Summary: This sermon deals with the myth that love is a feeling, and defines true Biblical love as an action towards another, despite our feelings.
I already the title of this sermon in place when I came across, the "10 Myths about love" by Dr. Phil McGraw, found in his book "Relationship Rescue" (1). You know Dr. Phil from his appearances on Oprah and now his own show Dr. Phil. So I want to begin with a quick run down of his 10 myths about love:
"Myth #1: A Great Relationship Depends on a Great Meeting of the Minds You will rarely understand and appreciate how and why your partner views the world in his particular way. The reason you won’t be able to do it is because you are so totally different from your partner. You are genetically, physiologically, psychologically, and historically different." Perhaps that is why someone else said that Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus.
"Myth #2: A Great Relationship Demands a Great Romance If you have been deluded by this myth and therefore judge your relationship against the sizzle of the early days or the Hollywood version of a dramatic love, you could unfairly label a genuinely quality relationship as being substandard.
Myth #3: A Great Relationship Requires Great Problem-Solving Healthier couples, in my opinion, simply agree to disagree. They don’t let arguments get too personal, nor do they resort to insults or counterattacks because they feel so frustrated. They decide to ... disconnect... at an issue level.
Myth #4: A Great Relationship Requires Common Interests that Bond You Together Forever
If forcing yourself into common activities creates stress, tension, and conflict, then don’t do it. I promise, you have a number of significant commonalties that you may not think about. The important thing is that you not label yourself as deficient or having a less committed love because you don’t share common activities.
Myth #5: A Great Relationship is a Peaceful One So many people are terrified of volatility because they think arguing is a sign of weakness or relationship breakdown. The reality is that arguing in a relationship is neither good nor bad.
Myth #6: A Great Relationship Let’s You Vent all Your Feelings The problem is that, based on results, totally uncensored venting of your feelings often just does not work. Think about the number of times that you have blurted out something in the heat of the moment about your partner’s weaknesses. Let’s be honest: it felt sort of good…. For a moment you felt the exhilaration of rage—and you quite possibly damaged your relationship, and sometimes the damage can be permanent.
Myth #7: A Great Relationship Has Nothing to do With Sex Don’t you believe it for a moment. Sex provides and important time-out from the stresses and strains of a fast paced world and adds a quality of closeness that is extremely important. Sex is a needed exercise in vulnerability wherein you allow your partner to get close.
Myth #8: A Great Relationship Cannot Survive a Flawed Partner Sometimes, we feel that because something is not mainstream, then it must be toxic to the relationship, and that’s not necessarily true. Even "craziness" can be made to work.
Myth #9: There is a Right Way and a Wrong Way to Make Your Relationship Great Nothing could be further from the truth. There is not some etched-in-stone right way to be in a relationship. There is not a right way to show support or affection. What is important is that you find ways of being together that work for you.
Myth #10: Your Relationship Can Become Great Only When You Get Your Partner Straightened Out (Remember that old saying "she dated me for who I was; married me for who I was, and then spent the rest of the time trying to make me what she wanted me to be")...That’s a myth. The most important person for you to influence is yourself. You are the most important person in this relationship, and you must be the focus of your beginning efforts to change this relationship.
Those are myths that Dr. Phil felt are important to understanding so that you can go on and have a healthy relationship. None of these are the myth that I really wanted to dispell though, about love. And let me be clear, the reason that I want to talk about this today, is not to go back into our past and review our history of love and relationships, but rather to take love from this moment forward to a new demension. And in order to do that, I must dispell the main myth about love. The Myth that I want to dispell is that Love is a Feeling. Biblical love is not a feeling. In fact feelings never really seem to enter in to the Bible’s description of love. But rather, the word of God, introduces to us, that real love, is an action that keeps on loving, despite our feelings.