Summary: In this sermon, we explore how the god of Romance encourages us to put a special love relationship on the throne of our life that only belongs to God.
A. One day and older couple was sitting in their front porch rockers watching the beautiful sunset and reminiscing about “the good old days.”
1. At one point, Grandma turned to Grandpa and said, “Honey, do you remember when we first started dating and you used to just casually reach over and take my hand?”
a. Grandpa looked over at her, smiled and obligingly took her aged hand in his.
2. After a few minutes, with a wry little smile, Grandma pressed a little farther, “Honey, do you remember how after we were engaged, you’d sometimes lean over and suddenly kiss me on the cheek?”
a. Grandpa leaned toward Grandma and gave her a lingering kiss on her wrinkled cheek.
3. A few minutes later, growing bolder still, Grandma said, “Honey, do you remember how, after we were first married, you’d kind of nibble on my ear?”
a. Grandpa slowly got up from his rocker and started to head into the house.
b. Alarmed and hurt, Grandma said, “Honey, where are you going?”
c. Grandpa replied, “To get my teeth!”
4. Oh, the sweetness of love and romance, and the heart-warming thought of happily ever after!
B. Today we continue our series: “Counterfeit Gods – Defeating the Idols that Battle for Our Hearts.”
1. In this series, we have been learning that anything in life, even good things, can be turned into gods when they take the place in our lives that only belongs to the One True God.
2. So far in our series, we have explored the god of food, the god of sex, the god of entertainment, the god of success, and the god of money - today, we are going to explore the god of romance.
C. The human longing for true love has always been a part of the human experience, but in our contemporary culture it has been magnified to an astonishing degree.
1. Our culture holds up romantic love as the greatest and noblest of pursuits.
2. We are led to believe that the need for romantic affection and the tingly, bubbly feeling we call “falling in love” is the most important thing in our lives.
3. We are encouraged to spend our lives searching for our soul mate – that one person out there who is the right one just for us – the internet has become an important tool – online dating sites.
4. The message to those who aren’t married or at least dating someone is that you won’t be content or complete unless you’re in a relationship.
5. It is insinuated, that without a romantic relationship of some kind, even the wrong kind, your life is somehow incomplete.
D. Just think of the kinds of things expressed in our cultural clichés and our popular music.
1. Our popular culture tells us that love makes the world go round.
2. The Beatles tell us that all we need is love.
3. Burt Bacharach asserts that what the world needs now is love, sweet love.
4. Like Robert Palmer, we might as well face it, we’re addicted to love!
E. And, if we are not careful, we Christians can buy into this philosophy hook line and sinker.
1. Even in the church, singles might get the impression that they are considered somehow incomplete.
2. If you take a look at the book section for single adults in the Christian bookstore you will find titles like these:
a. What to Do Until Love Finds You, How to Get a Date Worth Keeping, Finding the Right One for You.
b. A most interesting title is, If Men Are Like Buses, How Can I Catch One?
3. I’m sure there is helpful advice in all those books, but the underlying message to singles is you are missing something that you must find, and don’t give up until you do.
F. Here’s an important thing that I want us to think about: Believe it or not, life was never meant to be all about romantic love.
1. Much of what we think of as romantic love is actually an invention of Western culture, and is something that didn’t take hold until the Middle Ages.
2. In most ancient cultures, marriages were arranged, that doesn’t mean that the young people and their hearts were totally uninvolved in the process, but it means that other things were factored in and even given greater weight.
3. C. S. Lewis, one of history’s greatest scholars, wrote a piece called The Allegory of Love, and in it he shows how troubadours during medieval times popularized the “hearts-and-flowers” conception of love between a man and a woman.
4. This conception and approach has taken over much of modern romance and courtship.
5. This doesn’t mean that romantic affection itself didn’t exist before that, just read the OT book Song of Solomon, but romantic love as the great quest and obsession, something that we must have or we will be miserable, is a human, cultural invention and is relatively recent.