Saturday, August 11, 2007

Paul & Brooke Kind Wedding Sermon

Lasting love

Paul and Brooke, from the beginning of scripture God has had plenty to say about the union of a man and woman in marriage. Marriage was established by God and God blesses marriage. Later on in this ceremony as your minister I will bless your marriage… Your parents have already blessed it and the entire body of friends and relatives have traveled here today to bless your marriage. Most of all in this ceremony today though, we will ask GOD to bless your union of love. It is love that will keep you together.

Back in 1975 when I was only married a half dozen years or so the number one hit song was by the Captain and Tennille “Love will keep us together.” They were right—it is love that will keeps your marriage together. But, what kind of love? That is my first question--what sort of love will keep you together?

It is not just chemistry-love. Recent science has shown there really is a chemical reaction in people “in love.” The chemical is adrenaline. It gives a jolt, a high, and makes the heart speed up and flutter. However. those same studies show that after about a year and a half the adrenaline quits spiking—what then? This kind of infatuation we call “Romantic love” or “puppy love” Lasting love is more than this chemical reaction producing attraction or desire. Passion passes—at least this initial kind of passion. Love is more than passionate feelings. So, what kind of love will keep you together all your lives.

The answer is in the Bible, but first, let's consider some lines from “The Fiddler on the Roof” on the same subject. I’m sure you recall the story of the philosophical Russian milkman Tevya. Times were changing and that affected Tevya’s Jewish family traditions. Rather than using the traditional matchmaker’s arrangements, young people were now getting married out of love, including Tevya’s own daughters. It was a new idea—marrying out of love. The notion challenges Tevya and causes him to reflect on his own marriage.

One day Tevya asks his wife, “Golda, do you love me?”
Golda replies: “Do I what?”
T: “Do you love me?”
G: “Do I love you? With our daughters getting married and this trouble in the town, you’re upset, you’re worn out, go inside, go lie down, maybe its indigestion.”
T: “Oh, No Golda, “I’m asking you a question. Do you love me?”
G: “You’re a fool.”
T: “I know, but do you love me?”
G: “Do I love you? Well . . For twenty-five years I washed your clothes, cooked your meals, cleaned your house, given you children, milked your cow. After twenty-five years why talk about love right now?”
T: “Golda, the first time I met you it was on our wedding day. I was scared.”
G: “I was shy.”
T:“I was nervous.”
G: “So was I.”
T: “But my father and mother said we’d learn to love each other and now I’m asking, Golda, ‘Do you love me?’”
G: “I’m your wife.”
T: “I know, but do you love me?”
G: “Do I love him? For twenty five years I lived with him, fought with him, starved with him, twenty-five years my bed is his, If that’s not love, what is?”
T: “Then you love me.”
G: “I suppose I do.”
T: “And I suppose I love you too. It doesn’t change a thing, but even so, after twenty-five years it’s nice to know.”
Golda’s kind of love is often dismissed by today’s feeling oriented, adrenaline-addicted world. We think she needs a lesson in loving. But Golda was actually closer to the Bible’s view of love than we think. IN the Bible loving is action. It is put this way in 1 Corinthians 13…

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13: 4-6)

The Bible agrees with Golda’s view: love is more than a feeling—it is action. Love is a commitment to act lovingly. Love might begin with feelings of attraction and pulsating bursts of adrenaline but it continues by commitment and loving actions. Lasting love involves making meals, washing the dishes, repairing the car and taking out the garbage. It has periods of passion but it also sometimes has periods of routine. Marital love of the lasting variety is a commitment to love another person in this way for life. The way you will put that in the vows you wrote to say in a moment is, “wherever our journey takes us; in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow; in sickness and in health; as long as we both shall live.”

Too many believe romantic love automatically brings the lasting kind of love the Bible speaks of. It opens the doorway to it, but does not make it happen automatically. Lasting love requires work. And it works only as you work it. Real love takes effort.

Paul and Brooke, we pray that you will work at being patient and kind, not being envious or rude or arrogant. We pray you will daily work to not insist on your own way, to not to be irritable or resentful. Some days you will have to work harder than others, but we pray you will make this Job #1 for the rest of your lives.
This kind of love—lasting love—will keep you together in the future. Your commitment today is not just about your past or present feelings. It is a commitment to action in the future—a commitment to work at really loving and to keep doing those kinds of things wherever your journey takes you. That is my first point: today you are committing to working at loving --really loving, the lasting kind of love that will keep you together...and keep working at it throughout all your entire lives.

My second point is to remind you where you will get this kind of love. There is only one way to have a marriage made in heaven. That is to draw on God’s power for loving. God is the Source of lasting love. Your love for each other—real love—is but a reflection of God’s great love for each of you. The writer of I John said it this way: My dear friends, let us love one another,because the source of love is God.This is what love really is: not that we have loved God,but that God loved us first.

Your love is not self-created—not real love. Real lasting love comes from God who first loved us—with real love, of the lasting variety. The vows you exchange today are not just between the two of you, or even between you, the state, and this gathered group. You have made God a witness and your view are made in the presence of the God who will enble you to keep on loving.

All of us here today want you to be more in love in ten and 20 and 40 years from now than you are today The Captain and Tennille still are together in their 60’s… and they are still singing love songs to each other (though I don’t expect people under to 40 to know this). We here expect Godly love—the lasting kind—to be even more true of you, Paul and Brooke in the future as your love grows. We know you are committed not only to each other but to God the Source of lasting love. This is the kind of loving marriage God blesses. Your lifelong commitment tis what we come here today to bless along with God.

Paul and Brooke… we all love you. And our prayer for you today and throughout your marriage is found in Paul’s words in 1 Thessalonians 3: 12
"May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you."

Keith Drury
August 10, 2007


JohnLDrury said...

Nice sermon! Thanks for posting -- esp. since I missed the live version.

David Drury said...

yep... great to read this. I'll forward to my Kathy.

and I hear that wedding was quite a reunion!


Anonymous said...

Very nice sermon, Coach. I am enjoying working on that kind of love with Kevin still. It will be four years in November! I hope you are doing well and that you are enjoying the last little bit of your summer. I'm looking forward to more weekly columns this year!
Love, Sandra Andrews

Left Coast Drury said...

Thanks for posting this. Elizabeth and I were driving across the expanse of West Texas (about 10 days ago) and began reflecting on our wedding ceremony. We agreed that our minister was both effective and gratefully efficient in bringing the sermon. We also concluded that after all these years (14 and counting) having attended many other wedding ceremonies, we still like ours best. Thanks for doing your part!

kerry said...

Sensitively written and masterfully presented. It seemed shorter in person, concise but packed with good stuff.