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A Life of Love

Alan Parker Nicole Parker
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  • February 13, 2016
    11:30 AM
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It's valentine's weekend we just want to see how many of you are going on a date. On valentine's. Ok there's a few hands. The rest of you are in trouble. I heard of one lady who was going to get married and the pastor was trying to explain what she needed to do for a wedding. And he said look it's pretty simple you got to walk down the aisle. You're going to stand at the altar then you got to sing a hymn. She says i think i've got that. I'll alter. Him. And risk that's what we're dealing with today. Is that what are our perceptions of marriage. And of love and how can we form a biblical perspective. So. Once upon a time. My wife and i fell in love. And when we fell in love. I asked her to marry me i was over in africa she was in the states she came over for a month. Beautiful candlelit dinner. And then i asked her to marry me and she went back to the states and we started car responding and she kept all of those e-mails. So i thought i would share one with you because it describes what i was like back then. I want to walk with you and talk with you you can feel the mash already. I want to hold you in my arms that night. I want to listen to music with you and watch a candle flicker i was pretty poetic. It was temporary. It wasn't in the script. I want to read and pray and watch the stars. I want to warm myself in front of a roaring fire together. In the middle of winter snuggled up to you and reading from our favorite book. But how did we move from that picture. To the picture all the heavy. Intense. And interesting discussions. Not arguments. Never have arguments but we quite a few intense discussions. You know. I am now a counselor which i wasn't when we got married. But as a biblical counselor i have quite a few people asked me for marriage counseling. And you know ahead of time when somebody says we'd like some marriage counseling. It ain't pretty right. Nobody says. We want to come over and talk with you about how glorious marriage is for us and how we just wish everyone else was having a such a wonderful time. Too. That's just not why people ask right. So when i do marriage counseling i know ahead of time. What people are calling for is because they're in pain right. They're hurting. They want. This other person to change they want their relationship to change. And it usually boils down to some version of how can i get this other person. To meet my needs to stop hurting me. And to start helping me instead. It's easy to see that the hollywood model has crept into the way that we think of marriage. Now there's this picture of kim card ashley and who i wouldn't even recognize but. People tell me that this person is very famous. Seems like this marriage. Was very famous at least this was not who she is married to now but she was married to him for seventy two days. This this model of marriage. Has become the quick fix for loneliness. Nowadays. It's sort of the hollywood marriage is and i like you you like me let's make a happy family kind of thing. It's founded on feelings. Of attraction. But not on actual love. It's all about mutual satisfaction. It measure success based on happiness. And it is. Bottom line. A contract. And not a covenant. The way god intended. See in the difference between a contract and. Covenant. Is that a contract has conditions. Whereas a covenant is based on commitments. And so it's. If you please me and i'm happy then i'll love you back. And we might be able to blame cupid for this. Cupid. Is this idea of a cute fat little baby going around shooting arrows and people succumb. Have you noticed that on campus. There's more traffic at that show lately. But where did this idea of cupid come from c.q. but actually came from the classical or the latin. God. Eros. And for the greeks this was the most powerful of this was the supreme love it could intoxicate you. This was the love that. Once it was. Your god it became your master. And you it would either torture you or make you deliriously happy. And some of you know about that in your roommates. It was a guy. And when the arrows hit. You had no choice but to obey that god. It was your only path to happiness. And today. That idea is follow your heart follow your passions if you have something you desire. You gotta follow it and till you achieve it. And you find it. But when christians came along. They didn't put heir us. As the highest love. Instead and if each and five what we read and now. A scripture reading earlier. It says that we are to be imitators of god as to be loved and children. And walk in love as christ loved us. And the word for love. There that's used three times beloved love. As christ loved. Comes from the greek word. Guess what not. Eros but a garp a. And a got a love is different from iraq because i went into a little study and i found heir us love is love. That is about self-fulfillment. It's about pursuing the object of my desire. But a god a love is more subject aryan to. It's a person making a. To love somebody else to care for somebody else. Eros