Summary: Our church is doing a FireProof Marriage Series. Here is my offering of the first in our series.
FIREPROOF – A LOVE THAT DARES
INTRODUCTION… Truth or Dare
This morning as we begin, we will begin with a game. We are going to play a game of Truth or Dare. I have in my hands a basket… with two types of cards… one for ‘Truth” and one for “Dare.” This should be a game that all of you know how to play. One player starts the game by asking another player, “Truth or Dare?” If the queried player answers “truth,” then the questioning player asks a question, usually embarrassing. If the queried player answers “dare,” then the questioning player asks the queried to do something, also usually embarrassing. I also like the repetition rule. This means players cannot chose “truth” three times in a row. That way it will not allow players to choose “truth” all the time or dare all the time, making the game more interesting.
Truth or Dare person 1
Truth or Dare person 2
Truth or Dare person 3
Isn’t interesting that in general we will take dares for stupid things and not for things that matter? We will eat pickles mixed with honey, kiss the guy or girl with marshmallows in our mouths, or run around the car naked, but when it comes to something serious, we balk at the dare. The word “dare” is a verb that means “to have the necessary courage or boldness for something.” Over the next month you will be challenged... tested… urged... dared… in your love life. Do you have the necessary courage to love as God directs? Do you have the boldness to believe in God and allow Him to heal your marriage? Do you accept the dare from God that He knows best in your love life?
This morning as we begin the challenge to you, we are using a movie as the vehicle for the challenge.
This month we will be using the movie “Fireproof” to dare is in our marriages. We showed the movie last night
here at church and we will show it again at the conclusion of our FireProof Series. I would also like to mention that there are special studies during the sermon series this month that we would love for you to get involved with. The movie Fireproof tells the story of a couple that comes back from the brink of divorce by surrendering their marriage and their lives to Jesus Christ. The movie can be summarized in one sentence: “Never leave your partner behind.” The lessons that the couple learns through a painful process are the very same lessons that we all need to discover about loving people God’s way.
Our dare begins this morning by defining what the dare involves. The dare is all about love. It is all about loving someone in the way that God desires, commands, and has designed and not in the manner that we choose. We will discover that love is about giving and not about receiving. We will discover that love is all about grace and not about guilt. We will also discover (and this is the most difficult of the three) that love is about commitment and not about feelings.
I. LOVE IS ABOUT GIVING AND NOT ABOUT RECEIVING
READ 1 CORINTHIANS 13:4-5a
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking…”
These verses in 1 Corinthians tell us what love is and what it is not. We can read in the verse that love is not about taking from others. Love is not about taking someone’s esteem and tearing them down. Love is not about taking away a spirit of respect. Love is not about you and what you receive from a relationship… it never has been according to God’s definition and He is the author of love.
Love is, however, all about giving. Paul says that love is first about giving patience. What does that mean exactly? How does that work out in a marriage? The word patience is one that means “to be of long spirit” or “not to lose heart.” It also means “mild and slow in avenging.” Patience needs another definition especially for marriage and I have come up with a great definition: “persistent tolerance.” Love is something that is full of persistent tolerance. I thought I made up this combination of words… “persistent tolerance” until I googled the phrase. Apparently “persistent tolerance” is a medical term that basically means that with constant exposure to certain medications that a person’s body becomes tolerant to certain medications and their cells even alter to become resistant to medications (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17218615).
To be honest, that makes a lot of sense when it comes to marriage. I hope I explain this well and have put a diagram in your sermon notes to help… because this is important. Imagine in the situation that you are the body and your spouse’s annoying habits, the frustrations if your marriage, and the road blocks of your life are the medication. Those frustrations and habits come from them and get under your skin and cause issues. Let’s also assume that they will never change and the same annoying habits your spouse has today they will always have in 25 years. In patience you, the body, will develop a tolerance towards those stresses and God will work and change you to be able to deal with them. Loving God’s way changes our hearts to be able to interact and handle the other person in a patient manner. In the end, the frustrations and roadblocks to your marriage are still there, but God has changed you to deal with them. Does that makes sense? Loving God’s way changes our hearts to deal with other people.