Hold On to Your First Love

by September McCarthy

Newly married and walking into a church service with my husband, he is holding my hand — I can feel his ring against mine. I love this man.

Sitting in the pew, shoulder to shoulder, thinking about what we will do together this beautiful Sunday afternoon.  A nap?  A picnic?  We stand to sing, and we share a hymnal as he holds my hand again.  I love this man.

The message has kept me in rapt attention, but then I notice again this man sitting next to me,  his arm gently wrapped around my shoulder.  This is my new husband.  My man.  And he is mine alone.

Fast forward a few years, and that picture is a little different.

Babies, diaper bags, sippy cups, schedules…and me and my man.  More than a little different.

Sitting at opposite ends of the pew — for “traffic control.”  Now I’m in the back of the service feeding my newest blessing while my husband is up front.  What will we do today?  Nap?  Picnic?  Perhaps not.  Maybe.

Sound familiar?  Now take this picture and transfer it to the home.

What happened to that precious time between a man and wife?  How did they become so separated?

Sometimes, our habits bent out of good intentions push our priorities out of the way.  But that time together doesn’t have to disappear; it just looks a little different now.

hold on to your first love (graphic design by Chantel Brankshire)

Here are a few practical ideas that might help young moms to rediscover their first love.

1. Sit in the front of the car with your spouse.

A lot of moms take up residence in the back seat, to make life easier with children.  Don’t stay there, moms.  You belong sitting beside your husband.  Talk, hold hands, and listen while you drive.

2. Redefine your date nights.

You are having a weekly date night, right?  Naturally, the budget, timing, or babysitters will not always be ideal.  If not, then make your date nights in.  Put the children to bed early and relax.  It doesn’t have to be anything fancy.  Sometimes a little take-out food and a book or movie together is enough.

3. Talk.  Never stop talking.

Don’t feel guilty talking about your children during your time.  It’s okay — they are part of your common ground now.  Chat about your days, your ideals, visions, and what can change to help your current daily living (this will always be changing!).

4. Do your best to always turn in at the same time each night.

Work together with your schedules and responsibilities to head to bed at the same time — it needs to be mutual. This is one of the hardest things for couples as years go by, but it is so very possible. Prayer and talking together can be such a perfect way to close out your day together in peace.

5. Prayer and Worship.

Every couple has their own vision for the area of family devotions, prayer, and worship; what you choose for your family can be crucial to the unity of your marriage.  If a mom attends church weekly and sits in the nursery for all of her childbearing years, then she will gain nothing from her worship on those days, year after year.  Finding time in the Word and with her husband can refresh and renew her in a way that corporate worship might not.  Every couple has to find this balance for their home, and it looks different for each one.  Be in it together.

As you live with the vision to preserve your marriage with commitment, love and the Lord — keep your first love close. Don’t lose sight of that couple with paper-thin closeness in the church pew.  Your new variables can be rearranged.

I am September, wife to the Man that has protected my heart for 22 years, mom to ten children that I homeschool.  I am daily inspired by the work that Jesus Christ is doing in my life. It is by God’s amazing, bountiful, undeserved grace that I can see the plan He has for my life — even through the loss of seven of our babies.  I write with the prayer to honor the Lord with my words and actions.  Visit me at One September Day, where I am learning to embrace every season of motherhood, one day at a time.


  1. September..you are a blessing. Thanks for being an encourager to young wives and mothers.

    I had forgotten that you had lost seven babies. I knew of the losses, but was reminded that there were seven…and it reminded me of just how good God is to sustain you through those losses and to raise up such a beautiful trusting woman! And to also be raising 10 children for Him is such a testimony of the faithfulness of God!

    I love you,

  2. Great reminders September! My husband and I do well w/some of these, but could greatly improve on others. Good food for thought/discussion! Beautiful picts. of you and your first love. 🙂

  3. Thank you September! I’m not married yet, but that is one thing I’ve always wondered about in observing couples. When my love comes, I want to keep it despite changing the way it looks in different seasons. Thanks for giving us hope that it is possible. 🙂

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