In a few short weeks, Lorelei and I will celebrate 30 years of marriage. Wow! How often do you hear that number these days?
Three decades have gone by, and I am thrilled to say that we’re more in love now than at the beginning…that our greatest joy of the day is to sit across from one another, talk, and just be together. No greater pleasure exists for us. (You can check with my wife and verify if my remarks are accurate…haha!)
With that declaration, I would like to highlight for you, today, that passion is on purpose. You don’t stumble upon your deepest longings. You cultivate it!
It’s all about participation and practice. Passion doesn’t grow because it’s natural to who we are. You have to engage what you say you love. You must grow in it. Mature with it. It may be true that there are things we get excited about doing, right from the get go, but those initial feelings don’t last unless you pour yourself into that activity regularly.
For this reason, Jesus said the greatest command of scripture is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30, ESV) As much as love is a heartfelt response, as it should be, it is also a commanded action. Without action, passion wanes. The fire dissipates. God knows this about us. So, His Word continues to remind us to act on our faith, do what’s best, and it will stoke the fires of what’s already in your heart.
Now mind you, I’m not proposing a religious or legalistic approach to passion. The simple truth is: we’re human, and when we don’t practice what we say we love, we lose our passion for it. Love and action produce heart-felt living.
As simple as this sounds, this is countercultural, and the enemy doesn’t want you to see it. It’s not natural to our contemporary thinking. Our world tells us, “If you don’t feel it, you don’t have to do it. You just do you!” Right? BUT, what if you are broken? What if you are deceived? What if you have grown calloused to what we should be loving? Then, restoring your passion for the Lord, or any other purpose-filled activity, will be very difficult. You will be waiting a very long time for the feelings to rise again.
I can tell you after 30 years of successfully and passionately being married. Passion is not simply a natural response of the flesh; it is the fruit of joyful giving to another. If you would do the same with anything you wish to grow in, then your fire for life will never die!