Summary: I want to address the common, almost universal belief that says, "As long as you genuinely love each other, everything will always work out."
IS LOVE EVER REALLY ENOUGH?
Even the most devoted couple will experience a stormy bout once in a while. A grandmother, celebrating her golden wedding anniversary, once told the secret of her long and happy marriage.
"On my wedding day, I decided to make a list of ten of my husbands faults that I would overlook strictly for the sake of our marriage." A guest asked the woman what some of the faults were that she had chosen to overlook.
The grandmother replied, "To tell you the truth my dear, I never did get around to listing them. But whenever my husband did something that made me hopping mad, I'd say to myself, Lucky for him that's one of the ten!"
This morning I want to talk about relationships...and I'll be focusing somewhat around the concept of marriage but I want you to understand that when I speak of relationships this includes all the relationships we have as Christians...especially in the context of the church.
I want to examine the question, "Is Love Ever Really Enough?"
I want to address the common, almost universal belief that says, "As long as you genuinely love each other, everything will always work out."
One of the most tender scenes from the Fiddler on the Roof occurs on the night of his daughter's wedding, when Tevye asks his own wife of 25 years, "Do you love me?"
Their marriage had been arranged and, as he had said to his wife, "My father and mother said that we would learn to love each other. And now I'm asking you, Golde, do you love me?"
After reciting some of the ways her love for him has been expressed over those 25 years, she replied, "I suppose I do." Then he responds in a chorus where she joins him and says, "After 25 years, it's nice to know."
And it is. It's nice to know you are loved. In fact, it is absolutely essential to the survival of the human spirit to know and experience love!
But yet nothing is any more of a myth than to believe that love is all you need to build and maintain a lasting relationship of any kind... especially a marital and family relationship.
One of the most fascinating love stories in all the Bible gives a clear illustration of the fact that love is not always enough to maintain a deep and enduring relationship.If there was ever a marriage made in heaven, this was it..the marriage between Isaac and Rebekah!
It was a marriage that got off to a wonderful start. But then, as this couple neared their golden wedding anniversary, their marriage was threatened by misunderstanding, deceit, and miscommunication. Only by the grace of God is love strong enough to resist those kinds of self destructive forces.
According to the Bible, Isaac was 40 years old when he got married. Today that is getting up there for a man to be taking the big plunge. In this case it was even his father who eventually took the initiative in finding Isaac a wife.
The custom of the times was for the father to make the arrangements... and in keeping with that custom, Abraham appointed his most reliable servant as matchmaker. And this servant was to go back to Chaldea to find a wife for Isaac.
This servant was given very specific instructions. Abraham wanted a bride for his son who was a good match...in character, personality, background, and religious faith. (It looks like Abraham would be an easy target for the computer dating services we have now).
But he believed that a proper matching was an essential foundation for a successful marriage. I wonder how many of you would be married to the same person if this same custom were in force today!!
I don't know about you...but I never had a list of parents who thought I would be the ideal person for their daughter. But the important thing to remember here is this ... Abraham knew that who a person marries does make a difference.
Now, every couple who is about to be married I'm sure has dreams about their life together. They have this vision about a life filled with shared interests...common goals and values...the same cares and concerns. Sometimes it's right out of a Harlequin romance novel.
Many newlyweds feel so lucky...especially on their wedding day...lucky to have met someone who understands them...shares their likes and dislikes...someone who is just so obviously right for them.
As a pastor, weddings are one of the things I take most seriously, yet often bring such joy...watching two people so "love struck" that they often do some of the silliest things...but weddings are some of the most interesting occasions.
That reminds me of the story of an elderly preacher who advised his young preacher friend that when he was performing a wedding, if he ever forgot a part of the marriage ceremony to start quoting Scriptures until he remembered.