Summary: A sermon about love based on Rob Bell’s Nooma #2 - Flame
May 14, 2006
The Big Flame
Begin by playing Nooma #2 – Flame by Rob Bell
Available here: http://www.nooma.com/
First of all a brief recap of the main points of the film that I want us to all understand.
The three types of love are:
a.) Raya – friendship love
b.) Ahava – commitment love of the will
c.) Dod – sexual love
We are wired to need all three in a healthy marriage.
When we try to leave out one of them we remain unfulfilled.
Love is a beautiful, mysterious and sacred thing that must be cherished and protected.
If you have had a marriage that failed, don’t take condemnation, receive hope.
If you are single, learn now, Kathy and I have always been grateful for the discipleship training we recieved at Rock Church in Halifax while we were still single, - it has helped immensely.
If you are married, really consider what is being said. Remember the hopes and dreams you had when you first committed to your spouse.
1. Keeping Raya strong.
How many wedding invitations have you received that contain some version of the sentiment, “Today I will wed my best friend”?
What happens to that friendship once the marriage starts to move along?
What can couples do that will keep the friendship aspect of their relationship strong?
- Share everything!
To often I meet with couples that share their deepest longings and dreams with friends rather than with their lifelong partner.
Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart and the pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel.
- Forget on purpose!
Decide now because any long term relationship requires periodic forgetting!
He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.
Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends.
- Promote shamelessly!
I can tell you all kinds of sacrifices my Dad made for me when I was kid. For example he gave up curling and golf, which he really enjoyed, and he took up camping and coaching minor hockey, which we could do togeather. Here is the important part - my dad didn’t tell me about those choices, he never complained once - mom told me! She was promoting him in my eyes. I never heard her say a bad thing about him.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
His legs are pillars of marble set on bases of pure gold. His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as its cedars. His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely.
This is my lover; this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.
2. Going deeper in Ahava.
Ahava is the love of the will, the love that results in commitment. This is the one we want to pretend in this generation is not important. Just move in together, why complicate things.
All you have to do to find out why God made the marriage covenant such a vital part of love is ask a person who has gone through divorce whether or not they recommend it, or ask the children of a broken family how they feel about the importance of commitment.
I am not condemning anyone who has gone through the pain of divorce – only pointing out that it is clear why God would not want that for anyone.
What can we do to keep ourselves going deeper into Ahava?
- Win the mental battle.
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
You have to be in the fight to win it.
When thoughts come that are in violation of the commitment you made, take them captive.
Refuse to fantasize about someone else during love making.
Refuse to entertain thought of adultery.
When you are thinking divorce, don’t voice it, take it captive.
- Honor your spouse with your eyes.
I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.
I am not going to stand up here and say that you cannot notice a beautiful woman. In fact I think as we draw nearer to God we start to see more beauty in all of the creation. There is a difference between noticing beauty and lustfully leering at someone though.
Honor your commitment to your spouse by refusing to look at pornography, by refusing to go prowling with your eyes for the sake of lust.