It's the Little Things
“Take us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines.” Song of Solomon 2:15
The power of love is undeniable. Seeking to preserve the depth of his relationship with the object of his love, Solomon warned that as the keepers of the vineyards focused their attention to the small fox they too must guard against the small incidents that would destroy their love.
What happens to relationships that transforms a tender and sensitive partnership to a harsh and even adversarial experience? What parent sets out to have a child alienated from them? What child, who in Sunday school made works of art to give their parents, were looking for opportunities to grieve the hearts of his mother and father? What husband or wife sets out to replace the wonder and sweetness of love with harsh words, anger and even separation? Love that is eager to please, serve and fellowship can be chipped away by little things that accumulate in our relationships.
Not only relationships with our loved ones are chipped away by the “little foxes” but also our relationship with Jesus and our Father God can be destroyed by not paying attention to what appears as the small, insignificant or even negligible events or actions in our lives.
It is important for us to see the harbingers of a fading love. One of the first harbingers in a love the “small foxes” has affected is time. Not just the actual time that is spent face to face but the time that is spent longing for that time we are in the presence of the one we love.
Have you or are you saying or thinking; I have to go home, I have to spend more time with (fill in the blank)? Do you have the same response toward God? I have to go to church or I have to read my bible? These very words express a relationship that has been attacked by the “little foxes.”
Much of the love letter written by Solomon is spent not on the time they spent together but the reflection of or anticipation of the reunion with the focus of his love. Love has to be guarded. If you are not actively pursuing the object of your love you will find your love fading and even lost from view.
The “foxes” that cause your love to fade manifests themselves in many different ways and in many cases these “foxes” are not bad or wrong. Work, family requirements, sickness and even church responsibilities can become a distraction to the object of your love.
Jesus in His rebuke to the church at Ephesus said, “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” (Rev 2:4) This church group did not lack in works:
“I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.” (Rev 2:2-3)
This group of followers had lost the excitement and desire for Jesus. Losing your “first love” is the work of the “little foxes.” When “have to” replaces “want to” you have lost your “first love.” Have you lost your “first love” for your spouse, family or even Jesus? How do you restore your relationships to that brand new experience?
Jesus Himself gives you a roadmap that will undo the work of the “little foxes”:
“Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works.” (Rev 2:5)
First “remember”… remember when you first fell in love with your spouse? Remember the first time you looked in the eyes of your newborn child? Remember the first time you felt the love of your Heavenly Father? Remember your first love? Remember the time you spent with the object of your love? Remember how you planned for the next encounter?
Second, repent. Repent of losing your “first love” and taking for granted the relationships that you have treasured. Repent of lost time that the “little foxes” has stolen that will never be recovered. Repent for the damage that neglect has brought to the relationship.
Finally “do the first works.” Go back and recall and recover the first time you fell in love with your spouse, family and your Heavenly Father. Spend time with the object of your love, plan for the times you will have together and bask in the memories when those times happen.
If you do not repair the damage the little foxes have made, Jesus gives you this warning:
“I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” (Rev 2:5)
There is a place of no return in relationships. Damage from the “little foxes" can destroy the vineyard and can and will destroy your relationships.
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