love self-fulfillment a god they love is about sacrifice. And these are two very different ways of viewing love. See the hollywood love. Version when you're in love. According to hollywood. You envision happily ever after being happy for you right nobody gets married because they think. Well this will probably help me to grow into the image of christ. Right you get married because you're happy with this person and you think i'll be even happier if i can be with them forever right. And instead. It often goes exactly the opposite direction. Fact they did a study with twenty four thousand people and they found that the level of happiness that you had before married before marriage. Did go up a little bit. I think with like a quarter of a percent. After you were married. But if you were unhappy before you got married. It actually became worse you can imagine two unhappy people marrying each other and the powerful effects of that. So. Marriage does not add to your happiness. It simply enhances the happiness you already have. And this is consistent with what you've seen i'm sure in other people's lives even if you're not married you know some people go oh it's valentine's weekend. You know. Men single a winner. Yes singles awareness weekend here right. But if you're married. You know. They say marriage is like a revolving door. Those who are on the outside are trying to get n.. And those of the inside. Are trying to get out right. Except for us where does that what i say a man's right. But very often this is true. That's because hollywood. And just our general culture of see what ever works for you and makes you happy. Has poisoned us with the idea that seeking happiness is the way to find it. But the bible says something opposite in the book education has this power for. Quotation education page one fifty four says. Unselfishness. The principle of god's kingdom is the principle that satan hates. Its very existence. He denies. If you catch that. This is so profound. The devil says. There is no such thing as unselfishness in the whole universe where god says. Unselfishness is the law of the universe. It is the definition of my character. Satan says there is no such thing as unselfishness god himself. Is self-seeking. And when we understand that we understand what's really at stake in our marriage. Is that that god wants me to sacrifice everything and live a terrible life so that i can eventually make it to heaven or just god want us to live in fulfillment. And the pathway to that is seeking to love. To sacrifice. Instead of trying to serve. Serve ourselves. Going on with that paragraph that says it was to give. In his own life. An illustration of unselfishness. That jesus came in the form of humanity. And all who accept this principle are to be workers together with him in demonstrating it in practical life to me that sounds like very good news because that says that the god of the universe who is unselfishness who is love. Wants to implant that in me and transform me. Into becoming a loving person instead of the selfish person. I naturally. Am. And he does it. By helping us. To imitate him. If five. We go back to our verse. It says therefore be imitators of god as beloved children. And walk in love not in love in the hollywood version. Where you feel great. You get the tingles for this person and then you have to seek this relationship no matter how many things happen. But in love means in a gop a. There's a there's a story that my friend cassie bennett tells about of a family. The. Father had a limp. And he always walked this way but the doctors had told him don't worry it's not going to be inherited but he was dismayed when he had a son and as his son grew up and began walking his son. Had the same problem he walked exactly the same way as this bother. So he was so upset when he took him to the doctor the doctor examined his son and said you know what. There is nothing wrong with your son. He walks this way because he's. Imitating his father. You see. He adored his father he wanted to be like his father he dwelt in his father's love every day. So now he wanted to walk the same way god wants us to imitate him. By seeking to live in the self sacrificing love like he does. And yet. This is one of the most challenging verses of the bible when it says be imitators of god you take the most loving person in the entire universe. And it has be like there. And then it gets even worse and i love the way the message puts first to hear. And it says observateur how christ has loved us. His love was not cautious but. Extravagant did you do you remember reading those words and in one of those praise songs. Extravagant love. He didn't love in order to get something from us. But to give everything. Of himself to us. And then it says love. Like that and i just think of the cross. You know when you look at the cross and jesus dying on the cross. I am just astounded what kind of love. Drove jesus to the cross. The kind of love that says you can spit at me. You can ridicule me. You can reject me. You can mock me while i'm hanging in there. But i will love you in spite of all of that. And then i look at my relationship. And i go. I am so selfish. You know you have that experience you look