Summary: In these verses we see a group of people who have come out from the spiritual honeymoon period. And there are three things that Jesus says to these church members at Ephesus that I believe He wants to say to us.
You know, for every sort of relationship there is a honeymoon period, a time when everything is lovey-dovey and wonderful. All sorts of differences are overlooked during this time. All words are spoken kindly. Every consideration is given to the other party. It’s just a nice and peachy time.
But in many cases, the time comes when you know that the honeymoon is over. The annoyances begin creeping in. The differences begin to grow more noticed and addressed. It’s no longer peachy and perfect anymore. It’s become work. This is true in marriages. It’s true in business partnerships. It’s true in so many different types of relationships. Sometimes the honeymoon period lasts for quite a long time. Other times, as evidenced in so many Hollywood marriages, it lasts for a matter of days.
Maybe you’ve heard the story about a young couple who got married. When they got back from their honeymoon, the bride immediately called her mother. Her mother asked, "How was the honeymoon?" "Oh, Mom," she replied, "the honeymoon was wonderful! So romantic..." Suddenly she burst out crying. "But, Mom, as soon as we returned Tom started using the most horrible language...things I’d never heard before! I mean, all these awful 4-letter words! You’ve got to come get me and take me home.... Please Mom!"
"Sarah," her mother said, "calm down! Tell me, what could be so awful? What 4-letter words?" "Please don’t make me tell you, Mom," wept the daughter, "I’m so embarrassed, they’re just too awful! Come get me, please!" "Darling, you must tell me what has you so upset. Tell your mother these horrible 4-letter words!" Still sobbing, the bride said, "Oh, Mom, Tom started using words like dust, wash, iron, and cook!"
The honeymoon was over. The newness wore off and the reality of marriage had set in. And in the case of this poor young lady, it wasn’t what she had expected it to be.
You know, we kind of laugh at a story like that, but I think too many marriages fall apart when the honeymoon ends and it doesn’t turn out to be what the couple was hoping for. Probably even a vaster number of married couples don’t necessarily split, they stay married. But there is no passion in their relationship, there is no excitement. Marriage simply has become a drudgery, a co-habitation of two people, instead of a joyous bonding of two lives into one.
Even scarier is the thought that this happens in many a Christian’s relationship with Christ. A person gets saved and it’s wonderful. It’s such an awesome thing to know for the first time that your sins are forgiven. There’s such a feeling of peace and joy. There’s such a deep love for the One who died to make salvation possible for you.
This week I had a conversation with one of my closest friends from college at Hobe Sound. Eric and I traveled in a quartet together for a summer between my junior and senior year. In fact, I believe that was the year that we came and sang here at this church. Just recently Eric and his wife, Meagan, moved to Maryville where he is working as an assistant pastor at a church; Bryan’s dad’s church to be exact.
Eric was sharing with me about some of his newest converts that he’s been working with. He was telling me how exciting it is to see how hungry they are and how much they are growing in Christ. One couple he was talking about has come out of an awful life of sin. But God has been helping them. Yes, they still have some serious growing to do; there still are some major changes that need to be made in their lives. But they are so eager to know God more and to do whatever it takes to be exactly what He wants them to be.
It’s so exciting and refreshing to meet people like that, isn’t it? There’s just something awesome about seeing a new Christian who has such a deep desire for God. But you know, I’m afraid that for many of us there came a time in our walk with Christ that we began losing that zeal that we had as a new Believer; a time when the newness wore off and we began losing that seemingly unquenchable passion for Jesus. As time and life goes on, and that spiritual honeymoon period begins to wear off we have allowed Christianity to become a drudgery and a chore. We do everything we’re supposed to do, but the freshness is gone, the love has dwindled. And if we were to step back and take a good look at ourselves now, if there was anything inside of us that cared we would be alarmed at our spiritual state. We’ve lost the excitement. We’ve lost the passion.