Title : Marriage Sermon – The Four Loves
Pray that this message will be a great blessing to your marriage.
There was a saying that says, “Love makes the world go around”. I have lived for 54 years on earth and I am married for 23 years this year to share my thoughts on marriage to bless our newly married couple. I am indeed privileged to talk about “love” and what the Bible says about “love” so that we can complete the race well that God had ordained for all of us in married life.
When we fell in love with our mate, you will note that we are all from different families, education, characters, nationalities, likes and dislikes etc. Just imagine two totally different and diverse individuals getting married and going to live together for the rest of their lives. Humanly speaking, it is a very difficult task for two humans to live together as one for a long period of time. We need a strong helper in our marriage. We need the Lord Jesus Christ and the Word of God to guide us through our marriage and life.
As an illustration, let us consider driving a car from one destination to another. In order to arrive safely to the destination, there are many traffic rules to follow. While driving, we have to follows all the rules and regulations on the road like keeping to your lane, stopping at traffic lights, driving within the speed limits and many other signs on the road. Without rules and regulations on the road, we find that it is very dangerous and we will be knocking into each other and damaging other cars along the way. We may not arrive safely at all. Lives and properties will be destroyed along the way. Marriage is like driving on the road, with rules and regulations to follow in order to arrive safely to our destination. How then can we have a successful marriage in today’s chaotic world of relationships?
By the grace of God, we have the Bible to guide us through our married life. The Bible is the instruction book for navigating through the many tribulations of marriage. We need to treasure this Book of Life for a safe journey to our final destination.
Please allow me to share the treasures in the Bible to bless our newly married couple as well as all those married couples in our midst today. The questions we may pose today: What will keep our marriage long and lasting till death do us part? What will take us through the tribulation and testing of life together as a couple? What is the secret of a happy Christian home? How can we arrive safely at our destination together as a family? The answer is found in the FOUR LOVES.
1. Loving God
Marriage was first instituted by God himself in the Garden of Eden. Eve was created to be a “Help meet” to Adam. The two will become one flesh. In the garden, the Lord said that it is not good for Adam to be alone. So, the Lord put Adam to sleep and took out a rib to form Eve. In the beginning, Adam and Eve enjoyed an intimate relationship with God. It was a paradise God created for Adam and Eve. But then sin came into the first couple and paradise was lost because of sin.
Even though the first couple was chased out of the Garden of Eden, the Lord has promised to send a deliverer to save mankind. It was a long process of salvation as the Lord worked through history and many generations to bring about the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus was the Messiah who came to save you and me on the cross of Calvary around 2000 years ago. His life on earth was an example for us as Christians to follow and emulate.
Even though we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). In John 3:16 the Bible says that, “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son…..” The God of the Bible is the God of love. He has loved each one of us so much that He is willing to give His one and only Son to die on the cross for you and me. Love is the essence of God and we can learn about love from God himself so that we can love our mate with all the differences. His banner over us is love (Song of Songs 2:4). The first priority of married life then is to love God first.
Imagine for a moment with me. As a father, would you give away your only son to live in a sinful world for 33 years and to be killed and hung cruelly on the cross? No earthly parents would be able to bear the pain inflicted on the dear son. But our Heavenly Father did just that for you and me. We do not deserve to be pardoned for our sins. Without Christ, all of life and existence is meaningless. It is a “chasing after the wind”. In Christ Jesus, all our sins are forgiven and we have a newness of life and a great destiny in God. With God on our side, we can overcome all the storms of life as a team.
For life together as family, the first priority is to love God. Loving God will open our hearts to know the “heart beat” of the loving father in heaven. As we read the Bible and pray, the Holy Spirit will work in our hearts to love each other unconditionally, to talk and listen to our mate, to learn to forgive and accept our individuality, to understand His will and purpose for our families, to make sacrifices for others to thrive and so on.
When we understand the love of God more in our lives, our minds and hearts will not be narrow and selfish but will be broadened to cherish and love all of God’s creation including our partner in marriage. God’s desire is for us to have a happy and joyful family, living in love with Him who loved us so much as to give His only Son to redeem us from our sins.
2. Loving Our Mate
When we are married, the two become one flesh (Genesis 2:24 and Ephesians 5:31). Today marks a complete new beginning in the lives of our newly married couple. The wedding celebration lasts only today, but the marriage covenant is for the rest of their lives. Today both of them go back to school again, the school of marriage. Today they begin to learn again, to learn to love each other in a much deeper way. They are joining themselves to each other today to become one, without, of course, losing their individuality. Becoming one does not happen overnight. It is something that they will learn and become better at as they share their married life together. Becoming one means loving each other unconditionally, sharing their lives with each other, taking each other into consideration always. Becoming one means getting rid of all selfishness out of their lives because there is no room for selfishness in marriage. If selfishness is not rooted out or creeps in later on, it is sure to cause problems and misunderstandings. If God blesses their marriage with children in the future, then they will also take their children into consideration in all that they do. Marriage is a school of love. We are always learning to love our mates despite our many differences. The Apostle Peter exhorts us all to, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sin (1 Peter 4:8)”.
3. Loving Others
The Lord Jesus Christ has commanded all believers “to go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” (Mark 16:15). A strong Christian marriage can be a strong witness to this lost generation because it is a living, breathing example of Christ and His church. It demonstrates the power of the love of God and the grace of God to all who witness it. A strong Godly marriage exemplifies forgiveness, patience, love, hope, and the power of God’s saving grace. A marriage that honours God and others is a powerful witness to a lost world. When the world looks at our strong marriages, they are able to see how Jesus Christ loved His church. They would see that there is just something different about our love for our spouse, for our family members and for all others around us. In so doing, we can share our life testimonies and to reach out to other families who are in need of the Saviour in their lives.
4. Loving our next generation
In Ephesians 6:1-3, the Bible teaches our children to lead godly lives:
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
2 “Honour your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise
3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
In these verses, the Apostle Paul speaks to our children in the home. Children have a duty to submit to their parents. In verses 2 and 3, when children honor their father and mother, it is a commandment with a promise that you will enjoy a long life on earth. The Bible teaches our children to grow up in the fear of the Lord and to lead a godly life.
Today, I am also talking to married couples in the home setting. How do we instruct our next generation? We need to realize that our children learn about marriage and about how to treat their future spouse by watching our marriage and our daily walk with God. The Bible exhorts us in Colossians 3:16 (NLT), “Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.” Thus, we have an undertaking today to bring up our children with a strong faith in Jesus Christ.
It is our responsibility as husband and wife to raise our next generation in the fear of the Lord. We are responsible to model the Christian marriage according to the Word of God and to lead an authentic Christian life to show to our next generation. And all these have to be carried out in love.
Marriage is one of the greatest gifts God ever gave to humanity. But, it is truly beautiful when it is operates with love like God intended it to be. There will be many challenges and tribulations of married life, but when we live by faith and love in God, and entrust our lives and marriages to Him, he will help us to reach our destination safely. The Bible says that we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus who loved us. The Bible is the instruction manual for us to drive through the many dangers of married life. Jesus Christ wants to love us, our families and all the godly children that God will give us in this life. If we will love and trust in Him totally, read his Word, pray fervently and to carry out His will diligently – Jesus Christ promised to be with us in times of need and to help us to be an effective witness for His kingdom. Praise the Lord!