at christ. And you sound that's once was the imitate and then you look at the way you actually act. Because time and time again. I find myself. Acting towards the people i. I love. As if it's all about me. I don't find myself hanging on a cross for them. Jesus said. If you want to follow me. If you want to be imitators of me. Take up your cross and follow me. In fact he says. Deny yourself. Take up your cross and follow me and honey. I have not always done. I have not always put self. On that cross and instead. I've often put myself on the throne. See when you take a look at what jesus did here. He called us to die in life. He called us to become a sacrifice to put ourselves on the altar. He called us not. For self-fulfillment. But for self. Empty. In fact this is his entire life. He emptied himself. In the bible this is called kenaz us. Jesus emptied him self. So that we could have everything he poured himself out. And i had a great quotation that i read that. Really. I found at this time. And it is just told me about love what is love love. Is an exercise in frustration. Now. Just follow with me. You leave the window up. When you want to down. You watch someone else's favorite program. You kiss when you have a headache. You turn the music down when you like it loud. You learn to be patient without sign or sell king. Loves doing things for the other person. See in marriage. To become one. But the one isn't you. It's the other person. Love is funny. It's growth doesn't depend on what someone does for you. It's in direct proportion to what you do for him or her. And when i thought about that i thought about this is what love is. I realize my challenge. Because when i went back to. Text and five. It told me what this love is like it says husbands. Love your wives just as christ also loved the church and did what gave himself for her and i see what is giving himself for you know that already doesn't sound very good. And then i went and i read the essay a bible commentary and it got worse. Because it said this the supreme test of love. Is whether it is prepared to forgo what happiness. In order that the other might have it. In this respect the husband is to imitate christ. Giving up personal pleasures and comforts. To obtain his wife's. Happiness. And i imagine in my mind a little tug of war going on here as my wife. She wants to be happy. He has me i want to be happy if she would just do what i want. We would be happy. But now. Be as the bible country was saying. The only work thing i'm supposed to do is to lead her to have what she wants. And for me to become a doormat. And i didn't like that. And so i said well maybe there's something else here and in fact i did discover that what this text is talking about. Is much more profound than one person winning. The happiness tug of war. And it comes from the fusion's fivers twenty five just take a look at it says husbands who loved your wives just as christ loved the church and gave himself for it. That he might do what. Sanctify what's another word for sanctify. Me. Make holy and clan so with the washing of water by the word that he might presented to himself as a glorious church. Not having spot. Or wrinkle or any such thing. But that she should be holding. And suddenly it hit me that the whole purpose of marriage the whole purpose of relationships. Is to make us. Holy. That's what it's about. It's not about who gets to win the happiness pike today. It's about how do we get. To become holy and before the word holiness frightens you too much. Who would holiness simply means. To become more like jesus. God wants us to be transformed into his image. When we give of ourselves to the other person. It's transformative to our lives it's as if we have two paths in front of us. And we have to choose which way and this happens you know in all of our lives single or married. We have to make a thousand choices a day am i going to be selfish. Or am i going to be self sacrificing but in marriage it happens especially because everything up everything of all of your life. Is shared. You know i remember thinking when i was a. When i was in college. I had my bed. That was my place my roommates could be messy or whatever they could put their stuff wherever ok whatever. But don't put it on my bed. But you know what. Once you get married. You don't have that space. You don't have any place. And i know i'm not saying you have nothing whatsoever but you'd be surprised you don't know. You do not know the thousands of ways you do it your way because you don't think you have a way until you have somebody else living in your space all the time who has their way to do it and you find out why you drag yourself off like that. Why do you do that with your so. Why do you. Why why everything why do you always have to do it your way. Little things like with socks go. You know i think great thoughts i'm a professor so. When my socks go is not really relevant to me. But it's very relevant to me when i have to pick them up and especially when he has three children they all follow him and leave them all over the house. I have picked up so many socks one of my best friends and i were just texting this week saying if i if i could get a dollar for every shoe i pick