In Matthew 6, Jesus said, “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
That last sentence is powerful. The word “treasure” comes from the Greek word thesaurus, which means a repository of treasures, or a treasure chest. The word “heart” comes from kardia, which means the seat of your passions.
What Jesus means is you can’t separate your passion from your treasure. Wherever you’re putting the best elements of your life, that displays where your passions are. Where do you give the best of your time and talents?
Early in a dating relationship, a man and woman tend to give their best to each other. They invest in the relationship. They listen. They think about each other all the time. They fall in love. They work hard to show kindness and romance. They get engaged. They get married. They devote the best of their lives into each other.
According to sociological studies, the first years of marriage are almost always when the husband and wife report the greatest happiness. Then kids come around, and the happiness level drops. Why is that?
It’s because that’s when a man and woman stop putting their treasures into the marriage. A woman tends to turn toward the kids, giving them all her time and attention. A man tends to turn toward his career, spending too much time at work. Everyone gets busy and stressed.
When the kids finally leave and the husband and wife are faced with an empty nest, the damage has been done. They’ve spent so many years investing in something other than their spouse.
Husbands and wives: Are you investing more in your jobs than in your marriage?
Moms and dads: Are you investing more in your kids than in your marriage?
In Revelation 2, Jesus addresses the Church at Ephesus: “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.”
He tells them to return to their first love. When you fall in love with your spouse but then lose that love, it’s never because the love has just gone away. It is always because you have transferred it elsewhere: work, kids, hobbies, or another person.
Jesus refuses to be second-place. The best of our lives should go to Him. But after that, our greatest investment should be poured into our marriage.
If your passion has decreased in marriage, it’s because you stopped investing in it. That means it’s time to return to your first love and “do the things you did at first.”
Examine how you’ve changed, and what caused it. Did you have unrealistic expectations? Did something disappoint you and cause you to turn your heart away? Did you become lazy or start taking your spouse for granted?
Remember how you treated your future spouse when you first met. Remember the way you listened and how much you talked. Remember how much you valued and honored him or her. Remember how hard you worked on your relationship.
Return to your first love. For lasting passion, return the best parts of your life to your marriage.