”Absence makes the heart grow fonder” is a familiar old saying with a lovely sentiment, but unfortunately it isn’t always true. Many lovers have returned to find their betrothed married to another.

But this saying is true when those separated are faithful and their love is strong. These will constantly think of the one that is away, they will correspond, they will reject the opportunity to go out with another, they do nothing that would meet with the disapproval of their betrothed. To these ”absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

Those weak ones who rationalize, who excuse their unfaithfulness by saying that a little fun doesn’t hurt anyone, and besides who is to know about a few secret dates, will soon find that letter writing becomes more of a chore and soon the love that once burned so strongly will gradually grow cold and finally die.

”Absence makes the heart grow fonder” only when those involved have the courage of their conviction and the will power to make temporary sacrifices for the anticipation of future happiness with their true love.

True Christians are waiting for their bridegroom (Christ) who has promised to take to himself his bride (his church) when he returns from heaven to set up his kingdom. The question each of us must ask ourselves is, does Christ’s absence make our heart grow fonder? Are we becoming more and more anxious for his return? Or are we having what we hope are secret infatuations with the world which are causing us to momentarily forget? The more ties we have with the world, the less anxious we are for his rcturn. Our homes, our jobs. our hobbies. and our recreation can all become figurative lovers that compete against Christ for our time and affection. We must be true to our first love.

Peter has warned us of those who would say ”Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation”.

Sometimes this question can come from an outside tempter, but it can also be detected as a small voice within us when we find that our interests and our duties fall in opposite directions. Of course, none want to admit that such a thought could occur to us, but then by our actions we often visibly display its result. Human nature is such a subtle thing that it is often possible to deceive even our own selves, but of course we are not deceiving Christ. When he returns he will know who are his own and who are not. In Christ’s parable of the virgins, some were wise and some were foolish. We need to remember that they were all virgins. It isn’t that the foolish were so wicked as much as they were foolish. They didn’t do anything very bad, but they just didn’t do anything. Absence made their hearts forget. They weren’t longing for his return although they were expecting it.

We are expecting Christ to return. Is his absence making our hearts grow fonder?
Reproduced with the kind permission of the respective author. Visit Thechristadelphians.org for more Minute Mediations.