Whether you realize it or not, we all have goals or a vision for dating, marriage, kids, retirement. It might be specific, positive, broken, from your family heritage, from Danielle Steel, TMZ, Walt Disney, or the somewhere else…
#relationshipgoals is a big deal on the internet. People will put a picture with a comment and add #relationshipgoals.
There are some really CRAZY goals out there! Crazy. People are putting some crazy things online. I found some this week when I was searching the net.
Check these out:
How many here have been married more than 20 years? More than 30? More than 40?
I have been married to Erica for 17 years. We have 3 lovely kids. However, there were some relationships previous to Erica. Not gonna lie. (was not married before Erica, but dated several before Erica.
Dating is a difficult season of life. If you are dating right now or thinking about dating, I am so glad that you are here for this series. IT WILL HELP YOU.
Dating is so awkward. I remember a really, really, really awkward time when I was dating.
I was on a hayride. Oh, when you are dating, hayrides are so romantic. Cold weather, hot chocolate, Christmas carols, all your friends, chill in the air. Dark, countryside. FUN! We were sittin in the hay in the trailer. All my friends around and a pretty girl beside me (that I was interested in but had never “talked” to her). It was really chilly so we had a blanket covering us. We were all packed in under the blanket joking around, singing, chatting. I started thinking, I want to hold her hand. You know…under the blanket so I ease my hand over and feel hers. She is receptive! We sort of hold hand for 30 minutes! So exciting. Heart buzzing. Wow!
Little did I know that my best friend sitting on the other side of her had the same idea. He had done the same thing! When the blanket came off at the end of the ride, we both discovered that we had had the same idea and we weren’t holding her hand. We were holding each other’s hands!!!
Can you imagine what was going on in the girls mind this whole time???? These guys are really weird. She never said anything the whole time!!
Dating can be so complicated. A huge mistake many people make is think that marriage will uncomplicated things for us.
The truth is marriage only exaggerates the complication.
Over the last 13 years as a pastor, I have counseled with hundreds of people with bad relationship goals. Mixed up…Facing divorce and pain because everything started out on the wrong path or trajectory.
Here is the TRUTH:
God has a plan for you, your life, and your relationships.
Sometimes we have plans or goals for our lives and they are jacked up. Thankfully, God has the right plans for our lives.
Erica actually asked me out on our first date. Are you dating? Do you want to go out? I had some marriage goals set out. I am a very planned person, so I had a bullet list of criteria for myself and my wife Before I would get married:
- My wife had to have a college degree
- Her parents had to be happily married
- I had to be finished with college degree
- I had to have $10,000 saved and in the bank
- My wife had to be a follower of Jesus
When Erica and I got married only 2 of those things were fulfilled. I was finished with college and Erica loved Jesus.
When God created the world, he spoke it into existence. “Let there be…” When he created us, he changed his method. Instead of speaking us into existence, he used his hands to shape us out of the dirt. He formed us. Then, He breathed into us. We have his hand print and breathe of life.
God created Man and it was not good enough. Can I get an “AMEN!”, women??!! So he created Woman to be WITH man.
How did it get so complicated? How did it go from Adam and Eve strolling the garden with God…to…hurtful words, selfish anger, verbal and physical abuse, jealousy, gossip, divorce. ***It has everything to do with ORDER. Putting first things first.***
Here is the most important part of this sermon series. Our Number 1 Relationship Goal:
God is First AND God is Enough
If you miss this. You will get everything else messed up. God is supposed to be first. He’s your true “first love”. He is not your first love on the time line, he is your priority love. Your main love. Your first love.
1 John 4:19 We love each other because He first loved us.
Notice the sequence of events in the Garden of Eden!
- First there was God…without man.
- Then there was God and Adam only and they walked together…
- THEN there was God and Adam and Eve
We are supposed to be connected to Jesus before we get connected to anyone else. Why are Erica and I still married after 17 years? It is not because I finished college or had enough money in the bank. IT IS BECAUSE GOD IS FIRST IN OUR LIVES AND GOD IS ENOUGH. When he is first and he is enough, then marriage is a possibility.
If we aren’t close to Jesus, then we are not EQUIPPED to have a relationship with another human.
It is not that you can’t have a relationship with someone else. However, you are not FULLY EQUIPPED for relationship. You shouldn’t expect to hit your goals if you are not equipped.
