4 Ways To Reignite Your Passion Not Only For Your Spouse But For God As Well

Photo by danielmoyle

Photo by danielmoyle

Are You In The Doghouse?

Valentine’s Day and dog houses. For guys, they kind of go together.

This is the day when men are practically required to step up to the plate and hit a home run on this special day of love, or we end up in the dog house, right? Maybe some of you men reading this post right now were in the doghouse over the weekend.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to be extremely purposeful for this Valentine’s Day. I placed the order for the roses in advance. I made the dinner reservations ahead of time. I discussed childcare options with my wife. I wanted my wife to see that I took this day of love seriously. I wanted to demonstrate thoughtfulness and care. I wanted there to be no doubt that I love her.

So, since we just passed the Valentine’s Day holiday last week, I thought I’d share five thoughts I had over the weekend about marriage relationships and the lessons we can learn to apply to not only our earthly relationships, but also lessons that we can apply to our relationship with God.

4 Ways To Reignite Your Passion

1. Show up more. When I was dating my wife, we both had demanding responsibilities and schedules (and still do!). Because we loved and cared for each other, we were always planning our next opportunity to get together for dinner, a movie, or other event. We wanted to hang out. We wanted to spend time together. But, then you get married, life happens, and if you aren’t careful, you end up spending less time with each other. You must be purposeful in spending time alone on a very regular basis to renew and strengthen your relationship.

The same is true with our relationship with God. When we first accept Christ as Savior, we’re hungry to spend quiet time with Him. We can’t wait to be in church for every opportunity to gather with God’s people. But then, as we grow older in our faith, we find excuses to stay away from both our quiet time and from church. We’re just not in God’s presence as often, and the sad thing is that we don’t even really seem to care. We take God for granted. You must be purposeful and resolute in your relationship with God. If you have a challenging schedule, then you need to get God back on your schedule. As the saying goes, on paper, on purpose. Plan your day so that you give yourself enough time in the morning for some quiet time with the Father. Make church a priority. Don’t let other people, circumstances, sports, or other earthly pursuits dictate whether you will be in church each Sunday.

2. Talk more. A natural outgrowth of spending more time together with your spouse should be communication. When you started dating, you guys probably talked all the time. Over time, though, maybe you ran out of stuff to talk about. Sometimes, the conversation flows naturally. At other times, you may need to work at it, but keep on talking no matter what. Treat your spouse as your best friend and share not only your daily activities, but also your hopes, your fears, your very life with them.

God wants to converse with us. He speaks to us through His written Word. We speak to Him through the vehicle of prayer. We must set aside time in our busy day to read God’s Word and pray. My own personal recommendation would be to do it early in the morning before your day gets cluttered and your mind gets scattered. Again, we must make our conversation with God purposeful, otherwise our busy lives will quickly crowd Him out.

3. Give more. I believe the secret to a successful marriage is sacrificial, unselfish giving. When we purposefully plan and give our spouses the very best of our time, energy, and resources, then we end up appreciating each other more. Sacrifice would seem to be a dirty word in this culture. Everybody wants what they want, when they want it, and don’t even bother asking me to give any more than I’m already giving you. I believe this act of giving, though, is the key to success in any relationship. Give, and then be willing to give some more.

God wants us to give back to Him. He wants the “firstfruits” of our life: the very best of our time, talents, and money. But, what do we usually offer back to Him? I bet most of the it’s probably our leftovers. We “tip” Him financially by throwing a few bucks in the offering plate. We make it to church every other week. We don’t read our Bible or pray consistently. We don’t use our God-given talents to further the Kingdom of God, but we waste them on earthly pursuits. How do you think that makes God feel? Are we truly demonstrating that we love God with everything we have? I seriously doubt it.

