, getting revenge, etc.
It occurred to me that too often over the years my relationship with God has been more like a love affair than an intimate, covenant relationship; maybe yours, too.
A Love Affair…
Love affairs are initially characterized by warmth, infatuation and hormones raging. Dr. Richard Schwartz, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a consultant at McLean Massachusetts General Hospital said that in the early stages of love our levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, rises in our system. In addition, love turns on the neurotransmitter dopamine, which stimulates the brain’s pleasure centers, and drops the levels of serotonin, which “adds a dash of obsession.” When this formula is added together, the equation always equals the exciting, crazy, dare-I-say silly feeling of an early infatuation/love. As the love-year progresses, chemicals gradually return to a normal balance and, if both hang around, a mature type of love follows. The hormone and neurotransmitter oxytocin increases to produce calm and helps to cement the bond that is being created between the two people involved. Other brain specialists concur.
Pretty amazing how the Lord-of-all worked those little details out, huh?
The problem is, we humans like that crazy, exciting, OMG! first-love feeling all the time…in every relationship.
It might explain our divorce rate…might help us understand why so many singles hit the dating web sites night after night…
Might even explain our prayerlessness.
Falling in Love…
While some of us still possess the buzz of the first blush of being a new Christian, many do not. So, as John Wimber, (one of the founding leaders of Vineyard USA), said to his first pastor after a few months of sitting in a pew, “You mean I gave up drugs for this?” Wimber wanted to do what he saw Jesus doing in the gospels, but didn’t see it happening in his church. Unlike many of us, however, he didn’t settle for a cooling agnosticism to replace the fire of his first love. Wimber studied the scriptures faithfully and passionately; he learned that if our love affair wasn’t with Jesus, it would be with something else. “Show me where you spend your time, money, and energy, and I’ll tell you what you worship.” he often said. Further, Wimber later claimed,
It seems the more I think about not sinning, the more I sin, but the more I think about just loving Jesus, the less I seem to sin. Falling in love seems to be the key.
John Wimber, Power Evangelism
There it is, again – falling in love. But this love is ongoing, maturing. It’s the kind of love that is patient, kind, and not envious, boastful, or rude. This love doesn’t always have to have its’ own way, and isn’t irritable or resentful. It doesn’t do a happy dance at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love in its’ truest sense bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. In fact, it never, ever ends (I Corinthians 13:4-8).
Impossible, right? Why yes, it is!! Apart from the power of Christ within me, I am the antithesis of all of those attributes listed! I can be impatient, envious and rude -all in one breath! I can be irritable and demand my own way when my coffee isn’t prepared the way I like – all before 8 a.m.!
…has rescued me from the power of darkness and transferred me into the kingdom of His dear Son…
Colossians 1:13, NLT
It seems the more I think about not sinning, the more I sin, but the more I think about just loving Jesus, the less I seem to sin. Falling in love seems to be the key. ~John Wimber, Power Evangelism Click To Tweet
Why, WHY does the Father continue to rescue, forgive, and empower me?
Because He loves me…and you…with a deep, everlasting, intimate love that surpasses human understanding. When we became His children, God made a covenant with us through the work of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 6:13-20). It is a covenant of grace, filled with mercy, authored by Love.
It seems like drinking from a cracked cistern, really, when we, you and I, continually search for a new ‘first love’ feeling or sense of fulfillment by sipping in new relationships or attractions, whatever those may be, when Love Himself, the fountain of living waters- who has loved us like no other – is available to us at all times. He is waiting to give you, and me, a fresh drink.
For My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters,
And hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water.
Jeremiah 2:13, NKJV
You are fiercely loved…
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