Summary: A painfully honest sermon, about developing a Godly pre-marriage relationship, from two people who failed God and had to fall upon His mercy. This was preached by my wife and I.
Relationships – How to develop a godly relationship
We are going to talk about relationships before marriage today. The first thing that I want to say is that we didn’t do everything right. In fact we made a lot of mistakes and had some failures along the way. We want to share some of those things with you today. We want to share them because we want to save you from making the same mistakes.
The second thing that we want to say is that God has given us a great relationship. Even if you have made the same mistakes, or even greater ones, God can still restore you and your relationship.
The Bible text that we are going to use today seems very strange, the parable of the sower. The text is actually talking about the kingdom of heaven but I believe it can also be applied to finding and developing a Godly relationship. It is certainly true in our lives.
The first thing I want to talk about is the seed that fell in the weeds. Many young Christians get saved, they give their lives to God, but are soon distracted by relationships. We want to look at the two different ways that we came to be together.
I got saved as a child. When I grew older I became interested in boys, and I had a few crushes on different people, although I never had the guts to do anything about them, thankfully, as they weren’t Christians. As a child, I had suffered rejection and did not want to go just into any relationship. However, one day, I noticed a lad in the church, and thought to myself ‘he’s good-looking’. I’d known him for a while but had never looked at him in that way before. Over time my feelings towards him grew, but I did not want to go out with him unless I knew that he was the one God intended for me to marry. So I prayed about it, and believed that God promised me that this boy, Mark, was the man I would marry.
However, it was over a year before we actually got together, and during that time I saw him date other people. I also had a couple of boys ask me out during that time (one of whom was unsaved). I fancied them a little, and so it was very tempting for me especially since I had low self-esteem and so really enjoyed the attention they were giving me. But, I couldn’t get away from what I knew God had told me about Mark, and so thankfully I turned them down.
I held on and waited and before long Mark and I were together.
When I was fifteen years old I got saved and I gave my life to God. At first I concentrated on developing my relationship with God. However the culture within the youth group at the time was all about finding a girlfriend. It wasn’t long before I was distracted.
When I had been a child growing up I had always been the fat kid and didn’t have any girls interested in me. When I was about twelve however I had got into sport in a big way and so by the time I was a Christian I was in pretty good shape. I started to find that some girls were actually interested in me. The problem was that in my head I was still the fat kid. I was very insecure and so didn’t really pray about who I dated, if they were Christian and attractive, then that was good enough for me.
Every time we went a regional youth conference, it wasn’t so much about what we could get from God, but what girls would be there. We were like hunters looking for prey. The trouble was, not only did I have my own insecurities to work through, so did the girls that I dated as well.
The other problem was that each girl that I dated had a different view of what were acceptable boundaries in a relationship. The first girl I dated, I shyly asked if she would mind if I put my arm around her. By the time I had dated two or three girls I was going a lot further than I should have.
The main problem was that because I hadn’t prayed about these relationships, they weren’t from God, and my attention had been taken away from God. Instead of making me feel more secure, I had even more insecurities. You security and self worth will only come from God.
When it came to Liz, I did pray about this relationship, and I knew that it was right. However I took into that relationship all of the hurts and insecurities I had got from the other relationships, as well as a moral view of what was right that had come from my other relationships, rather than from God.