By Dr. Harold Sala
I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Revelation 2:4
When the signal on your cell phone breaks up and you are going somewhere, there’s not much you can do except hope that it gets better before you entirely disconnect; but when your marriage begins to disconnect, there are things that you can do to insure that you keep on communicating and stay connected.
Frankly, a lot of marriages today have disconnected. In some cases individuals stay married, but their communication is like a dialogue of two people who are deaf. They talk but nobody listens.
Most people know when their marriage is disconnecting. No longer is there intimacy between you and your mate. The dialogue of first love has dissipated into a monologue of duty. Relationships are routine, perfunctory, and mechanical. Frankly, the spark is gone; you are disconnecting.
What can you do? More than you think. First, move closer to each other. A cell phone connection breaks up when you are too far from the base station. Sometimes it’s necessary to confront the issue, recognizing that you aren’t where you once were, and not where you want to be, either. Stating the desire to have a closer, more intimate relationship is the starting point in reconnecting.
When the signal on my cell phone is weak or starts breaking up, I pull up the little antenna and often adjust my position, trying to get a stronger one. That’s not a bad thing to do when your marriage is disconnecting. Get your antenna up, and start hearing what your mate is saying. Good communication consists of having things heard, not just saying them.
Communication skills which make you successful in business work equally as well when you care enough to think through what you are saying and listen to what the other says as well. Sad is the fact that we often shut down when we walk through the front door, either too tired or disinterested to give our husbands and wives the same care we do our business associates.
The most important thing you can do when a marriage is disconnecting is to revise your priorities. So what if you succeed in business but fail in the most important of all life’s relationships, those involving your own family? Are you willing to pay the price tag of success in the currency of your marriage?
When a marriage is disconnecting, God is left on the sidelines–if He is included in the formula that orders your life at all! Many times I’ve thrown out a challenge, “If you and your mate have gone to church together, have read the Bible on a daily basis and have prayed together, and your marriage has failed, please write to me and tell me about it.” I have yet to hear from the first person who can say that. Many say, “We used to do that but we stopped going to church, and we were too busy to read the Bible together, and too uncomfortable to pray together, and then our marriage failed.
When two include God in their marriage, a two-way dialogue becomes a three-way conversation, and when God is included in your life, your relationships take on a new dimension. There is a motive for forgiveness, for compassion, for care, and for love.
Long ago God rebuked the church at Ephesus saying, “You have persevered… Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love” (Revelation 2:3-4). Could that be said of your marriage as well? You’ve stuck it out, but the spark has gone out. It’s time to reconnect and bring back your first love.
Resource reading: Revelation 2:1-7.