4. Submit more. Submission is another one of those bad words were supposed to ignore in our modern culture. An attitude of submission, though, is critical for success in any relationship. When I speak of submission, I’m not talking about becoming a doormat and allowing yourself to be abused. Submission is simply recognizing the needs of the other person and putting their needs and desires above your own. A woman’s primary need is love and affection. A man’s primary need is respect. The Bible says in Ephesians 5:21-25, “ … submitting to one another in the fear of Christ. Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her.” I’m not sure why we have made this issue so complicated in our (supposedly) Christian marriages.

In our relationship with Almighty God, He wants our complete submission. He wants us to be completely surrendered to Him and His desires. Once we have entered into a relationship with Christ, we should be completely submitted to Him. Our lives are no longer about living a selfish, self-absorbed lifestyle. Our lives should be about accomplishing His mission through us – advancing the Kingdom of God.

Questions: How’s your passion for your spouse? Are you showing up, talking, giving, and submitting? And how about your relationship with God? Are you really demonstrating a passionate love for Him as well? Do you think He will say to you one day “Well done, thou good and faithful servant?”






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Serving One Another Through Our Presence and Participation

Photo by the The Lutheran World Federation

Photo by the The Lutheran World Federation

A Life of Service

The Christian life is a life of service. Nowhere in Scripture do I see a person coming to faith in Christ, and then the Lord asking that person to sit on their hands and do nothing. Quite the contrary. According to God’s Word, we are supposed to use our talents, abilities, and finances to build up the Body of Christ and advance His Kingdom here on earth. This is our mission as believers and as His Bride, the universal Church.

Serving Our Fellow Believers

Not only should we serve others outside of the church, but also we should serve one another within the church body as well.

We serve each other in two important ways. First, we serve each other as church members through our presence, by simply showing up. We need to be present on a regular basis for worship services and small group meetings. I think this is why the writer of Hebrews says in Hebrews 10:25, “ … not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” We need to show up, to be present, in order to encourage one another, to mature, to help each other grow in our walk with Christ.

Second, we serve each others through our participation, through using the gifts and abilities He has given to us. Each church member has their own special gifts and abilities that they bring to their church. These talents are important for church members to utilize in their own unique role within the Body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:4-14 (NIV) states:

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

An Age of Distraction

Unfortunately, we live in a unique of age of distraction. We have more and more stuff that is distracting us away from our service in God’s Kingdom. We have more media to consume than ever before. We have more social networks to keep up with. We have more activities scheduled on Sundays. We have children’s sports games to attend on the Lord’s Day. We have professional sports games to attend, do the tailgate party thing, or watch on TV.

I recently heard the statistic that a church member who is considered a “regular attendee” actually only attends church 40-50% of Sunday worship services. So, what we’re talking about here is people attending every other week at best. And over time, this statistic is getting worse, not better.

There’s something wrong with this picture. In my opinion, this is an attendance habit that was never God’s intention for His children.

Satan is pretty smart, though. He uses all of these “good” activities in order to distract us from what is most important for us – our spiritual lives, and the Kingdom of God.

Obedience and Priorities

I know I’m probably old-fashioned and not hip like the hipsters, but I believe there should be a high level of obedience when it comes to our presence and participation at church. We should be active weekly in the our local church. We should make this part of our a spiritual life a high priority. I believe this is an expectation of God the Father, otherwise, why would He have founded the Church through His Son in the first place?

Making church a priority in your personal life and family life will mean that you will need to say “no” to a lot of good stuff. It’s also going to mean a lot more work for you and your family as you will need to investigate which activities your children will be able to participate in based on weekend scheduling. If it conflicts with church attendance and participation, I personally wouldn’t do it. My family’s spiritual life is way more important than whether or not my kids are well-rounded in sports or the fine arts.

God cares more about our relationship with Him. Our presence and participation in the Body of Christ is a major part of that relationship with Him.

Questions: So, how’s your family’s attendance and participation level in your local church? Are you fully engaged or merely half in? What changes do you need to make to your weekend calendar to make His church a priority in your life?