Sunday, September 27, 2009

Love For a Lifetime

Pastor Doug prefaced his sermon with a statement of three things he tells a couple as they stand before him and the wedding rites are being performed. As the rings are being presented he tells them the ring has no end, even as it is God's intent that the marriage will have no end prior to death of one of the parties; the ring is round, symbolizing equal strength of both partners, neither is to be dominant; the ring is costly, even as the relationship starts with and is sustained by sacrifice.
The scripture lesson is Matthew 19:3-6.

The Seasons of Marital Relationships

1. Romance. Emblazoned across the forehead: "Love Stupid." Two people meet, fall in love. It is a picture-perfect relationship, unlike every other relationship. It is a match made in heaven. Experts say this season lasts two and one-half years.

2. Reality. One (or both) realizes that the mate he thought he could never have is someone he can never get rid of. This stage lasts two weeks.

3. Resentment. No matter how "holy" you are the object of your affection becomes the target of your frustration. "It's not my fault." (She thinks, I went to bed with George Clooney and woke up with Peewee Herman.)
Colossians 3:12-14
Any two people who claim to know the Lord and who have marital trouble, have spiritual issues.
Get relationship with the Lord straight. Deal with each other. Reality clarifies what Romance conceals. During Romance: In love. During Reality: Choose to love.
Pastor Doug testified from personal experience that what kept him and Lori together when resentment set in was not their commitment to each other, but rather their commitment to the Lord.
4. Rebuilding. Love that doesn't get practice will never get past stage three.
Three Great Skills of Lifetime Lovers
  • Remembering that we're different. Remember what we like about each other. Recognize that we talk differently, think differently.
  • Asking. Ask for and grant forgiveness. The real issue: pride.
  • Deciding. Love is based on the decision to hang in there, not on feelings.

You will repeat these stages all through life.

Read I Corinthians, chapter 13.

You will live mostly happily ever after!

Assignment for this week.
If you are married, sit down with your spouse and review and renew your marriage vows. For better or worse; for richer or poorer; in sickness and in health; love and cherish so long as you both shall live.

If you are single, choose a skill and put it into practice. 1) Affirming differences; 2) Forgiving; 3) Decide to love and keep on loving a close friend.