Newlyweds vs. long-time love

Have you ever been around newlyweds or someone just engaged? It’s sweet, isn’t it? They are just all “ga-ga” over each other. They spend every waking moment thinking of each other and talking about each other. They are “in love” and they don’t even have to work at it. That feeling is so strong and all-consuming you can hardly imagine it dying, but anyone who has been married longer than a few years can tell you it can. And when I write advice in their little Advice Book at their shower, I tell them all – STAY CONNECTED! In essence, that is what Jude is warning the church to do here so that newlywed love can turn into long-time love….

long-time love vs. newlywed love
long-time love vs. newlywed love

But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. (Jude 1:3, 20-21)

Have you ever been around newlyweds or someone just engaged? It’s sweet, isn’t it? They are just all “ga-ga” over each other. They spend every waking moment thinking of each other and talking about each other. They are “in love” and they don’t even have to work at it.

My husband and I have done pre-marital counseling before, and when you talk to them about the work of staying in love, they look at you like you’re nuts! “No! We will always feel like this. There is NO WAY this feeling will leave! Thank you for sharing, but we won’t need that advice. This feeling will never die!”

That feeling is so strong and all-consuming you can hardly imagine it dying, but anyone who has been married longer than a few years can tell you it can. And when I write advice in their little Advice Book at their shower, I tell them all – If you want newlywed love to turn into long-time love, you have to work at STAYING CONNECTED!

In essence, that is what Jude is warning the church to do here. KEEP YOURSELVES in the love of God. STAY CONNECTED! How? By building up yourselves on your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Ghost. It takes work on our part. It’s not a work to EARN His love….but there is definitely responsibility on our part to stay connected.

Jude did not say that we are to just sit back and relax and God will keep us in His love. God’s love is ever present, but we determine how close to Him we get. We determine how “in love” with Him we are.

Key #1: Building yourself up on your most holy faith

What does that mean? Well, how does faith come? By hearing and hearing by the Word of God. It’s not enough for your spouse to tell you one time on the day you get married they love you. We were created to need to hear it over and over and over again.

God wrote us the most amazing love letter. It’s called the Bible. But it is up to us to read it, and read it over and over and over again. It’s in His Word that He reveals His heart and love to us. If we are spending time in His Word, we are going to be more and more aware of His love for us….we are going to keep ourselves in His love.

Key #2: Praying in the Holy Ghost

Prayer is crucial to keeping love alive. Why? Spending time with Him is when you connect with Him, and you spend time with Him in prayer. If you never spend anytime with your spouse, that feeling of love will definitely grow dim. To keep a marriage strong, you have to spend time together.

Prayer is not a formula. Prayer is not just learning a step-by-step guide on how to get something from God. Prayer is a real, living, breathing, ongoing conversation with the One who formed you, the One who promised, and the One who answers. That is where trust and relationship are formed. That is where love stays vibrant and connected.

This is our part. This is our job. This is how you turn a newlywed love into a long-term relationship. And it’s easy to let it go when things get busy and life gets tough. It’s easy to let it go when we “just aren’t feeling it.”

We have a part to play in how closely we walk with God…in keeping ourselves in the love of God. His love is always there. We just have to grasp it and make it our own.

Let’s make 2014 a year of staying connected, of drawing closer to Him, of keeping ourselves in His love. It’s when we are full of His love that He can flow out of us and affect change in those around us. We will see miracles when we live connected to Him in His love.

If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. (John 15:7 AMP)

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