Another big one today!
The Weed – Apathy
Some weeds grow up over night – you go to bed and the garden looks perfect but overnight there is a downpour and the next morning there they are lots of little weeds springing up. They are usually relatively easy to clear and you can pull them up. There are other weeds that don’t spring up straight away but they are slowly growing beneath the soil. When they do finally appear they are a nightmare to pull up because they are attached to a web of roots that seem to run the breadth and depth of the garden. That weed reminds me of a particularly difficult, deep and all pervasive relationship weed we need to be on our guard against: apathy.
Apathy is never present when a relationship starts – it simply cannot thrive where there is passion and excitement about the potential for a new relationship. It tends to appear well after the honeymoon, after two or thee children. Its foliage will only be seen after your business has been running for sometime and settled into a good flow or after you have been in your church for a few years. The leaves are seen in three statements:
“I just can be bothered”, “I’m not interested”, “I don’t care”
Actually they are not words but ooze from our behavior – it becomes obvious to those closest to us and often in small ways. No more flowers brought home from work, not asking the children about their day, not listening to the message podcast on a Sunday that you have missed at church.
When your daughter first started school, every day you wanted to know what she had been doing, learning about and who she had been playing with. But now she is a teenager and, frankly you just don’t care what she did at school today so never ask. “She’s probably not going tell me anyway,” you reason to yourself. “Teenagers!” And parent and child slowly drift apart on a sea of apathy and lack of interest.
Apathy means lack of interest or the absence of a wish to do anything; the inability to feel normal or passionate human feelings. Apathy is a major relationship killer.
Apathy feeds Apathy on both sides of the relationship – he does not bring me flowers so I wont cook his favorite meal. He doesn’t ask me about school so I wont tell him. It starts in the mind when we begin to doubt the other person’s feelings towards us – they don’t care so I wont.
The answer to apathy is one word: passion.
The Feed – Passion
Passion is an incredibly strong relationship feed and has the power to eradicate apathy quickly and swiftly. We must stoke the fires of passion for each relationship deliberately and consistently. The thing about passion is that it can be aroused. It’s there it just needs stirring up and focusing on. Its dying embers just need blowing on and it will burst into flame again. All it takes is a decision, a determined choice, a deep resolve. And that decision is to do the right thing even when we don’t feel like it.
Feeling apathetic about church? Can’t be bothered to come, serve or give. Then do the right thing, however you feel. Be in church because God says, “Let’s not give up the habit of meeting together” (Hebrews 10 v 25). Feeling apathetic about your marriage? Then revisit the reasons you married in the first place. Rekindle the fires of your love for each other. Make room for intimacy; share what you love about each other. Feeling apathetic about your children? Then start to get to know them again and take an interest in their lives. Go to the places they love going, invite their friends over and be part of their lives. God says as parents we are not to exasperate them and the quickest way to exasperate them is to disengage with them.