up around this house we'd spend a weekend. He together. But that's what relationships are wired right. You constantly are figuring out how to do this. And you can choose happiness. Or home. Yes. You see god wants us to choose the holiness path and that's the one that's less traveled. When you look at those two paths in the picture. The. Wide path is the one that leads to selfishness. But it's marked. Happiness this way to happiness. And my husband stands in the way all the time. We go back to that path. Allegory. The path to happiness. That broadway. He stands in the way all the time when i want to go down the path toward happiness there he stands. No. I want to go to this place for a vacation. No. I want to have the temperature set on this at night. Everything. You know. Every every every thing. And so. If my goal is to get to happiness the way i'm going to try to get there is manipulation i'm going to push him out alright or. If you would just do it i need the where's when i could just have it this way i'll be able i don't want to write what he wants. Now i want to get there where you go in. It just never works right. Because if your goal is happiness your spouse is going to stand square in the way all over the place and then you're going to be always playing the game of if you would just stop doing that. I could be happy. But god wants us to pursue the other past the path to holiness because there's nothing he can do. To stand in the way of my pursuit of holiness. If i'm seeking to become like jesus the more pressure he puts on me. The more i have to take to jesus. The more he teaches me nicole. Do you know what i've given up for you and everything gets into perspective and i go. Wow lord. You can help me serve this man. And you see if you're pursuing holiness. If you're both becoming like jesus you have a common goal. It's as if you've decided on. On a mutual path that you could both go down a path that is not about your happiness or my happiness. But about what god wants out of our lives. Happiness goals. Always lead to manipulation. But a holiness goal. Leads us to ministry when holiness is our goal. We know the other person. Recognize this person is made in the image of god. And we honor them. And seek to help them grow into his likeness. That's what god wants for our marriage not for us to be two people trying to get happier. And stepping on each other in the process. But to people pursuing holiness and finding out ways that they need to become holy through their relationship with each other. And so when i look back at ephesians five years twenty five i recognize. Ok so there's certain things you have i'm going to live a life of love. I need to be able to die to self. I need to be able to really see colinas with this other person. But when i looked at this key word of a god day i discovered something else. And you find it here when it says husbands. Are to love their wives and this. This would a god. They live. Also means to honor you find that and. In first peter chapter three it says husbands are to honor their wives and something i thought about and i realize that. Happiness is related to honoring the other person. That holiness. Is related to honoring the other person. And so how was i going to go about showing honor to my spouse really being able to love her. The way christ loved her. And it can be challenging because this is nice theory but every day there are little things that can decrease. Ana. For instance. My wife and i decided that we were going to go to the flea market which is always a dangerous thing to do. So right here in college there we were into the flea market and we wandered around in one of her friends calls and says. There are puppies for sale. And i and i merely responded. We don't need a dog. They weren't even for sale. They were free. We don't need a darkies. Friess we have vaccinated puppies. The kids are not going to do their responsibilities they need to learn responsibility though right. I grew up with a dog he went everywhere with me woods and fields and. My kids needed a dog. I just wanted i needed arg. So even. Salie. I went off. One side and i said we don't need a dog my pro i mean words. We don't need a dog but. Eve became separated from the flea market is big you know. The whole parking lot over there you know so i was just wandering and. You know. Before i knew it i ended up at the tree i mean the puppies. And my friend was right there and we. You know we just were playing with the two puppies that were left they were very cute and somebody was taking the other and there was one sad lonely. Very good salaries going downhill. She calls me and tells me where she is and i'm walking over there thinking. We don't need. Darg. And he was right we didn't need a dog but when he got there. I said one of the only cute. She's really sweet. And the lady here says that she'll watch the dog. Well we travel any time that happened once and. She said we can just keep it for one week and just see how such a sales tactic what could possibly go wrong right. We just have a puppy for a week maybe the kids will see how much of a responsibility is and we'll give it back. Not only all fell in love with the dog but i still. I made those fatal