“Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.” – G.K. Chesterton
Do you know what it’s like to be truly, madly, completely in love? It’s consuming and wonderful and frightening all at once. So it should be in our relationship with God.
God ought to be foremost in our lives. We need to be intentional in our relationship with Him. We can’t just put our faith lives in a little box that we open for an hour or so on Sunday morning and ignore the rest of the time unless we need something. God loves each of us infinitely and personally and we are called to respond with love for Him. Not just a smattering of affection but a profound, deep, life-changing type of love. A love that pours out from our souls into the world, encompassing everyone we meet.
This may come naturally and easily at times, especially following a conversion or a re-ignition of faith. However, just as in our earthly relationships, once that initial glow or honeymoon phase or whatever you want to call it wears off, love requires more effort. A constant choice must be made to love God. There are and will be valleys along with the mountaintops. Yet this cannot stop our love for God because our commitment is lifelong and vital to our flourishing.
How do we make this happen and how do we show our love for God? It’s also very similar to the way we love others and show forth that love.
Spend quality time with God. Make God a priority. Set aside time for God every day. Go to Church at least every Sunday. Whether you choose to wake up early to read the Bible first thing in the morning or turn off the music in the car to pray during your commute or something else, make sure that you are making God an integral part of your daily routine.
Learn about Him. Strive to understand why you believe what you do. Bible study is a great way to grow in your faith. So is reading the writings of the saints or other solid Christian authors.
Praise God. Rejoice in the beauty all around you as a gift from God. Thank Him for the blessings in your life.
Serve God in word and deed. Take action. Go out and serve the poor and the marginalized. Care for those least among us. Strive to make the world a better place.
Give of your time, talent, and treasure. All that you are and all that you have are given by God. Give back to Him from what you have.
Live a holy life. Choose to do what’s right and avoid occasions of sin. Seek that which is good, true, and beautiful. Draw on God’s grace to overcome temptations and show forth your love for Him through following His way.
Pray. Converse with God often. Allow for silence to listen for Him when He speaks to you. Share with Him your deepest desires and your shining moments as well as your weakest ones. Involve God in your life by communicating with Him.