Let’s travel back to a time to our younger years when we “fell” in love. Yes, the love bug bit us!
Do you remember buying perfume and fixing your hair just right? Being nervous and talking too much? We were shy and awkward but at the same time very curious. Many times with new couples there is a meet and greet period where each person is interrogated. HA! Where are you from? What do you do for a living? How many siblings do you have? What order is your birth in the family? What do your parents do for a living? On and on it goes like a pinball in a pinball machine bouncing off the walls.
Yes, this young love comes with sweaty palms and nervous hugs that are more like pats on the back, and then the moment arrives when a first grasp of the others hand leads to a cherished kiss. This kiss might be compared to fireworks at a 4th of July celebration or chills going down the spine. We get home and replay evenings and words that were shared—looks—moments—and ultimately a fire burns for the other person. We are usually on our best behavior during this early stage–a young lover looking for a bride or a groom.
Now I want you to compare this journey to your relationship with Messiah Jesus/Yeshua and our Abba Father. Have you ever met a young believer? They are so excited. Their face shines with the oil of gladness. They want to know everything about this new Spirit and breath of the Father and His Son Yeshua.
Many times, they are running from building to building and prayer group to Bible study. Some even purchase colored markers for certain passages–a shiny cross–or several different translations. They are reading the Bible with breakneck speed. Gulping food down and finding a meeting to attend every night. They have to pray over everything. Young love. Yeshua told one church in Revelations that they had lost their first love, but let’s switch and look at old love. A seasoned love that has withstood many storms is like an old oak tree.
Old lovers know each other in a way young lovers cannot identify. They’ve had their battles and fights and times of darkness. They may have lost a child or been through a chronic illness. Perhaps they have battled family or lost a home or business. They may have had a child with a vast disability or health condition. They’ve been to the wilderness. Each battle brought more strength and more holding the other person up when they felt they couldn’t stand or take one more hit.
Old love. Steady—strong–secure.
Old lovers do not feel the need to talk excessively or dig for information continually. They don’t have to have every hair perfect or any hair at all. They feel very comfortable holding hands and kissing.
They know each place where the other has been wounded, hurt, or rejected. They can look at each other and know what a look signifies. They can sit in the same room with no entertainment, television, music, or conversation and feel very secure that the other is there right next to them. They know what foods the other likes—what music—they can undress in all their saggy skin and feel safe. They know when the other is upset—distant—angry—aloof. If you try and separate them for any length of time, it’s difficult.
Many times when a couple has been married for 50 years, and one passes away, the other will not live long afterward. They are knit together as one.
Old love is like old wine.
A wine that was over 3000-year-old was found a couple of years ago. These jars were discovered in a palatial wine cellar in northern Israel in July 2013. What did this wine taste like? They said it was sweet—smooth–strong—bold—and medicinal. It was rich in herbs and honey– like a medicine. That’s what old wine tastes like. That’s what old love tastes like.
Have you ever met a couple that’s been together for years but instead of having a sweet aroma they barely know each other, or the battles left them bitter—distant—and full of vinegar. I compare it to a people who have been going to a building once or twice a week for decades. They come in and carry a book they barely read and sit for an hour. They clap their hands and stand and sing, only to leave empty. They remind me of those who are lit up like those fireworks–they fizzle out quickly. I call it going through a motion, a ritual- emotionalism–calves lips. Yeshua quoted Isaiah and said the prophet was right when he said this . . . “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,” (Isaiah 29:13 NASB).
So sad, but it’s a place we can find ourselves in if not careful.
What is rote? It is a “mechanical or habitual repetition of something to be learned.”
There are marriages where people have NOT been knit together. Their marriage isn’t like old wine but like grape punch—an artificial substitute. Their jobs, careers, hobbies, parents, or children are at times placed above their spouses. The intimacy is but dead, and they rarely come together. They live in separate quarters of the house and have nothing in common. When the family or kids come around, they dress for rehearsal and attend the meal—the party—the service. They go through the motions–rote. Yeshua called some men whitewashed tombs. They looked amazing and glorious on the outside, but He said: “they were dead—dead men’s bones.”
Once this tired broken down arrangement of marriage becomes a routine, usually idols are in place. Idols replace the other spouse. The idols appear fairer than their lover. They may even begin to cheat on their lover. Certainly, we can do this in many ways that don’t involve another person, but fleshly desires no less.
Old love versus new love. There is a difference in old love and new love and especially an aged love that is like that ancient jug of wine with honey and herbs—a sweet, smooth melody that warms the soul. Old lovers rarely call each other by their name but have pet names for their spouses—honey—baby—dear—darling—It’s the same with Our Heavenly Father. I love calling Him my Abba Father. Sometimes I do not even say His Name, but my heart cries out. Deep calls to deep.
If I pick up the phone and call my husband and say “I need you!” I know that man would drop everything and come. How much more our Father?
Now I am going to switch gears and let’s think about children. If you don’t have any children, you surely have parents that are here or passed on. A father and mother often worry about their children. We watch them growing and maturing, and we think at times, __ so and so needs to work on their anger—their balance—their bitterness—they are insecure, or they are full of themselves–if only they saw their gifts—they have a chip on their shoulder —they need to forgive that person. On and on, we go looking and inspecting our seed. It starts early. Place the napkin in your lap, son. Chew with your mouth shut. Stop yelling. Cross your legs in that dress daughter of mine or change your clothes. Finish your homework. Turn that show off it’s not appropriate. Open the door for that lady with a cane. Take out the trash. Brush your teeth. On and on we train.
It’s the same way with our heavenly Father. He looks down, and with all the grace we have for our own children, He pours out more grace. The problem comes when certain things go south. Divorce—abandonment—malnutrition. Certain things keep showing their ugliness. If you had a son who was six years old who had no health issues and he started school and was still wearing diapers, that would be quite messy. If you had a daughter who took a bottle to school and sucked on it during lunch, you might be a tad embarrassed. Tough love may come into play.
“If you endure discipline, Elohim is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom a father does not discipline?” (Hebrews 12:7 ISR).
If a parent has a child who has been outside playing hard all day and has dirt smeared on their face and mud caked under their fingernails and let’s say the parents are invited to a family meal with the grandparents, those parents are going to wash that child and clip its nails. Why? For the child’s sake? So the child doesn’t feel embarrassed? No, the child doesn’t care. Doesn’t even know that it’s inappropriate to come to dinner dirty. Matter a fact, the child wants to keep playing in the dirt, and he or she may scream or throw a fit when you place them in the bath.
“You have not bought Me sweet cane with silver, nor have you satisfied Me with the fat of your slaughterings. You have only burdened Me with your sins, you have wearied Me with your crookednesses.
“I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake, and remember your sins no more” (Isaiah 43:24-25).
So let me wrap this up. He cleans us up. He forgives us, but that doesn’t mean we are finished. A relationship is what He wants. Just scrubbing a child–dressing them and sitting them aside without ever hugging them, or telling them you’re proud of them, would be robotic.
If you’ve been married for a long time and you can’t remember the last time you were excited about your spouse or deeply intimate, begin to woo your lover. Both your spouse and your Adonai. Gifts help—dates—dinners—cards—love notes—songs—and always place the Father at the forefront of your marriage. Hold hands. Kiss. Embrace each other. Turn off all the electric boxes and take the time to fully look into your lovers face—both your lovers.