Divine Cement for the Marriage Contract
I Corinthians 13:1-8
Many poems are written about it… many songs drone on and on… psychologists spout about it… liberals misrepresent it… The subject is true love. As the last part of our special Valentine’s Day celebration, we will spend just a little time on the one thing that will make the difference between the failure and success of a marriage: Love, the divine cement of marriage.
I. Marriage, like other relationships, is empty without true agape love
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 - Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
A. Miraculous tongues become just noise
1. Even though it would have been God’s revelation
2. Love must motivate our ministry
3. All husbands that thunder "convictions" without love are just making a racket - Illustration: Kindergarten percussion band
B. Great faith and insightful wisdom do nothing for the leader without love - all of the great fatherly teachings… the teacher is nothing without love
C. Sacrifice profits nothing without love
- The wife who forsakes gain and lays her strength aside to do her duty loses all reward without love.
II. Agape love is a requirement, not an accidental emotion
A. A decision to think and act within love’s parameters
B. For husbands
Ephesians 5:25 - Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
C. For wives
Titus 2:3-4 - The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
III. We must identify and pursue agape love in marriage
1 Corinthians 13:4 - Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
1. Put up with slights and neglects
2. Will not easily get offended
B. Is kind – searches for opportunities to do good to the object of love
C. Envieth not – because we actively seek what’s best for the one we decide to love
D. Subdues pride and vain-glory
1. Not bloated with self-conceit… "vaunteth not itself"
2. Not preoccupied with self-gratification… "is not puffed up"
E. Does not misbehave
1 Corinthians 13:5 - Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
1. Pass the bounds of decency
2. Will never tempt to sin with the phrase, "If you love me…"
F. Seeks not her own – others centered
G. Not easily provoked – not hot-tempered
H. Thinks no evil
1. Is not suspicious or mistrusting in nature
2. Illustration: the one spending most of his time looking under beds
I. Has pleasure…
1 Corinthians 13:6 - Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
1. Never in evil things
2. In truth
J. Will last
1 Corinthians 13:7-8 - 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
1. Bears all things – putting a veil over sin
1 Peter 4:8 - And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
2. Believes all things – believe well of the object of love
3. Hopes all things – never gives up hope for repentance and reform
4. Endures all things – weathers all storms
K. Not an accident, but a decision