You would NEVER hike Mt Everest without the proper preparation and equipment. You need all the supplies to get to the top and successfully descend the mountain.
So many of us and people you know go into relationships without the proper preparation and are not equipped.
Where my singles at? All the single ladies? Put your hands up!!! Make a relationship with God your priority BEFORE you ever think about being married. —- Make that a priority before you get emotionally involved.
Beyonce told him “if you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it.” However, that is not what the Bible says. Not sure if you know this or not but top40 radio doesn’t always line up with the Bible. You only put a ring on it if you are first in a relationship with God and then you are ready to humbly and sacrificially submit to another human. Because I may “like it now” but not “like it” later. Liking is a lot different than loving.
LIKING is an emotion. It is infatuation, like Pastor Will said last week, secular therapists say this infatuation period of having the hots for someone lasts only 6 weeks to 18months. Then, what?
God gives us a commandment to LOVE one another just like God loved us.
John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
You can’t command someone to be emotional. BE HAPPY. BE SAD. BE GIDDY. Doesn’t work. God wouldn’t command you to “like” someone, but he did command you to LOVE one another.
If you want the #relationshipgoal of getting old and gray together and sitting on the pier and eating pizza everynight while watching Andy Griffith, then LEARN THIS PRINCIPLE: Love is not an emotion. It is a verb an action.
LOVE is not the emotional, syrupy, butterfly thing that is so unpredictable. You hear people say that love is unpredictable. NOT TRUE.
The Bible says: love is patient and kind. not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
SOUNDS PRETTY PREDICATBLE TO ME!
Eve is to compliment Adam (and vice versa). Not to complete Adam. (and vice versa) There is no doubt that we humans are broken and need completion. We need someone or something to complete us. GOD KNOWS THIS and provides our Completion directly through our relationship with HIM.
Our faith in Jesus Christ and our relationship with HIM is what gives us the completion that so many people are looking for in other people.
Your spouse will never live up to the standard that only God can live up to! Spouses are not to be in the position that is reserved only for God. Your relationship with Jesus will set the tone for every other relationship.
Let me say it like this:
If your marriage is lacking something, more than likely your relationship with Jesus is too.
You can’t find true love because you haven’t found your FIRST love. Our intimacy with God is to be our first relationship goal!
ILLUSTRATION: Pastor Mike come help me. Mike is going to be God. (toss out rope to each side) Man is on one side and woman is on the other side. Far from each other but liking what they see in each other. You should be tied to God first! Sometimes you are far from him, but you find him and a way to him. God begins to draw you to him! Man and woman have the ends of the rope and may feel far from God, sometimes you will go through pain and trials and difficult and financial struggle. “go through aisle and people to get towards God. Some of you people are going to have to help him go through the hurdles and difficulty. Just like in our life we need the church to help lift us through the mess of life and connect with Jesus. The devil is trying to get you to release the rope BUT if you hold on to the rope in the middle of it all and you continue to move forward…NOTICE what happens! They have gone through some pain and struggle, but they are HOLDING on to the very thing that connects them to God! AS they hold onto Jesus they are getting closer to one another! If you want a solid relationship with your spouse, then get close to Jesus.
The problem with so many people is that as we are working our way through life, we let go of the rope and we take some wrong advice, we let our emotions dictate our path (we let our syrupy feelings dictate our path and we reject the path that God has laid out for us) sin might deliver immediate pleasure, but will never over the long haul deliver you in to the quality relationship you have been looking for.
One with INTREGRITY. HUMILITY. CONSISTENCY. STABILITY.
Instead of letting go of rope when things get difficult or hooking up with someone in the crowd, you need to hold on and walk towards Jesus. He is going to be the one to help you out!
Don’t put Jesus on hold. Hold on to Jesus. He has to be first! Renew your connection to him.
God is first and God is enough.
Proverbs 29:18 When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild.
But whoever obeys the law is joyful. (Without a VISION the people perish.)
You can listen to the podcast of this message by clicking here.
Take your bible out and turn with me to Galatians the 4th Chapter. Every Summer we like to break from our topical sermon series and go to a specific book and look at it from beginning to end. Galatians is a letter written by a man named Paul to the churches in Galatia.
