Where is the Joy?
Have you ever heard the saying that “marriages are made in heaven?” Sounds wonderful and who doesn’t want that, except that those marriages that are made in heaven, have to be lived out here on the earth. Here lies the challenge.
We are all, by human nature, selfish people. After working with people for over four decades, I can confidently say that selfishness is the number one reason relationships suffer and fail. Let’s be honest - we all want what we want when we want it. We may be able to get by with that behavior when we are two years old, but it is not very attractive as an adult and certainly not productive in a marriage. Selfishness destroys the joy in marriage.
Anything left to itself unattended and neglected will, at some point, need restoration.
Marriage, in its original state, is beautiful, but over a period of time, things can get weathered and begin to deteriorate. When we fail to tend to our marriages, along with the challenges of everyday life, our marriages get worn out, tired and need to be restored. Silence has replaced laughter and the thrill is gone.
Maybe your marriage is worn, bruised, chipped and has some dings in it from neglect. I can assure you, if you will cooperate with the Holy Spirit, He will restore your marriage to its original, beautiful condition.
We fall in love because we work at it. We fall out of love because we stop working at it.
The enemy always wants us to think the grass is greener on the other side - but when you take a closer look, it is only artificial turf. I know “they” look perfect on instagram but perfect doesn’t exist - especially when two people get married. Settle it now. There is no such thing as perfect.
Restoring the Joy
To restore the joy in your marriage, we can use Revelation 2:2-5 as a great guideline for restoration. Jesus tells the church in Ephesus, You’ve done some great things and you have persevered, but there is one thing I have against you - you have left your first love. And then He tells them how to correct the situation.
First, He tells them to remember from where they have fallen from. Remember how you use to act when you were dating? Remember how it was when you fell in love? Remember all the long, deep conversations? Remember dreaming and talking about your future? Remember how energetic and adventurous you were? Remember how selfless you were?
Remember? Remember? Remember?
Second, He tells them to repent. Change your mind and change your direction. Make an about face and head in the right direction. Don’t hesitate. Do the right thing. Turn around and get back on the right path. Make the first move toward change. Repent!
Third, He tells them to do the deeds you did at first. Remember those days when what your spouse wanted was more important to you than what you wanted? Get back to the source of your joy which is Jesus Christ - go deeper and you will experience a greater degree of joy in your life which will spill over onto your marriage. Esteem the other better than yourself. Get creative and return to the simple, loving things you did at first.
God wants us to experience heaven on earth in our marriage and family life. Work with the Restorer and He will take you to new places in your marriage. There is nothing or no one that He won’t restore if He is invited in. Invite Him in to do His work of restoration in you!