Summary: Sermon for multiplte couples who are renewing their vows.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. ----love will last forever!
This is a renewal of the vows ceremony. However a renewal cannot take place unless there is a need for it to be renewed. Buildings often need to be renewed because they develop cracks and worn places. Paint becomes faded or begins to peel from walls. Door hinges begin to squeak. Roofs begin to leak. Floors creak. We know a building needs to be renewed when we take a step back and observe the facts.
It is the same with marriage. Cracks can begin to develop in our relationship. Demands on our lives might begin to wear deep into our intimacy. The excitement we once felt may begin to fade or even peel away. We become rusty in our exuberance to please one another. We allow the coldness of the outside world to overtake the warmth we once felt. We find no solitude in our walk together any longer.
The longest that two of the couples have been married is 4 1\2 years; the shortest 1 1\2 years. Some folks may think that you guys haven’t been married long enough to need to renew your vows. Reality is that if something is neglected for a short period of time it begins to fall in disrepair. I believe that when we do communion we are renewing our commitment to Jesus and repairing those areas in our lives that need our attention. All indications are the early church did communion every time they met. So renewal has to set time.
Let’s continue reading 1 Corinthians 13 beginning with vs. 10 “But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.”
Our first step in renewal is to realize our spouse is not perfect. We should never expect or demand perfection from our spouse. Only Jesus is perfect. We must cover our relationship with the perfection of Christ and not our own selfish desires. When we get our personal relationship with God in alignment then those annoying things that we all are guilty of doing will be less annoying.
Next is vs. 11 “When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.”
Our second step in renewal is to stop being childish. When we were children we insisted on having everything our way. It begins at birth. A baby will cry until its demands are met. As a toddler a child will throw tantrums and even toys due to the frustration of not having things their own way. As the child grows older they speak hurtful words, form vengeful thoughts, and reason themselves into believing that they are always right. Too often we carry these attitudes into our marriages.
God’s word says grow up, put away those childish behaviors. Realize that you will not get your own way in every aspect of your marriage. Stop crying, throwing tantrums, speaking hurtful words, and seeking revenge. Realize that you are not always right. Learn how to discuss matters, reason with each other calmly, and be willing to compromise.
VS.12 “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.”
This verse informs us to clean our mirrors. If our mirror gets dusty and spotted we cannot really get a clear image of what we really look like. We may leave the house thinking we look presentable but actually something is arry. But when we wipe the mirror clean then we clarity on how we actually look.
We need to clean the mirror of our marriage. Neglect will allow dust to settle and problems will leave spots on our relationship. We need to wipe away those things that cloud our clear view on our marriage. Remember the person you fell in love with. They are still that person. Remember why you fell in love. That reason is still there. Look at yourself honestly. Have you created cracks in the mirror? If so, repair them so the reflection will be perfect.
Lastly vs. 13. “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.”
We have a promise here. Faith, hope, and love in our relationship will last forever. When your faith in your spouse gets shaky, take a deep breath and remember it is meant to last forever. When your spouse disappoints you and you start losing hope of better days, remember hope is meant to last forever. But of the three, love is the greatest. It is the catalyst that holds up faith and hope. It is the love that brought you together that holds up faith and hope.