Go back and do what you once did. Go back and do what you did in the beginning. This will impact your marriage, your children, your work, your friends, and your relationship with God.
Marriage. Remember the time when you were in love with your spouse. You chose your spouse. You picked that person. You had fun with that person. You overlooked that person’s flaws; you chose him or her in spite of the faults. Somewhere along the way—with life’s trials, kids, frustrations, pet peeves—the things you once loved, now you can’t stand. Look at the reflection of your own story. Remember what you did in the beginning. Now go back to it and do what you once did.
Children. When we first had children, we thought their orneriness was adorable. We couldn’t wait to hug them in the morning when they woke up. We loved the little sounds they made and all the things they were learning. Somewhere along the way, there was a switch that flipped. The rebellion became annoying. You used to laugh about it, and now it’s annoying. You may not greet your children with the same level of joy in the morning because they are grumpy, tired, and moody and they want to sleep in. Honestly, they are just not cute. It used to be cute, but now the cuteness is gone. We don’t celebrate every victory or every win. They learned something new today. That is now our minimum. Our bare minimum expectation. Encouragement begins to wane. But what if we went back and did what we did in the beginning?
Work. Remember the first several months or years at work? You showed up on time, and you studied hard to learn what you were doing. You worked hard; you gave your all. You tried to have minimal chitchat and break time because you wanted to be effective and strong. You had dreams to be the best in your department. You had dreams of being promoted quickly. Those things haven’t happened, so now you find yourself chatting a little longer at the water cooler, coming in fifteen or thirty minutes late, and leaving early. You now park your car backwards in your space because you start your day thinking about your exit strategy. What if you did what you did back in the beginning so you could be promoted and see your own work rather than trying to find a job somewhere else? Instead of starting a new beginning somewhere else, why don’t you start your own beginning where you are?
Friends. I don’t know how guys are, but with girls, friendships start out fun and pursuing. You text each other. You probably have a special ringtone because you cannot wait to hear from that specific friend. You laugh together. You share your children’s accomplishments: “They rode their bike for the first time!” or “They lost their tooth! I’m so excited!” Then one fight or one hurt comes along, and you take that person off of your favorites. You change your ringtone and make that person like everyone else. You turn off the ringer. You don’t answer the call right away. You have let a wall build up in your relationship. You go find new friends so you can repeat the same pattern. You start to separate from or divorce that friend. Now you are changing the ringtone for your new friend and saying, “Oh my goodness, I want to like all her Facebook posts!” Before you know it, you’ve had friend after friend after friend after friend. It’s on; it’s off. What if we went back and did what we did in the beginning, just forgave quickly and got over it? Who cares? It’s strife that makes you stronger. If you work through something and you get to the other side, the relationship is stronger than it was. Smile more. What do kids do when they make friends? They smile. They say, “Hi! I want to be your friend!” Smile more. Laugh more. Forgive more. Go back and do what you did in the beginning.
God. When you were first saved, you were on fire. You prayed every day. Maybe all day, every day, you read your Bible. You went to church. You were at the church every time the door was open. You served at every opportunity. You were not only on the host team, you were running the host team. You served kids. You didn’t even like them, but you did it because you loved God so much. You were on fire because He had changed your life radically. You shared Him with everyone at the grocery store. You shouted from the rooftop how great your life was. You posted on social media. Your friends didn’t know what was up with you. You were inviting everyone you knew to church. Before you know it, ten years have gone by, and your love has waned. What happened to your first love? Why has your love grown wax cold? Go back and do what you did in the beginning.