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July 29, 2010

A spiritual 7-year itch?

I presume that a significant percentage of the people who are kind enough to drop by this site are (or have been) married or involved in some sort of love relationship. And despite a firm conviction from the beginning that this live would both last and grow stronger, some of us have worried about (or experienced) the 7-year itch. Supposedly after 7 years, a roving eye is a common phenomenon.

I’m not sure of the time frame, but sometimes a similar disorder affects our relationship with God. Our attention becomes distracted by other things: the worries and joys, challenges and successes of day-to-day life. And then one day we realize that we’ve somehow lost touch with the One we once loved whole-heartedly.

Perhaps some of the advice for rekindling love in a marriage can also be used to restore our love for God. On this premise, I embarked on an on-line quest to see what the experts suggest for couples who discover that “the honeymoon is over”:

Make a commitment to work on improving your relationship. Any relationship – whether with another person or with God – require some effort. It’s not possible for one individual to be solely responsible for sustaining a relationship; it takes two.

Save some energy to be devoted exclusively on your loved one each day. Few of us are capable of doing two things well simultaneously.

Open the lines of communication. Share what’s on your mind, and listen as well. In Deuteronomy 30, we read, “Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.” Loving, listening, and being faithful… three important activities which help a relationship to grow and to last.

Be more generous with compliments than with criticisms. Be thankful for the good things in your relationship, and express this thanks regularly. Romans 1:21 is an interesting verse. In it, the author is referring to men who practice godlessness and wickedness. He says, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” As we recognize and voice the good things about those we love, it seems that there are more good things to recognize.

Frequently perform small unexpected acts of kindness. Here re some words of wisdom from Mother Teresa:

Don't think that love, to be true, has to be extraordinary. What is necessary is to continue to love. How does a lamp burn, if it is not by the continuous feeding of little drops of oil? When there is no oil, there is no light and the bridegroom will say: "I do not know you". Dear friends, what are our drops of oil in our lamps? They are the small things from everyday life: the joy, the generosity, the little good things, the humility and the patience. A simple thought for someone else. Our way to be silent, to listen, to forgive, to speak and to act. [These] are the real drops of oil that make our lamps burn vividly our whole life. Don't look for Jesus far away, He is not there. He is in you, take care of your lamp and you will see Him.

As we do small acts of kindness and love, God is revealed to us and in us.


Happy Friday! Be sure to check out 7 Quick Takes!

2 comments:

  1. Great post, Sue. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I believe you are right. And indeed we still have to work on that relationship! For any relationship to work it has to be tended to. Very nice post!!! Cathy

    ReplyDelete

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