This morning, I was back at my home church. I definitely missed certain aspects of my church back in Waco, like our weekly hug and pray, or Kyle's very direct, tailored sermons to college students, or praising God with my fellow Wacoan college peers. But it was also a huge blessing to be back home, worshipping God in the church I've attended since 3rd grade. Pastor Ryan is in the middle of a sermon series called "All our Homes are Broken." As fallen people, no one has a perfect home. However, a big focus for my home church is the importance of the family. Through this sermon series, we are looking at different aspects of home life and family life. This week, the sermon was about the art of courtship. It was a great sermon, so I thought I'd share my notes and interpretations from what he said this morning. Of course, I cannot preach as Pastor Ryan can, but I will share my notes and his main points, so hopefully you can get the gist of the sermon! I encourage you to examine your life, especially your relationships, as you read my notes.
"The Art of Courtship"--Jeremiah 29:4-6
"Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease."
Even though the Israelites were being exiled, God wanted them to create roots, marry, and build a family. In this passage, we see three principles of courtship/dating.
1. The anticipation of marriage--relationships with no purpose are destructive. "If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry--it is no sin." 1 Corinthians 7:36
-Commitments should always come before intimacy.
-It's okay to be friends (1 Timothy 5:1-2)
- It's okay to be strategic (get out of the house to meet people)
-Before you move to couple status, ask these questions...
-Can I easily pray with this person? (2 Corinthians 6:14)
-Ladies: Is he leading? If you chase him now, you're going to have to chase him the rest of your life. Men should be vulnerable. Guys: Is she modest? If she craves attention of men, she's going to crave ALL men's attentions
-Are there significant problems you hope will get better? You don't need to date them back to health. People don't know how to deal with problems "before take off" or know when to get off.
- Marriage is the paramount goal.
2. The influence of family- "Take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage" Jeremiah 29:6a
-Family serves as your gatekeepers. You can't make a logical decision when you're blinded by feelings. Honesty from trusted loved ones is VITAL.
-You can learn a lot about someone when you watch him or her with his or her family.
3. The glory of God!
-Relationships are all for the glory of God.
-"You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13--As you're living your life, seek God with your whole heart. Part of that is giving God your houses, jobs, families, etc. 1 Peter 3
-Let God be the source of your joy, fulfillment, and contentment, and trust God in your relationships. You will be blessed.
"God, I love you, and I'm going to trust you enough to give you all of my relationships."
This is my prayer, and I know that I must constantly give my relationships over to Him. I trust Him with my life, and seek to honor Him!
Have a great Sunday, everyone. :)