Summary: This sermon provides five principles necessary to keep love strong in a marriage relationship
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and with love in the air, many couples have found themselves saying “I do” to each other.
But unlike years gone by, few if any left their reception with a shower of rice.
By the mid-1990s, it was common knowledge that the uncooked rice would kill unsuspecting birds. The rice would swell in their stomachs, cause them to burst, and cause a tragic death.
So the tradition of rice, superstitiously believed to foster fertility, was abandoned and alternatives like birdseed, confetti, and bubbles were established.
Ironically, there is no truth to the idea that rice is a threat to birds.
Miyoko Chu, a Cornell University ornithologist (bird expert), has stated there are no documented cases of birds dying as a result of eating rice. She says, "In fact, house sparrows, red-winged blackbirds and bobolinks eat it all the time in the wild."
Weddings and marriage are surrounded by so many myths.
If a whole country can be duped by misinformation about rice, how many more people are being confounded by the idea that when they get marry, they will live happily ever after; no arguing or fighting, because, let’s face it, if they are madly in love, they will have the perfect marriage.
Those of us who are married or who have been married can vouch for this perfect bliss, can’t we?
I already know what many of you are thinking, “Only in your dreams!”
Alicia thought she had the perfect fiancé. As she was getting to know Michael and his family, she was very impressed by how much his parents loved each other.
"They’re so thoughtful," Alicia said. "Why, your dad even brings your mom a cup of hot coffee in bed every morning."
After a time, Alicia and Michael were engaged, and then married.
On the way from the wedding to the reception, Alicia again remarked on Michael’s loving parents and his mom’s morning coffee in bed.
"Tell me," she said, "does it run in the family?"
"It sure does," replied Michael. "But you should know -- I take after my mom."
When the honeymoon is over, and weeks give way to months which give way to years, the love that once burned with passion has more times than not become a weak flame.
Question: What has happened? Where has the love gone?
Many wish they could make the fire hotter, to make it like it first was.
Valentine dreams are still there.
A woman woke up and told her husband, "I just dreamed that you gave me a pearl necklace for Valentine’s day. What do you think it means?"
"You’ll know tonight." he said.
That evening, the man came home with a small package and gave it to his wife. Delighted, she opened it - to find a book entitled "The Meaning of Dreams"
Sadly today, Valentine dreams are turning into nightmares at an alarming rate.
George Barna, statistician, reports, "Boomers are virtually certain to become the first generation for which a majority experience divorce."
Monday morning, I heard a tap sound coming from across the street at intervals. I looked and saw this red bird trying to get into the house of my neighbors by way of the living room window. He was looking for warmth. This cardinal would sit on a ledge, about four feet from the window. And then fly right at the window hoping to get into the warm house. And he would smash his head into the glass enclosure. You would think he learned his lesson. But no! That bird would fly back on the railing, and four seconds later try again, with the same result. Not just twice or three times, but at least fifty times. I gave up watching him.
Over the years I’ve talked with many who wish to get out of a bad marriage, their tired of getting their head smashed in the window. Others have been frustrated not finding Mr. Right or Miss Perfect.
And yet, they continue to get hurt.
For in each of us is that innate desire to be loved and to love.
Question: What can be done to make our Valentine dreams come true? How can you or I rekindle the flame in our marriage, or to experience the feelings of love.
I believe the Bible provides the answer. Scripture is full of rich insights of rekindling the Valentine dream – and there is none better than that found in Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi.
Paul wrote this “love letter” to the congregation who he knew was struggling in the area of unity.
There was friction and bickering between several members, two of which he named: Euodia and Syntyche.
In the 2nd chapter, we discover sound advice from Paul for unity in the body.