I encourage you to read Galatians once a week. It is only 6 chapters. You could read a chapter per day or the whole book in one setting (30min.) Each time you read and each Sunday you will get a fresh impartation from God’s living bread, the Bible. His Word will go forth in your life bringing abundant Life and Hope.
This is PromiseLand Church. Last week, I talked about why that name is important. We believe Paul’s message in Galatians 3… that we are standing on the same PROMISE that God gave Abraham 4000 years ago. Even though some of our life details are not the way we want them to be, we are living in the LAND of PROMISE. So, we invite ANYONE who wants to live in the God’s Promises to join us. Become a family member here at PromiseLand San Marcos. We are a community that worships together, parties together, mourns together, and builds the Kingdom together. All under the core belief that we are God’s children, that he LOVES his kids, that he saves us from the turmoil of this life and sets us up for eternity.
Chapter 4 of Galatians covers two keys words of our mission statement:
We exist to Bring People into an Intimate Relationship with Jesus Christ and Each Other.
Galatians 4 talks about 2 words in our mission: Intimate Relationship.
Galatians 4:1 Think of it this way. If a father dies and leaves an inheritance for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had. 2 They have to obey their guardians until they reach whatever age their father set. 3 And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world. 4 But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. 6 And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” 7 Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.
This is a coming of age. You have gone from some with potential to someone with inheritance. Paul writes to us in this book to remind us of the truth of the Good News. We turn things back to the legal, law so easily. Paul wants us to remember that our motivation to work should be fueled by our passion for God and come from the position of son instead of slave.
If you are Intimate with God you can say these 4 things:
If I Am Intimate with God, We talk A Lot
I talk to my wife all the time. Why? Because we are intimate. We are all up in each others business. All the time. We love to know what each other is doing. (that is normal) We like help from each other. We like to hang out together. We like to know what was good or bad about our day.
The closer you get to God, the more you talk. If you want to get closer to God, talk to him more often.
If this is a new concept to you, please go back to our podcast and get the sermon series “Talking to God” from earlier this year. Whole sermon series on how to talk to God.
If I Am Intimate with God, I Am Familiar With God
I know details about God. I know how and why God does things. To know all about the data and details. To know as much as possible. Always wanting to know more. A hunger for more.
We find all the knowledge we need of God in his written word.
2 Peter 1:2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
We all want peace in our life. Peter says if you want peace, you need to get to know God. The more you know God, the more peace and Grace you have!
Men, if we can’t figure out women, we aren’t going to figure out God. BUT we can pursue our wife to know her more (and get counseling). We can do the same with God.
When we are intimately familiar with someone, we start taking on their traits. We start talking in that accent.
As a child of God we start loving and working just like God.
BECAUSE WE ARE. Not because we WANT TO BECOME. Because we are his kids we act like him, love like him, work like him.
3. If I Am Intimate with God, I Am Secure With God
I’m not worried about my relationship with Erica. We are good. We are tight.
I’m not faithful to my wife because of the laws of marriage. When a nice looking girl walks by, I don’t follow after her or get her number. I don’t do that because it is against the rules of my marriage and if I did that I would be divorced. Erica has told me multiple times that if I were to do that he would hit me with multiple bats, suitcases, machetes.
BUT that is not why I don’t look at other girls or chase after them. I don’t because I am in love with Erica. My intimacy with her has made me secure with her.
Galatians 4:8 Before you Gentiles knew God, you were slaves to so-called gods that do not even exist. 9 So now that you know God (or should I say, now that God knows you), why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spiritual principles of this world?
I’m loyal to God. I don’t run after other lovers or other gods.
4. I Really, Really Like God A Lot
Intimate relationships have nice benefits. Know what I’m saying?
Emotional benefit. Physical benefits.
This is the part of intimacy in which most are familiar. Without a doubt, to be intimate means to be affectionate and loving. Song of Solomon reveals the potential of affectionate love.
“I am not these things.” That is why WE are here!
“How much more are you these things now, then when you first attended PSM?”
Intimacy does not just happen. It is not an emotion. Jesus gave the disciples distinct instruction before His ascension.
Intimacy is a beautiful baby of systematic discipline. That doesn’t sound very romantic or Hollywood. However, I believe many people are mistaken when they think that they will have a relationship with God by following after a mythical religious experience.
Just as intimacy with my spouse comes after vulnerability, faith, work, perseverance, and romance so does my intimacy with God. Invest. Sow seed. Reap…