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 hear this sermon on our podcast by clicking here.
Mark 2: 1 When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. 2 Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, 3 four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. 4 They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus.(Jesus forgave his sins and then said)… 11“Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” 12 And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers. They were all amazed and praised God, exclaiming, “We’ve never seen anything like this before!”
This man needed a miracle. He knew Jesus and Believed in his healing. He knew where Jesus was. BUT he came to impossibility where he needed someone who cared enough to lift him up the wall over the roof, take the tile off the roof, lower him down the hole.
He needed relationship to get from where he was TO his answer…at the feet of Jesus.
The question is not… Where are you going? Do you know Jesus? Do you know where Jesus is?
BUT Who will carry your mat? Who will be there for you when you come up to an impossibility and you need relationship to connect you with your GOD?
Life is so short. What are we doing with it? What are our priorities?
I want to tell you the story of two Noels. I have officiated two funerals for men named Noel. One of the saddest funerals I have officiated was at Fort Sam in San Antonio. I arrived at the outside gazebo to perform the funeral for a 55 year old man named, Noel. I noticed there were only 5 elderly ladies gathered. When the hearse pulled up, the funeral director got out, opened the back door of the hearse and began to remove the casket. By himself, he struggled to remove the casket. I asked where the pallbearers were. He said, “There are none.” So, Matt Brock and I helped remove the casket.
Then there was Noel Rodriguez. When we had his memorial service this entire sanctuary was packed with friends. He wasn’t famous. He wasn’t on the news. Instead, he had made a point in his life to connect with others. One Noel lived a life by and for himself. The other Noel made it a part of his personality and character to connect with others.
I don’t know where you are in life when it comes to personal relationships, but I urge you to consider the truth that you need others and more importantly, others need you.
If we are so wrapped up in our own lives that we forget to invest in others, then we will find ourselves alone on an island.
PROMISEGROUPS ARE SETS OF RELATIONSHIPS. Relationships in small settings are crucial to your spiritual development.
Acts 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
Acts 5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
Acts 8:3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. (there was a small group in every house)
Acts 11:11-16 talks of Peter and angels going into a house and the Holy Ghost falling upon all that were there.
Acts 12:12 And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.
Acts 20:20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house,
How Does Carrying My Mat Work?
- There is SAFETY. Transparency requires trust. You are in a safe place.
- There is FOCUS – smaller settings allow going deeper.
- There is CONNECTION to GOD – prayer and scripture.
- There is FRIENDSHIP- first name, real conversation, lasting friendship.
- There is SUPPORT – bear burdens, camaraderie, practical help
- There is ACCOUNTABILITY (coaching) – you need someone in your life that realizes you are struggling before you even tell them.
- I am shy – things to do at same time (interest groups)
- I have a full schedule already – flexible schedule of groups. You have to say ‘no’ to something to say ‘yes’ to something else. What are your priorities?
- My kids have early bedtimes
- I’m brand new and have nothing to add to conversation.
- I don’t know anyone. I am an outsider.
- I have no idea what to expect.
- I am afraid of being embarrassed.
- I don’t want to be trapped in a group that I don’t like or relate to.
- I have been hurt in a previous church and am not ready for relationships.
Some of our current Small Group leaders and staff members where in your exact shoes a few years back and they took a leap. Check out their story (we showed a video here)
You can make excuses all of your life, but at some point you need to make a move. You need to make a change. You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results.
We have groups on Every day of the Week. From 6am-9pm at night. Buda, Kyle, Wimberley, San Marcos, Lockhart Texas State Students – we have several groups for you. Look for ‘college’, ‘young’ – Men, Women – 5 days of week, Fitness and Recreation, Y tenemos dos grupos en espanol.
Fill out a response card today (Write Legibly on your card) OR go to The City, download the new PSM App.
- We will organize groups and give you Accurate info
- Contact you back by Tuesday (there are a lot of people to contact and it is Labor Day tomorrow). With an invite to the official City group and email or call from the group leader.