Harmony Christian Church
Harmony Christian Church
The Love Myth

Have you ever been in love?  Have you fallen out of love?  What is love?  This week, we’re looking at the radically different way God teaches us to deal with love and the impact it can have on your relationships.  Help us advance the Kingdom, support our online ministry (harmonychurch.cc/give).  Got kids?  Check out Harmony Kids online (updated weekly)  https://www.harmonychurch.cc/harmony-kids-online/!   
Sermon Notes Slide Key:

  • Sermons always start with “OPENING ILLUSTRATION:” and end with “CLOSING ILLUSTRATION:”
  • All scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted
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—————————–OPENING ILLUSTRATION: Do you remember being a kid and trying to ask a girl out, or maybe being asked out?
I’ll never forget being in the 7th grade, spending the night at my buddies house.  We were all talking about girls and my friends convinced me to call one, Crystal Farmer was her name.  We got on the phone, I called, and said, “is Crystal there?”  They went to get her and when she came on the phone, all I could do was [breathe really heavy and creepy into the mic].  Ha.  I was paralyzed.  I’m sure Crystal thought she had some creepy stalker…
Figuring out dating, and love and relationships is SO difficult. And THEN you get into a committed relationship and guess what, it gets even more difficult..
ILLUSTRATION: During this early days I’ll never forget going to my dad and asking him, “Dad, how will I know when I’m in love…”  He gave me the classic dad answer.  “Um, ask your mom…”  Ha, what I ended up learning was, “you’ll just know…”
I know this seems like a funny place to start a sermon, but I think more damage has been done in families and relationships, over not understanding love, than just about any other thing
Think about it…
People fall in love. People can be lovey dovey. People fall out of love “I no longer love him” “We just don’t love each other anymore”
Love gets the blame for all kinds of relationship highs and lows. But nobody can tell you how you know if you love someone, except you’ll “just know” Here’s the question to me: Is love something you fall in and out of or was love intended to be some thing much more?
Listen to how Paul describes love – now I know a lot of you know will know this passage, but just stick with me…
1 Corinthians 13:4-8aLove is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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.Love never fails. 
First of all, I need to say, Paul isn’t talking about romantic love in this passage…
Paul is talking about the concept of love and how it should affect every relationship – especially those within the church-but I don’t think it’s out of line to apply what he says here to all relationships…
Let me ask you to do an exercise with me…  I want us to read this passage again, but I want us to read it together.
Here’s how it will work. Instead of saying, Love, I want you to input your name – we’re going to read this out loud.  I’ve had them put my name in there for an example, but as we read it, I want you to substitute your name.
4 Kent is patient, Kent is kind. Kent does not envy, Kent does not boast, Kent is not proud. Kent does not dishonor others, Kent is not self-seeking, Kent is not easily angered, Kent keeps no record of wrongs. Kent does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Kent always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.Kent never fails. 
Now, do me another favor, raise your hand if you feel like a filthy liar!  Ha, How about raise your hand if the person next you was just a filthy liar!
Listen, our culture has turned love into some feeling that we feel
When we describe love in our culture we describe it as a feeling “I fell in love” “I feel so in love” “I just love him so much” What we mean is we are physically attracted “we think they’re hot”
Or, we feel some kind of compatibility. They make us feel good about ourselves
The problem is, feelings don’t stand up to real life complications. Because your feelings WILL change over time.  Gravity will destroy your body…  I’ve never wanted to get a tattoo, because tattoos eventually sag and stretch…-for those of you who are young, every old person used to look like you…
And if physical attraction is a primary thing that holds you to the people you love, when that attraction is gone – you’ll throw them away
And I guarantee you, the person you thought you were marrying isn’t the person you married when it comes to compatibility
I think it takes 10 years before you really even start to become truly comfortable with each other
You know how I know you will have compatibility issues? How many of you squeeze the toothpaste from the middle of the tube? How many of you squeeze it from the bottom of the tube?
If compatibility is what you think holds your relationship together in love, what happens when then things you love turn to be the things you despise?
ILLUSTRATION: Jenni used to think I was funny.  No longer…  Ha What attracted her to me, is more annoying now than charming…
When your relationship hangs on the hook of feelings, watch out…
Paul doesn’t equate love with a feeling, Paul equates it with action
1 Corinthians 13:4-8aLove is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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.Love never fails. 
The love Paul talks about is the antidote to broken relationships.  The answer is not to think more of yourself and make sure you are getting what you want.  The answer is to pour yourself out.
Now, let me put a little asterisk here – some of you are in abusive relationships – if you are, you need to get out…  find help and hope
If you are in a normal relationship, the answer to finding love is in being love. b The common wisdom is that a relationship is 50/50, but that’s not what Jesus calls us to, He calls us to 100/100.  Going all in on loving people…
Love means seeing the person in front of you as loved and cherished by God. b It also means understanding that person CANNOT give you what only God can give you-a sense of purpose and value-a sense of identity-a true sense of security and comfort
True love gives without expecting in return. But Kent, what if they take advantage of me?  They probably will.  But Kent, what if they don’t love me back like that?  That’s a strong likelihood – it means you need to continue to learn how to find your purpose, value, identity and security in Jesus.
The only answer to turn the selfish heart of a relationship around is for each of you to give your heart to Jesus.  You can’t force your spouse to do that.  Only you can do that for you…  
This is not one of those sermons that’s hard to understand, it’s one of those sermons that’s hard to live out.
CLOSING ILLUSTRATION: Here’s what I know…  I remember the early days of being infatuated with a girl and calling her and breathing heavy on the phone.  It was exciting and exhilarating.  I remember the early days of Jenni and I dating and the excitement around that.
But I will tell you something, that doesn’t match having someone who will truly love you through everything.
I wouldn’t trade what I have with my wife for anything.  Love is worth it, especially a love that lasts
I’d like to pray over you and invite you to pray with me…