Summary: It can’t happen, can it? Is it possible for a dead love to be resurrected? If the flames of passion have gone out, can they ever be rekindled? Can we really force ourselves to love somebody if we don’t “feel” anything? (Based on a book by Bob Russell)
Isaac & Rebekah: Learn to Love
(Third in the series, Marriage by the Book)
Introduction: It can’t happen, can it? Is it possible for a dead love to be resurrected? If the flames of passion have gone out, can they ever be rekindled? Can we really force ourselves to love somebody if we don’t “feel” anything?
Love itself has been overly romanticized. People dream about meeting somebody who will melt our hearts & fulfill our fantasies. We have accepted the notion that God has that “one and only” out there for us, and when we meet that person, we will fall in love forever. In my teenage years of dating, I remember coming home and thinking, “I think this is the one!” Within a couple weeks, I discovered a vast difference in interests and values, and was frankly glad when we agreed to stop seeing each other.
In our 20’s we might find someone we care about but does not make our hearts flutter. Do we love them enough to spend the rest of our lives with them, or should we keep looking?
Lots of songs have been written about being with the wrong person when the right person comes along: “You Light up my Life;” or “It’s Sad to Belong to Someone Else When the Right One Comes Along.”
Someone said that the cycle of married love goes from romance to reality to resentment to rebellion. To avoid this cycle of disillusionment, we need biblical instruction about learning to love. God never intended marriage to be based on something as volatile as feeling love. Biblical love in marriage bears little resemblance to Hollywood’s version of romantic love.
Proposition: The story of Isaac and Rebekah reveal some very important truths about love in marriage. These principles can save marriages and reawaken love in the home.
1. Playing “The Mating Game” (Verses 12-17)
Abraham’s servant had a mission (see verse 4).
She must be from Abraham’s homeland
She must be willing to relocate
What a responsibility! This was much more pressure than arranging a blind date today. This was a blind marriage!
Illus: The closest I ever came to feeling like Abraham’s servant: our return from Alaska. After serving with a mission congregation for five years, we concluded it was time to return to the "Lower 48." I made arrangements to visit four seperate congregations in the midwest; each paid one fourth of the plane fare. My family stayed behind, incredibly trusting my judgement. I was interviewed by each church and preached at two of them. The other two churches sent their pulpit committees to hear me. After much converstion and prayer, two were seriously interested in calling me as their next minister. With just a phone call to my wife (who in faith held a "Moving Sale" and nearly emptied the house!), I narrowed it down to one. My family HAD to trust me, and without knowing their destination, they blindly followed me two months later on a 5000 mile trek to a new community, church, school, and home.
Rebekah had some admirable traits
1) Energetic worker; regularly carried water for the family
2) Similar background; a distant relative, v. 15
3) Attractive; beauty from within is more valuable (1 Peter 3:3-4)
4) Morally pure; a virgin
5) Pleasant personality; see vs. 17-20. Easy to live with
6) Spiritual maturity; v. 58 & many other instances in her life
2. Where does love come in? (Verses 63-67)
Notice the sequence of events in verse 67.
Isaac married her; She became his wife; He loved her.
Love is an act of the will.
It is the result of a right relationship, not the basis of it.
Infatuation, even when it is called love, always wears off.
People are all too often infatuated with others who would be terrible marriage partners.
The Bible speaks of something deeper and more stable than infatuation.
It speaks of agape love.
This is so much deeper that eros, or erotic love. Erotic love means we give in to our hormones.
Agape love means we give of ourselves regardless of feeling. It is not love that is governed by uncontrolled emotion; it is a willful decision of the mind. This is the kind of love described in 1 Corinthians 13.
After 25 years of an arranged marriage, listen to Tevya’s question to Golde in the musical Fiddler on the Roof:
(Tevye) “Golde, I have decided to give Perchik permission to become engaged to our daughter, Hodel.”
(Golde) “What??? He’s poor! He has nothing, absolutely nothing!”
(Tevye) “He’s a good man, Golde. I like him. And what’s more important, Hodel likes him. Hodel loves him. So what can we do? It’s a new world... A new world. Love. Golde…Do you love me?”
(Golde) Do I what?