words. Sibos fatal words they were going to change things i said. All right honey. Whatever you want to do. You can do. So i said. If we had the dog. I would name or zulu. And then i knew we were going to have a dog. So we took the dog home. And the next week she behaved moderately well. And so we kept her for another week and. That's two and a half years now and we still have a dog. But i've been picking up. Chewed up plastic all over our yard for two and a half years now. And the children of course. That they remember to feed the dog every day religiously. You know how that goes. I've been feeding. Dog. And making sure the dog has water. And things like this but along the way you know that didn't really bother me i knew. You know. We know when we have a. Eight year old that we get a dog for who's going to be taking care of this dog right. But that didn't really bother me. What bothered me was that. My husband didn't care. He wanted me to know i have replying something came up where the dog had to be taken care of i said remember honey this was your choice. You can imagine that made me feel warm and loving and accepted. Right. See i had given her the choice. But i hadn't honored her. I had made her do what she wanted to do. But i hadn't come along side of her and showed her that i loved her. Because if she makes a choice when you're together in a relationship. It means we make a choice. If she decides to do something that means we are going to do it together. And instead of supporting supporting her and honoring her. And having the cigar play love toward her. All i had done was simply given her freedom. But without love. So i had a talk with my wonderful husband. And explain to him that i wasn't feeling loved in this situation. Now. I did not have the talk with him at the top of my lungs or. Start flouncing around the house. Irritated at him because that's not the way love communicates right. Love has to have hard questions. Hard conversations. Sometimes does things that seem very unloving. To the person who doesn't understand love. But i sat down with them i said you know. The way that we're handling the situation. I feel unloved and. To his credit. Things changed. Right away. Soon. He was out playing with the dog. Picking up the chewed up plastic. Helping feed the dog. Taking care of things still didn't need a dog. We didn't need a dog. It's true. But i'm very grateful that even though we didn't need a dog. I have a wonderful husband who loves me in the midst of my choices. And so when you look at honor. Versus manipulation when you look at ministry versus manipulation. You can see there is a difference between them. For instance. If you honor a person. You recognize that they're made in god's image. But if you're manipulating a person. You see them as an object you exist to serve me. And when you. Honor a person. You recognize that they belong to god as part of god's image they belong to him that's who has the ultimate control over their life. Instead of seeing them as an object. To be manipulated. You give without expecting a return. But a manipulation. I give to get what i want from you. You want that person to be successful. But in manipulation. I need you to make me happy. When you have this on a mentality you realize that god is using the other person. To make you like them. Instead of saying. You're the problem. And when you have a ministry mentality you say i'll love you. Even if you don't respond with love. But a manipulation. The love only lasts as long as it works. As it changes you. To do whatever i want you to do. So the question that we have is what kind of marriage what kind of relationship do you want. Could be a spouse it could be a roommate. Which one is the highest priority to you to your do you want to happy relationship. Or a holy one. See if your goal. Is happiness. You're never going to be truly happy. You know this person and i are playing a game of. I pay you you pay me we'll both will be happy. And it never fully works because you know the other person is helping you because you help them. But. God says to seek first the kingdom of god and his righteousness. We don't always think of that versus talking about marriage. But it does if we seek first. The kingdom of god. We seek his righteousness righteousness is keeping the law. Which is a law of love love god with all your heart soul mind and strength. Love your neighbor as yourself the whole law. Is relational. And it's a transcript of the character of a god who is relational. God cares about our relationships they are the center of his law. They are what sorts us into who saved and lost. At the end. Those who keep the law. Those who love him and love others. Those who do not keep the law do not love him and not love others. It matter so much. Whether we learn to love. And that's why. If you had to choose one happiness or holiness you have discovered these two pathways. If your goal is happiness you'll never be fully happy because you'll be selfish and selfish people are not happy people. But if your goal is holiness. Then we believe there will be a byproduct of happiness at the end of the road. It's always difficult to sort. Our motives because in all of our relationship sin and grace