The Importance of Honeymoon Love

Blog-Honeymoon Love

In Revelation chapter 2 Jesus dictated a letter to the apostle John that was to be given to the church at Ephesus. In that letter the Lord commended the church for the zeal and tireless effort that went into their service for Him. This was a church that had a lot of good things going on. However in verse 4 the Lord Jesus went on to say, “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.”

All of these positive works of service were erased by one negative—they were going through the motions but they had lost the emotion in their relationship with Jesus. Their church was a well oiled machine—but God doesn’t want machines cranking out emotionless service—He wants a love relationship with His people. Jesus said the greatest commandment is “That you love the Lord your God with all you heart, soul, mind and strength” –Not that you serve the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.

And notice He doesn’t say they lost their first love. He says they left their first love. This was a conscious act of departing on their part that didn’t take place all at once but like the slow drifting off course of a ship at sea it happened slowly over time. In Weymouth’s N.T. translation of this passage we read—“Yet I have this against you—that you no longer love Me as you did at first.”

What is “first love”? It is the passionate love for Jesus that often characterizes the new believer.

It is the “I can’t think of anyone else” kind of fervent love that newlyweds have for each other—in a word it’s “honeymoon” love. And while it is true that married love deepens and grows richer over time, it is also true that it should never lose the passion of those “honeymoon days.”

The word “Ephesus” means “darling” or “desired one.” They were still desired by the Lord but He was no longer desired by them. In Jeremiah chapter 2 the Lord is lamenting the fact that Israel no longer loved Him as they did when He first led them out of Egypt and their love for Him was brand new.

He Lord said to them, “I remember how eager you were to please me as a young bride long ago, how you loved me and followed me even through the barren wilderness…” Jer.2:2 (NLT)

The worst thing that can happen to any relationship, whether you’re talking about your relationship with God or your spouse is when you begin to take the other for granted. The church at Ephesus fell into the trap of thinking that loveless service was enough to please the Lord. It would be like a wife who says to her husband, “ I don’t love you, I have no feelings for you at all, but I’ll stay married to you. I’ll clean your clothes, cook your meals…”

What husband would be happy with a relationship like that? I didn’t marry my wife so that I would have someone to cook my meals and clean my house—I can hire a maid to do those things. I married her because I fell in love with her as she did with me and now all the acts of service she does for me are special and beautiful because I know they are an expression of her love for me—but without the love they would be meaningless.

It’s obvious that Jesus feels that same way and wants more than service in our relationship with Him—He wants passionate, honeymoon love.  Remember He is holding His church in His nail scarred hands which speak of the ultimate act of selfless love—to lay down your life for the person you’re in love with. What kind of love are you giving Him in return?  All Christians love Jesus but not all Christians are ‘in love’ with Jesus—and there is a difference.

When was the last time you told the Lord, “I love you” and it wasn’t tied to something you wanted from Him? It wasn’t embedded in some prayer request? Some marriages have so deteriorated that the words “I love you” are only used when couples want something from each other. In Jesus’ letter to the church of Ephesus He goes on to tell them what they needed to do to get back to ‘first love’ or honeymoon love in their relationship with Him—”Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works…” Rev.2:5 (NKJV)

“First love” can be restored if you follow the three instructions Jesus gave.  

First, you must remember (literally “keep on remembering”) the love you once had for Him and cultivate a desire to regain that close communion once again.

Second, you must repent—which means to turn around and forsake any relationship with anyone or anything that is competing in your heart for the love that belongs to Jesus.

Third, you must repeat the first works. “Yes, but what does that really mean?”

What were you doing when you were first in love with and on fire for the Lord?

  • “I was going to church.” Go again!
  • “I was getting up early for morning devotions.” Do it again!
  • “I sang praise to the Lord as I drove down the street.” Sing again!

Remember—Repent—Repeat is the key to restoring your relationship with Jesus.

The passion of Paul the apostle’s life was ‘that I might know Him.’  When he said that in Phil.3 he had already known Jesus for many years as a believer. But Paul wanted to know Him more and more. He wanted a deeper and more intimate relationship with Jesus with each passing day.

The question you need to ask yourself is—“What is the state of my love for Jesus?”

Not the state of your theology about Him or your service to Him but what is the state of your love for Him! If you’re heart has grown cold in your relationship with Jesus ask Him to light the fire of passionate love once again so that you might fall in love with your Bridegroom once more. It’s not too late to rekindle that honeymoon love!

May the Lord richly bless you as you walk with Him day by day!

Pastor Phil