Wedding Sermon -- Rob & Lorna -- Sept 14th, 2013
Grace, mercy and peace to you fromGod our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Rob and Lorna, I'd like to share a few thoughts with you based on the New Testament book of Ephesians, chapter 4, verse 32. The Apostle Paul says:
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.
This short verse talks about three things: KINDNESS, COMPASSION, and FORGIVENESS. All three are essential in any marriage, and especially in a Christian marriage. All three ensure that marriage will be built on a solid foundation. All three give us a glimpse of what God intended marriage to be. Kindness, compassion, and forgiveness are three aspects of the one critical word: and that word is LOVE. And love, for Christian people, finds its source and ultimate expression in Jesus Christ. Love is the basis of all successful marriages. But this is a very special kind of love, a love which is often mentioned in the Bible.
The love that provides the solid foundation for marriage is more than mere passing emotion. It’s more than infatuation. The love that provides a solid foundation for marriage is called AGAPE in the New Testament. Agape is the love that God showed the world in sending His Son, Jesus Christ. Agape is the love that caused Jesus to reach out to those in need, bringing healing and wholeness to lives broken by sin. Agape is the love that shows people a better way to live. It gives us a glimpse of a new creation built on respect and dignity and trust. Agape is the love that led Jesus Christ to the cross of Calvary to die for sins that he didn't commit; to die as a substitute for us; to die so that we could be declared forgiven. Agape is the God-kind of love. It is strong, unchanging, and eternal. And it’s God’s gift to His people to make their marriage what He intended it to be.
In our world, "Love" is often sentimental. It’s often turned in on itself. In our world, love is often an emotion that waxes and wanes. It may begins strong but too often fades away. If we base marriage solely on this kind of love, so different from the God-kind of love, we will surely be disappointed. To build a marriage on the world's kind of love is like building a house on the sand. When the storms of life come, that house will not stand.
Married couples begin their marriage with lofty goals and expectations. They want happiness, security, and fulfillment. They want the joys of those first days to last forever. The problem is, for many people, those lofty goals are impossible to maintain. They turn to sand and run through their fingers. Now, don’t get me wrong, Setting lofty goals for marriage is a good thing. But if those goals are not accompanied with the means to bring them about, discouragement and frustration are sure to come. Rob and Lorna, you have one major advantage. Your marriage will be a Christian marriage. Your marriage will be built on the God-kind of love. Your marriage will be built on the Rock, Jesus Christ, and not on the shifting sands of emotion and feeling.
Rob, and Lorna, you can set high goals for your marriage and you can accomplish those goals because Jesus Christ is the focal point of your relationship. You can set high goals and you can achieve them because you aren’t doing these things all on your own. You will make use of God's power and strength. You will look to Him for guidance, for the ability to love each other unconditionally. So don't be afraid to set lofty goals for your marriage. Don't feel guilty in expecting your marriage to bring you peace and happiness. Jesus Christ said,
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Part of living life to the full is a marriage blessed by God. Expect him to bless your marriage. Hold Him to His Word. Take advantage of the promises he offers. He won't let you down. Human beings were created to live in a positive relationship with each other and with God. Human beings were created to be dependent on each other. Life comes to its full potential in the context of relationships. It’s not a coincidence that God’s Word compares marriage to the relationship between God and His people, the Church. God wants His people to be faithful to
Him alone, just as marriage enjoins faithfulness on the two of you. The Bible describes the Church as the Bride of Christ, adorned to meet her husband. In the Bible, marriage is the highest human relationship, second only to the relationship that exists between God and the faithful believer.
So Our text this afternoon speaks of three things that bind married couples together: KINDNESS, COMPASSION, and FORGIVENESS. These things will be the binding agent in your relationship. And the source of these things, of course, is God. Many people desire great things for marriage but just can't achieve them. That’s because, apart from God's grace and blessing, marriage will never be what it’s was intended to be. That is why Christian marriage is so special. Christian couples make promises to each other, and they ask God to help them keep those promises. Christians look to their God for His help. They claim His promises and they rejoice in His blessings. Lorna and Rob, be kind, and compassionate, and forgiving to each other. Our God has promised you an abundant life together under His Lordship. May He bring it to pass. In Jesus' name. Amen.