Each society has proverbs, pithy statements that may or may not contain some general truth. Some are more useful than others. “All that glitters is not gold” and “two wrongs don’t make a right” seem particularly useful in today’s society. One of the more popular proverbs is “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” But is that true?
Perhaps it is true in an extremely limited sense. Short periods of absence could cause one to realize how much another means to them. However, as a general rule, can we say that absence makes the heart grow fonder?
It does not seem to ring true in my limited experience with a long-distance relationship. However, there is one place where this proverb fails miserably. Absence from God does not make the heart grow fonder.
When our connection with the Creator is not renewed daily, we begin to drift away (Hebrews 2:1). There are several ways to remain connected with God, but communication is absolutely vital.
Let God communicate with you. The Bible is the mind of God revealed to us (1 Corinthians 2:6-16). Embedding God’s word in our hearts, through continual interaction with it, keeps us close to God and Satan at bay (Psalm 119:11). The more we learn about our God, the more we grow in our love and appreciation for him and in our awe toward him.
Communicate with God. Prayer is essential. Jesus connected often with the Father through prayer, both publicly (John 17) and privately (Luke 5:16). Opening up your heart to the God of all grace will only deepen your reliance upon him.
Communicate with one another. Worship is primarily directed to God, but the secondary benefits for Christians are enormous. We speak to one another in our singing (Ephesians 5:19). We express our common faith in our not-so-common Savior by remembering his death as a community (see 1 Corinthians 10:17, 18). We are encouraged to maintain faithfulness by our weekly gatherings (Hebrews 10:19-39). But do not limit your communication to weekly assemblies. Meet as often as you can. Exhort one another daily (Hebrews 3:13). We share a precious faith (2 Peter 1:1), let us treasure it together.
Friends, absence makes the heart grow fainter and fosters faithlessness. If fondness is what we are after presence is the way nurture it. Allow God and his people a constant presence in your life.