When my husband and I first met, I lived in Atlanta and he lived in New York City. While visiting the Big Apple, I met up with a college friend for drinks. She had a friend, who had a friend…
It wasn’t until a few months later that we “got together.” I was back in town visiting and I reached out to him to see if he wanted to catch up. He did.
After I returned to Atlanta we started calling each other.
At first it was only once a day, then it was two, sometimes even three times a day. At night we’d talk on the phone for hours, just getting to know one another. We started to email back and forth too. I couldn’t wait to see his name come across the computer screen. We forwarded interesting articles, continued conversations we started on the phone, and let the other know we missed them.
My roommate worked for an airline at the time and I was able to fly for free. Fridays after work I drove straight to the airport and flew to NYC, then returned on the last flight back to Atlanta Sunday night. Dating long distance meant every minute together counted. We went to nice dinners, baseball games, and did touristy things. The weekends went fast and it seemed like we never had enough time together.
We consistently engaged one another in stimulating conversation.
There was more at stake in this relationship than in previous ones I’d had. We asked each other the hard questions making sure we were right for one another. We both spent way too much time and money for this to be a fling.
After only five months of dating I moved to NYC. Five months after that we were engaged. Eight months later we were married.
Fourteen years and three kids later, my husband and I don’t talk as much.
We email only when necessary and communicate important dates through iCal. Sometimes I go all day without talking to him, just a kiss in the morning and a nod hello when he comes home from work late. I love him but…my hands are full, my mind is on other things, and I have little ones to take care of. At the end of a typical day, we plop down on the couch and binge-watch our favorite shows on the DVR.
Over the years I’ve let other things--career, studies, kids, volunteering--get in the way of a passionate relationship with my husband. It’s not just my relationship with my husband that has suffered from busyness and apathy; my relationship with God has suffered too.
I haven’t put my first love(s) first.
But I have this [one charge to make] against you: that you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first [you have deserted Me, your first love]. Revelation 2:4 (AMP)
Thankfully the verse that follows tells me how to get back to a thriving relationship.
Remember then from what heights you have fallen. Repent (change the inner man to meet God’s will) and do the works you did previously [when first you knew the Lord], or else I will visit you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you change your mind and repent. Revelation 2:4-5 (AMP)
I have to remember, repent, and do the things I did in the beginning.
I spent some time thinking about what this meant in terms of both my relationship with God and my husband. I was surprised to find that the steps I need to take are the same for both relationships.
1. Spend time together; Have consistent devotional times.
2. Check in with my husband by emails, texts, and phone calls throughout the day; Pray without ceasing.
4. Give gifts freely; Generously give tithes and offerings.
5. Give my attention to, engage, and focus on my husband when we are together, put away the smartphone, tablet, or computer; Put aside the distractions that keep us from connecting.
6. Think about my husband when he is not around; Meditate on the Word of God, keep index cards with Scriptures on hand to memorize verses of the Bible.
7. Get dressed up for my husband, especially when we go on a date; Give my first and my best, not the leftovers, when serving God.
8. Put my marriage before other relationships, this includes kids, extended family, and friends; Put God first, husband second, family next.
9. Guard the time my husband and I spend together; Schedule activities around church, Bible studies, or prayer group meetings.
10. Have patience with my husband, serving him, believing the best of him; Have faith. Be watchful knowing that God hears prayer.
I still have carpools to drive, homework to help with, and obligations to meet. Sometimes I feel like can’t possibly add another thing to my list. However, I can shake off the apathy and pick one or two things from this list and commit to doing it consistently. Once it becomes a habit, I can pick something else.
Is there something on this list that you can do to re-kindle the flame in your relationship? Or do you have another idea? Let me know in the comments.
Kimberly Amici is an enthusiastic and dedicated founding member of the Circles of Faith team. She is known for her creativity, strong faith, and commitment to living life with purpose and passion. Kimberly is a writer and community builder whose desire is for hearts to be healed, minds to be renewed and women to be connected in fellowship just as God intended.