co-exist. There this messy. Mix. What is my motivation and god is always about helping us to understand the motivations of our heart. I remember a situation. But. We dealt with with. One morning ok my husband was racing off. To work just as. I got out of bed so. We had our children were younger then when you have three children ages five and under. Nothing ever gets done. Right. Anybody here. Ever experienced something like this. So he was racing out the door i had a baby a toddler. And a child who was just barely a beyond that. The house was a mass the kitchen was a disaster. He was gone and i had the whole morning the last thing he said to me as he raced out the door was all be home for lunch. At twelve thirty. Ok. I have to make it is kinds of promise i can make it to the finish line right. My husband will be back in only. This many hours. Well i ate breakfast then i started cleaning look. At this despairing huge disaster and children getting all over everything. Got the children dressed got myself dressed and instead of having my worship time with the lord. I decided. As i carried something out into the garage i looked around and i thought. You know. Alan told me he really wanted to clean the garage. Wouldn't it be wonderful of me. To clean the garage and surprise him so that when he gets home. The garage will be clean. Now we. We had lived at this house for very long so we hadn't collected too much clutter but it was a mess in there. So i pulled trash out of. Shelves i organize things up all the suitcases and put them on the top you know. Swept all the leaves out the trash can was overflowing. The guard. The garage looks sparkling it was great. I was so happy but by now it was like twelve fifteen remember what time he's getting home. From twelve thirty he's going to be home so i raced inside i was like i got to make something. The counters were all covered with dirty dishes. But they were clean dishes in the dishwasher. So i pulled some of those out i'm. I don't remember what i made but i rushed through making something it wasn't ready by twelve thirty but thankfully he was a little bit late so i was still getting it done. Twelve forty five rolled around lunch was on the table hawt. No husband. We live. Two minutes. From his work. So i thought ok. He'll be here any time but then i looked around the kitchen i thought maybe i should just try to get things as clean as i can in here to won't be impressed when he walks through clean garage into a sparkling kitchen. What a great wife i am if i do say so myself right. So the dishwasher was still full of clean dishes which a he had put in the dishwasher actually. And i cleaned all those out. I started putting the dirty dishes. In that were all over everywhere else. Getting everything clean. Got the counters wiped off the floor swept. It looked great. The kids ate lunch by now. It was. Now one thirty. Where was the husband. So i was waiting i was waiting. I was thinking ok he's going to be home soon. I'm going to hear a voice other than howling and whining pretty soon right. Twelve forty five and one forty five rolls around. There's still no husband. Twelve. One forty eight one forty eight. I hear the garage door open and my husband comes walking in on his phone. And he's on the phone with his boss i kid you not this is what he said. Hi greg. Are we still having that meeting at two o'clock. All right. I'll be there by. I am hungry. So i get off the phone and i sit down and this is still food the everyone else has eaten but this this. This cold food but it's still food. That's in front of me so i begin wolf in a down because i have a meeting at two. And as i'm busy wolfing down this food i begin to realize that there are two i's kind of boring into me. And there is this uncomfortable feeling like something's not right. So i being the quiet meek mild. Kind of life that i am. I said i clean the garage i like wonderful that's great i've been wanting that to happen thank you. And i'm back to shoveling fruit of my mouth. But i see the our eyes once again i realize that. I have to pay attention here because something is up and i'm a little clueless. He slows down chewing and looks at me i said i clean the kitchen to grade your wonderful. Thank you. I've only got a few minutes here. Can i go back to my food i didn't say that i just thought it. But it would he might as well have said it was pretty obvious right. So then he finishes wolfing down his food. It's now. One fifty seven you know and he's like oh ok. Well. That was great thank you so much. He's racing off to brush his teeth and head back to work. When man that he is he starts standing up and he says it's something wrong it suddenly dawned on me that there was a reason why she kept looking at me during. Wholemeal so i sat down again and i said sit down. So he did. She's right one and and. And i and i followed. As a good intuitive man. And so. I was like ok what's wrong. I said. I cleaned the garage crêpe. Can i go i cleaned the kitchen to work the fellow. He takes a quick look at his watch. And then she tells me. Look. Just go just go and i said no it's fine. I can call. Greg. And let him know that i'm not going to be able to come home i said no no no don't call them. I just. We