Summary: Treat him like a king on a throne and treat her like fine china, and you'll get out of the love shack.
Our culture wants you to believe something about romance and relationships that simply is not true. And a lot of you believe it. Culture says, love is all about me. The way I feel. The things I want. The desires I have. To prove my point, we’re going to play this little game. I’m calling this the love song lyric challenge, the love song lyric challenge, I just made that up, and here’s how it works. I’m going to play a clip from a popular love song, and if you know it, then I want you to sing along with it and when the music ends, we’re all together going to sing the little phrase. Ok? It’s the love song lyric challenge! Everybody get it? This is an all-play on every campus, whether I’m live in the room or via video right now, it doesn’t matter. I want to play along. Have a little fun. You’re going to hear the song, sing along, and we’re going to sing the next phrase when the clip ends. Here we go, play that first clip.
That was fun! Now there’s a theme in those songs and dozens more just like them and the theme and I don’t know if you caught it or not, but the theme is this: you meet my needs and that’s what makes our love work. You meet my needs. You exist for me. You make me feel love and that’s what makes our relationship tick. You see, culture tries to tell us that relationships and romance ultimately is all about my personal fulfillment. Right? It’s all about the way you make me feel. It’s all about my personal happiness. It’s about my needs being met. This is why marriage after marriage after marriage and relationship after relationship after relationship end with statements like this: You just don’t make me feel happy anymore or I just don’t feel like I’m in love with you anymore, or you don’t meet my needs anymore or I met someone else that does for me what you don’t do for me. What is that about? I’ll tell you. It’s about these stupid love songs. That’s what it’s about. It’s about a belief that relationships exist for my personal fulfillment and I’m here to tell you today that when you focus solely on what relationships do for you, you will always be stuck at the love shack because the key to relational fulfillment isn’t in what is done for you but in what you do for them. It’s not how will you meet my needs, it’s how can I meet yours. Rather than, what can you do for me in this relationship, it is what can I do for you in this relationship.
Because watch this, when relationships are about us, we focus on rights and forget about responsibilities. We focus on rights and forget about responsibilities. And when you neglect your responsibilities in a relationship, and only care about your rights in a relationship, you use and abuse people for your own personal pleasure and ultimately you stay stuck at the love shack and your relationship never advances.
Listen, the best thing that can happen to you relationally today is to stop thinking about you, stop demanding your way, stop expecting to have your needs met and start putting the other person first. That’s the best thing that could happen to you. Mark my words, ultimate fulfillment relationally comes when you are meeting the needs of the one God has given you. It really does!
Some of you look skeptical, so let me prove it to you. The Bible says this about the way to treat others. It says, Philippians 2:3-4 NIV: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In other words, not worrying about having your needs met, but meeting the needs of others. This is what the Bible says. That relational fulfillment is actually a bi-product of meeting somebody else’s needs, not necessarily having your own needs met. It actually comes when you put others first.
This is why parenting is so fulfilling. Right parents? Some of you are like, nope it’s draining! Ok, you’ve got a point, it is draining sometimes, but isn’t it fulfilling relationally even though 98% of the time you are putting their needs first? I mean, really, think about all the choices you make in an effort to put your kid’s first relationally. There’s not a single person in here that would ever eat at McDonalds if it weren’t for our kids. Most of us on our own would never watch Disney Chanel, but we do for our kids. Think about what you drive and now think about what you could be driving if it weren’t for your kids! But come on, let’s be honest! It’s worth it. It’s worth it because parenting shows us that true relational fulfillment isn’t about meet my needs it’s about let me meet yours.