Let Us Return to "Our First Love"
Heart to Heart

Let Us Return to “Our First Love”

 “I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot endure evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you, and will remove your lampstand out of its place unless you repent” (Rev. 2:2-5).
 We may wonder how God could possibly have something against one so faithful and hardworking, yet the key lies within “your first love.” It’s not that thanksgiving, praise and prayer have ceased; it’s that it isn’t always first, foremost, and above everything else. It’s not that love doesn’t exist; it’s just not the devoted love of an ardent lover.
 If our spouse worked for us day and night and only managed an embrace before work in the morning and one at night before slipping into slumber, would we have anything against them? Would we really feel loved – the kind that overflows the heart and tickles the toes? Would we be pleased with their hard work for us? Indeed not! We would feel unfulfilled and rejected.
 Remember when we first fell in love with our spouse, how the sound of their footsteps and the smile on their face excited us above all else? Remember that deep longing to be with them every minute? How we listened to every breath and hung on every word as we took refuge in their arms.
 Wasn’t it the same when we first fell in love with our Savior? Every moment was spent in loving adoration of His majesty with thanksgiving, praise, and prayer.
 Is He not saying to us, “Come back, come back to your bridegroom – the lover of your soul. Do the deeds you did at first. Seek Me! Listen to Me! Love Me! Praise Me! Pray to Me! Take comfort in My arms. Return now to your First Love!”
 Our works are of no value to God in and of themselves and are done in vain unless sanctified by Christ. Do we remember what it cost Him that our offerings could be made pure, holy, and acceptable to our Holy Father? Christ literally became the altar on which we could offer ourselves to God. No greater sacrifice was ever made for us and no greater love exists, yet so often we are so busily working for Him that we neglect Him. Therefore, let us encourage one another to return to our First Love with fervent hearts devoted to worshipping Him in loving adoration.
 May we draw near and renew the intimacy of our first love so we may truly mean, “As the deer panteth for water so my soul panteth after Thee” (Ps. 42:1).
 Let us also encourage one another to return to our first love at home – that love and calling we first felt when we began homeschooling. For our commendable efforts have become so laborious that we have lost our children in the midst of the work. Instead of working for them, we have begun working against them, gaining the world to place at their feet only to lose their souls.
 During the last twenty years of our homeschooling journey, we have witnessed a tremendous shift in parents’ focus from homeschooling to social schooling and unfortunately are also seeing the consequences.
 The beginnings of all endeavors to return to the right road are done with great perseverance and conviction, as is the case with homeschooling. At first we all ran “home” to keep our little lambs close to the hearts of our bosom so we could impart to them a heart for God and keep them from being corrupted by the world. But as time pushed us further down the road away from our roots, many eyes strayed to the world, once again, to see what it had to offer. Sports, the arts, then here a class, there a class, until children were right back from where we fought to save them—school—a world apart from their most devoted teachers, we their parents.
 His ways cannot be imparted on the way to other pursuits. Working hard to offer our children the world will only reap worldly children. Morning devotions before they’re off and running here and there is like feeding them a bowl of cold cereal every day and expecting them to stay healthy.
 A heart for God doesn’t happen on morning devotions and bedtime prayers. A heart for God requires a tremendous amount of nurturing and tending, day in and day out. It requires devotion from a loving parent who loves their little souls. It takes more than hearing the Word of God. Children must see their parents daily living the Word of God in all circumstances. They must see their parents worshipping their first love.
 Let us encourage one another to return to our first loves—God, spouse, children, and home—to do the deeds we did at first lest God remove our lampstands.
 So let us give all our attention to our Lord God, to seek Him by prayer and supplications with fasting and ashes. Let us confess our sins and return to our awesome God who is gracious to forgive; who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and obey His voice. When we fail so miserably, He lovingly lifts us up out of the miry clay pit of our own efforts and renews our spirit and our strength.
 Nothing, absolutely nothing apart from God will ever be successful or make us happy. We cannot help but love the greatest Lover of our soul. We are weak, but He is strong. We sin, yet His grace covers our sins. No task is too difficult, no trial too hard, no sin too great – He waits. He waits for us to return to His arms.