need it lee i'm like yeah. Hello greg i know i told you i would be there but i have married a wife and i cannot come trust me on this. I don't want to look like i'm even worse as a wife right. So i mean i could go back down again and she's like no no go or so i go because i do what my wife tells me to i don't know why he is confused by this isn't it clear how many women out here think this she should have known exactly what was wrong here. I'm just saying. But anyway. Brilliant man that he was he rushed off to brush his teeth and finally i did what i should have done a long time before i prayed. I said lord. What is going on here why am i so angry. And right away. The lord. Turned everything right side up for me as he loves to do when we pray. And the lord said. You didn't clean the garage for him. You cleaned it for you. You cleaned it because you wanted him to come home and go wow. Honey you're amazing how do you do it all. Oh i'm so in love with you. That's why i clean the kitchen to you see. I did what he wanted but i did it out of selfish motives and god is always after the heart. He doesn't care about the behavior so much as he wants the. Why we do what we do. So right away i said oh lord you're right. What should i do and he said go apologize to your husband. So now i'm really confused because she walks in and she apologizes to me. I russian honey i know you've got to run but i just want you is no i'm so sorry and i explained to him the thirty second verse. And this is what was wrong. He gave me a hug and a kiss and rushed off to work and he was probably only one minute late. But as i'm i'm driving there i realize that i too have faults because while i was sitting in my office it had been a busy morning i'd been taking care of the kids so that she could sleep in and that or. Compress my day but the real problem was when i was at the office. A student had come in and i didn't want to offend the student by telling them that i was expected at home. So i kept waiting for the student. To finish. And what it meant was i was more interested in looking good in the students' eyes. That i was in ministering to my wife and not disappointing. But you see. For me. I understood. Once the lord convicted me. What was wrong. My goal was wrong. My goal was happiness. Instead of ministry. To alan. My anger stemmed from him not fulfilling my goal. And i was bottom line seeking to be ministered unto. And not to minister i wasn't being like jesus. You see if our goals. Are happiness. Our goal is happiness. Our contentment. Well always rise and fall. On our spouses behavior. What our spouse does. If it doesn't please us will seek to manipulate them. Will swing from. Apathy to resentment anger disillusionment. Or depression. We may find ourselves thinking if only he or she would do this or that i would be happy and will always. Approach conflict self protectively i'm willing to give all these things as long as i get what i really want right here. But if your goals holiness. You going to rely on christ. As the foundation of your worth and of your happiness. So you're not going to be dependent on the other person and what they do for you you're going to approach conflicts differently with a primary desire not to get them to do what you want. But for you to minister back to them. And you're going to reste. Approach those conflicts lovingly and respectfully with honor. Whether or not you feel loved and respected back. Because when you. When you operate with the goal of holiness. What you're doing is you're bringing in the love of jesus. So that your home. Has an atmosphere of heaven. This afternoon we're going to talk more about some of the hard knocks of life and how to you don't have primaries to come to those yes these. These are principles of how to deal with conflict within your relationships all relationships are the area where grace works it's where sanctification happens it's where we learn to love god and love. So whatever happens in your relationships. You're welcome to come and hear us it's three thirty this afternoon right. But our appeal to you today. Is to contemplate prayerfully what does god want to do in your relationships. Right now. Maybe in your marriage if you're married. And perhaps as we've shared some of our experiences with the process of sanctification being messy. You realize there are some areas that i'd like to repent. I'd like to confess to my spouse. Say i'm sorry. Maybe to your friends or your parents or your siblings they're somebody that you know. The relationship is rocky because your goal is but happiness. Instead of sanctification. So we want to encourage you. As you listen to the music now as you. Participate in that side of it that you think about how can i treat people differently this week. How can i have jesus' love his extravagant love. Pouring through my life. So that we are both seeking. The goal of holiness. Instead of having this media was brought to you by audio force. A website dedicated to spreading god's word through free. Sermon audio. And much more. If you would like to know more about audio verse. Or if you would like to listen to more service. Please visit. W w w. Audio verse or.

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