How to Keep from “Growing Apart”

This weekend’s DNA comes directly from the BRAND NEW PART 2 of the LoveEd guidebook series, Beyond Sex & Salvation (Part 2: Three Key Life Decisions for Relational Success) AVAILABLE NOW FOR INSTANT DOWNLOAD! Here’s this weekend’s excerpt…

3742473855_2554c2c7a2_oHow many times have you heard these words from a married or divorced friend, “We just grew apart,” as if it was completely out of their control? Or how about, “Our love just died,” as if “love” was supposed to just naturally carry on without any effort, without any nourishment or care?

What happens to a potted plant if you don’t water it? Relationships are just like that. Love doesn’t just die, it’s killed, either through abuse or neglect.

It’s likely you’ll fall deeply in love with your future spouse long before marriage is proposed. Part of that experience will involve spending considerable time with them and perhaps even more time just thinking about them. If you stop investing that kind of time after the wedding day, don’t be shocked when you no longer feel as close to your spouse. It’s only natural.

The same is true in your relationship with God. In the rush of emotion upon accepting Jesus’ offer of salvation, many young believers pray to God a lot and think about Him even more. They can’t believe a God like ours would save someone like them. How could you not meditate continually on a God like that?

Then come “the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches,” which threaten to all but choke the life out of that relationship (Matt 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8). These trials are meant to inspire me to press into my dear Savior all the more fervently, but the deceiver convinces me I can’t press into someone with so many demands pressing in on me.

And so God and I “grow apart.”

No matter how much time you spend with your love, you can’t expect to feel the electricity of romance every day of your marriage. (Well you can, but you’ll be disappointed.) Expecting romance to define every day of your married life would be like expecting the trees to bloom in every season. You’ve got to learn to find the beauty in each season of life, even in winter when it seems everything has died.

You should grow closer to your spouse year after year as you get to know them better. However, that won’t happen if you say, “I do” and then don’t continue to spend time with them.The same is true in your love relationship with God. If you expect to ride the high of salvation all the way into heaven, you may not understand the reason why you were saved in the first place.

Do you see the parallel? Committing to grow together (instead of apart) in your relationship with God is preparing you to do the same in your future marriage.

You don’t get married to enjoy a life of wondrous wedded bliss.

You don’t get saved to enjoy a life of spiritual ecstasy.

You get married to start a new life, living as one with your spouse; committing to put their needs ahead of your own, and endeavoring to do the same for your children.

You get saved to start a new life, living as one with your Creator; committing to submit your will to His, and encouraging others to do the same.

It’s only when you live like this that you find you grow closer to your spouse year after year, in spite of unforeseen roadblocks, emotional lows and spiritual dry spells.

It is only when you live like this that you find you grow closer to God year after year, in spite of unforeseen (to you) roadblocks, emotional lows and spiritual dry spells.

Click here to read another excerpt from Beyond Sex & Salvation (Part 2: Three Key Life Decisions for Relational Success).

DNA: It’s What’s for Dating!

[Growing closer in relationship with both God and friends who love him with a LoveEd small group! Check out the LoveEd guidebook series: Beyond Sex & Salvation. Available NOW for instant download on iBooks, Kindle and Nook.]

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Categories: 3 Key Life Disciplines, Beyond Sex and Salvation, Keeping Love Alive