First Love

Will you join me on this journey and discover your first love again? Not only in your marriage but also in your pursual to love Jesus more?

Malinda Haley is a pastor’s wife, mother, and nurse who lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, Steve, who is president of the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference. The three teens mentioned here are young adults now!

AS MY THREE CHILDREN ADVANCE from late teens into young adulthood, I am awakened to the meaning of “first love.” Oh, the texting, the l-o-o-o-n-g phone calls, the intentional creative dating and outings, the attention to personal grooming and appearance, the special romantic moments. It’s intense. It’s first love, designed and created that way.

As I watch them, I am grateful that this intensity will give way in time to grounded and rooted love. Love that is calmer and more stable. Love that has years and history and memories. Love that is best characterized by the words enduring, committed, and realistic.

Yet the reality is that this “love,” if unchecked and uncared for, can fall into disappointed love. No pursuing. No intentional creativity. No sweet, slowed down, thoughtful life-giving and love-giving words.

I have two challenges for each of you as a pastor’s spouse: The first challenge is to take a look at your marriage. How is your marriage? Are you being intentional and stirring up the coals of your first love with each other? Or is it time for a tune-up?

The second challenge is to take a look at your relationship with Jesus. How is your walk with the Lord? Do you remember your first love with Him?

My children’s energy in the area of romance has reminded me of the need to be intentional about my first loves—my first love with my life partner, Steve, and my first love with Jesus.

In Revelation 2:1-4 Jesus talks of all the good things we are doing—our work, our labor, our patience, our perseverance—but the one thing He reminds us of is that we have left our first love—Him. Clearly, we still  profess to love Him by all the things we are doing, but that lack of first love is disappointing Jesus. 

Will you join me on this journey and discover your first love again? Not only in your marriage but also in your pursual to love Jesus more? I have no doubt the journey will be rich indeed, full of romance and delight!

PS: To rekindle those first loves, I suggest reading (or rereading) the following: Rekindling the Romance: Loving the Love of Your Life, by Dennis and Barbara Rainey with Bob DeMoss; Steps to Christ, by Ellen White.