Abigail and Calvin come home from their honeymoon today and they start the drive back to school and work at Oklahoma Christian University tomorrow. They spent their week in California, including two days at Disneyland. Treneé and I spent our weeklong honeymoon in Lake Placid, New York; home of the 1980 Winter Olympics. My parents spent their honeymoon week in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. The most important commonality of three of these honeymoons, is that all of us were cheated. Listen to this verse found in Deuteronomy 24:5, “When a man takes a bride, he must not go out with the army or be liable for any duty. He is free at home for one year, so that he can bring joy to the wife he has married.” We were all shorted 51 weeks! Amidst all of the practices of the law—even though they didn’t call it a honeymoon, they certainly got the concept better than we have!
“Honeymoon” itself is an odd word, and its origins provide for an interesting discussion. The etymology of the word comes from the Old English “hony moone.” Hony, a reference to honey, refers to the “indefinite period of tenderness, harmony and pleasure experienced by a newly-wed couple,” and how sweet the new marriage is. Moone, meanwhile, refers to the moon and its phases, representing the short amount of time that sweetness would last. While honeymoon has a positive connotation today, it was first used as a term to warn newlyweds about waning love.
“A warning about waning love.” This warning is not only applicable to newlyweds, but also to Christians. John provides a similar warning to church in Ephesus, Warning: “You have abandoned the love you had at first” (Revelation 2:4). Just like newlyweds need to remember and work at keeping their love burning strong for their spouse, lest is wane—Christians must do the same with Christ. If you think it is easy to get into a routine and forget the love, passion, kindness, tenderness and pleasure of the first month of marriage, it is even easier to do that with Christ and His church. A wise elder of mine once said, “the enemy of a great marriage is a good marriage.” What he meant is that being content with good, becoming complacent with satisfactory, will eventually lead to less of both. A great marriage only comes by hard work. Commitment and dedication to one another. Likewise, it takes more than just attendance, some prayer, and the occasional bible study to maintain a great Christian relationship with Jesus.