Moments of sudden glory. That’s what Sharon Jaynes calls the times when God makes his articulate presence known—when He woes and romances right smack in the middle of our busy days. She longs for readers to recognize the romance of God in the routine of life—to taste the sweetness of God on the palate of their heart. To slow down enough and savor the manna moments of God speaking—the miraculous in the mundane. Sharon is a fellow porch sitter and storyteller who loves locking arms with women who long to experience life to the full. Sharon invites you to her backyard to listen in on a sudden glory moment as God spoke to her about reigniting routine-ridden marriage.
I sat on my back porch with my Bible in my lap and a hot mug of steamy coffee in my hand.
Early morning is my favorite time of day. Just me, Jesus, and a smattering of birds.
I closed my Bible and looked out across the backyard. My eyes landed on a rounded mound of fur nestled in the grass under the willow tree.
I got up and moved in for a closer look.
My heart sank as I discovered what appeared to be a curled-up baby fawn lying lifeless in the grass. Probably the same fawn my neighbor had seen nursing from its mom the day before. I understand the circle of life, but still. A baby fawn lay dead in my yard. Most likely the target of the coyote I’d seen roaming around.
I couldn’t get close enough to see the wound. Sometimes that is the way of things.
I did get close enough to see the sunlight passing through the velum-like ears, the intricate spots on its back, and the Bambi-like eyelashes resting on a perfectly shaped snout. I would have to wait until Steve got home to take care of the situation. I didn’t have the nerve.
All morning my mind returned to the lifeless form lying in the sun. Hours passed. At noon I looked out of the window and the still fawn remained unmoved. Untouched. Undisturbed.
I couldn’t stand it. I had to know what had happened to it.
So I mustered up my courage and made my way to the fawn.
Three feet away. Stop. No signs of an attack. I inched closer.
Finally, I knelt down by the beautifully crafted creature, admiring God’s handiwork. But I couldn’t see what had killed it.
“What happened to you, little deer?” I whispered.
Suddenly, the fawn’s head popped up! Startled eyes stared at mine…wide-eyed. Me like a deer caught in the headlights. The fawn simply caught.
I fell back! And time stood still for a moment as we stared at each other dumbstruck.
Finally, the fawn sprang to its feet, wobbled a bit, and scampered off like a drunken sailor. I sat in the grass and laughed, and laughed, and laughed.
So the fawn wasn’t dead after all. It had simply found a bit of grass and fallen asleep…until almost noon.
After my heart stopped pounding, God whispered to my soul: Sometimes things are dead, and sometimes they just need to be woken up.
I pondered those words for the rest of the day. I called a friend who was struggling in her marriage—in a very bad way. The sort of way that leaves you wondering if it will survive. I told her the story.
Sometimes things are dead, and sometimes they just need to be woken up.
Sometimes a marriage is dead, and sometimes it just needs to be woken up.
I got it.
Between taking out the garbage, paying the bills, running the car pool, mowing the lawn, disciplining the kids, and folding the laundry, sometimes the passion of marriage gets lost. It happens to all of us at one time or another.
We can get so busy taking care of life that we forget to take care of love.
None of us got married so we could have a long list of chores.
If you’re like me, most likely you got married because you were madly in-love and couldn’t imagine life without your man!
You got married because you your heart skipped a beat every time you laid eyes on him. You couldn’t wait to tie the knot and build a life with this incredible person God had miraculously brought into your life.
Maybe you still feel that way. But maybe you could use a little reminder. A stoking of sorts.
In the book of Revelation in the Bible, God had this to say to the church at Ephesus: “I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first” (Revelation 2:4). Ephesus was one of the most loving churches in the New Testament, and yet somewhere along the way they lost that initial thrill of knowing Christ. Their love for each other and for God had grown cold.
God gave the church two simple steps:
Remember and Return.
Remember how it was in the beginning.
Return and do the things you did at first.
Marriage is the human echo of Christ and the Church, and I believe we can apply those same two principles in our homes.
For most of us, life is just daily. However, the accumulation of small struggles can nibble like termites to undermine the foundation of what appears to be a healthy structure as surely as the unexpected, earth-shaking rumble of sudden disaster.
And routine, even good routine, can rob us of the joy and passion of marriage… if we let it.
One day I took John’s words in Revelation to heart, and decided to remember and return by romancing my husband for fourteen days straight. Everyday wasn’t earth-shaking romance, even though there was some of that. One day I simply put a sticky note on his bathroom mirror that said, “I love you.”
Another day I placed a box of Red Hot candy on his car seat with a note that said, “You’re my hottie.”
One morning I warmed up his towel in the dryer and had it ready when he got out of the shower.
And you know what happened? At the end of the fourteen days, Steve had a skip in his step and silly smile on his face.
And what happened in me? I can hardly describe the love that welled up in me, as I loved my man well.
I don’t have a big, bad personal story of how God took a terrible, tumultuous marriage and miraculously transformed it into a storybook romance filled with white-knight rescues, relentless romance, and rides into the sunset leaving all danger and darkness behind. Although our marriage has been all that at one time or another, it’s no fairy tale.
Our marriage is a daily journal, one page after another, one day after another. I’m guessing just like yours. Some entries are smudged with tears; others are dog-eared as favorites.
Some days are marred by unsuccessful erasures that couldn’t quite rub away hurtful the words said; others are finger-worn by the reading of precious events time and time again.
But on those days when I see my marriage slipping back into the mundane cadence of passionless routine, I remember and return.
I pull out my list of ideas, and put a smile on Steve’s face.
Sometimes things are dead, and sometimes they just need to be woken up.
Take the 14 Day Romance Challenge?
Sharon Jaynes is passionate about building strong marriages. For ten years she served as Vice President and radio co-host for Proverbs 31 Ministries, and continues to encourage readers through P31’s on-line devotions. She is the co-founder of Girlfriends in God, a Bible girl who loves teaching God’s Word, and international speaker for women’s events.
Her latest book, A 14-Day Romance Challenge: Reigniting Passion in Your Marriage, is putting smiles on husband’s faces everywhere. If your marriage has grown ho-hum in the daily routine of life, this book can help you spice up your relationship and rekindle the passion with over 250 creative ideas to show your man just how much you love him. Sharon shares heart-stirring inspiration and simple ideas that will put a spark in your marriage. Get ready to have fun and…wow your spouse with simple acts of affection he’ll treasure for a lifetime, wake up the passion that was God’s idea in the first place, and watch your marriage grow stronger and your love grow deeper.
[ Our humble thanks to Harvest House for their partnership in today’s devotion ]