Love and Relationship

Posted on 09/04/2016 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

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HIS BANNER OVER ME

He is the Vine and we are the branches,
His banner over me is love.
He is the Vine and we are the branches,
His banner over me is love.
He is the Vine and we are the branches,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

He is the Shepherd and we are his beloved,
His banner over me is love.
He is the Shepherd and we are his beloved,
His banner over me is love.
He is the Shepherd and we are his beloved,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

He calls us to His Banqueting Table,
His banner over me is love.
He calls us to His Banqueting Table,
His banner over me is love.
He calls us to His Banqueting Table,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!


I LOVE TO BE IN YOUR PRESENCE

I love to be in Your presence
With Your people singing praises
I love to stand and rejoice
Lift my hands and raise my voice

You set my feet to dancing
You fill my heart with song
You give me reason to rejoice!


YOUR WORD IS A LAMP

Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path
Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path

No longer do we walk in darkness
No longer do we walk in darkness
No longer do we walk in darkness

For you have called us out of darkness
into your marvelous light
We turn our backs on what is wrong
and choose to do what's right

Your blood is flowing through my veins
to cleanse until all that remains
is clay that's molded through the pains of life

Your Spirit blows into these bones
to claim this temple as its home
and starts a fire that soon becomes a blaze


YOU ARE MY ALL IN ALL

You are my strength when I am weak
You are the treasure that I seek
You are my all in all

Seeking you as a precious jewel
Lord, to give up I'd be a fool
You are my all in all

Jesus, Lamb of God
worthy is your name
Jesus, Lamb of God
worthy is your name

Taking my sin, my cross, my shame
Rising again I bless your name
You are my all in all

When I fall down you pick me up
When I am dry you fill my cup
You are my all in all

Jesus, Lamb of God
worthy is your name
Jesus, Lamb of God
worthy is your name


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Today's topic won't surprise you: We're going to talk about Love. But I'd like for us to talk about love in the way that most people are familiar with hearing it, and that is in the context of Relationships.

We're familiar with hearing phrases such as, "Falling in love," or "I love you" spoken when the feelings we call "love" well up within us. We may "fall in love" one day, but then those feelings start to wane, and we discover we no longer "love" that person, at least not in the same way we previously called being "in" love.

So to start out today's discussion, I'd like for us to make a very important distinction: Love, the true, pure, universe-shaking Love, the Love that is God Himself, the Love that is a requirement for any healthy relationship, the Love that is mandatory to keep relationships from becoming destructive, is not a feeling. It usually ACCOMPANIES feelings, but those feelings are NOT that Love.

And if you want a healthy relationship, whether that is with a relative, a plutonic friendship, or the deeper and more intimate friendship of romance, then this kind of Love MUST be the foundation upon and with which those feelings grow.

And those feelings WILL change with time. They may deepen, or change shape and color; they may age like fine wine; but they, just like all other feelings and forms of any kind, are not eternal, and will not remain the same.

LOVE, on the other hand, is ETERNAL, and while we can walk more deeply in it,
it does not grow, shrink, or change. LOVE simply IS.


Let's read four verses from what is called "The Love Chapter."

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NASB)

4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails.

These are well-known verses, and it would do us all a great favor if we were to memorize them until we know them by heart.

For today's talk, let's split some of these up into points, and you are invited to ponder how your relationships line up with each one.

And keep in mind that, during the early days of any relationship, both parties will be on their best behavior. If the person in your relationship does not TRULY love you TODAY, you might not want to wait until their feelings start to change -- as they most certainly will -- and they no longer are putting on their best face.


1. Love is Patient.

2. Love is Kind.

3. Love is not Jealous.

Is the person insecure and therefore jealous of your time away with friends, family, or other activities?

4. Love does not Act Unbecomingly.

If you are in a sexual relationship outside of marriage, then you are BOTH lacking true Love.

And if you are being pressured into such an activity, then the other person is NOT truly Loving you.

5. Love does not Seek its Own.

Does the other person put your needs above his or her own? And how about you?

6. Love is not Easily Provoked.

7. Love does not Keep Score.

8. Love does not Delight in Unrighteousness.

This goes back to "Love does not Act Unbecomingly."

9. Love Bears All Things.

10. Love Believes the Best.

Does the person believe the best about you? Or do they doubt you, belittle you, make you feel like less than an amazing person who can accomplish anything God puts within your heart to do?

11. Love Endures Everything.

12. Love Never Fails.

Or, Love never gives up on the rest of these attributes of True Love. And it never, ever diminishes or comes to an end.


Now, we're not going to go into depth on all of these. I don't believe that's necessary. But let's take a moment to do a quick review. And you can apply this discussion to any type of relationship, but it is mainly geared toward relationships that are your choice.

And I'd like for you to ponder these questions:


1. Is the Love mutual?

There might be mutual feelings, attachments, and needs. But that's not Love. In fact, strong attachments CAN be the OPPOSITE of Love. They cause people to become controlling, and to demand things from their partner that are not in their best interest.

Ultimately, strong clinging attachments are selfish, and Love is Selfless, as point #5 says:

Love does not Seek its Own.

So Is the Love mutual? Mutual love, after all, is Absolutely Mandatory for a healthy relationship. If one person is showing True Love, while the other is only showing attachments and feelings, then the relationship CANNOT be healthy, and it will, instead, be destructive.

So Is the Love mutual? Or is the only thing shared the feelings and attachments? If it is not mutual, I councel you to bring the relationship to an end.

And I am NOT talking to married couples here. If you are married, then, apart from
unfaithfulness or abuse, you should STAY with that person.

But if you are just dating, or in a romantic relationship with someone outside of marriage, no matter how painful it may be for both of you, ending a relationship that is not founded firmly upon True Love, is the ONLY Truly Loving thing you can do. Anything else will bring harm and destruction.


Okay, now that I've lost most of my listeners, at least the ones listening on the site or watching on YouTube, let's move on to the next question:


2. Does it make you a better person?

If question #1 is "no," then the answer to this one will, if you are objectively honest, ALSO be "no."

Do you find yourself wanting to learn, grow, improve, and be more like Jesus? If so, then you just might be in a very healthy relationship.

After all, a romantic relationship was designed by God, and it was designed to bring us Good, and not Evil.

So if you find yourself being drawn into thoughts, feelings, or activities which do not line up with the Scripture's description of Love, then you just might want to consider enduring the temporary pain of ending it.

Like pulling a tooth that is rotten, you will save the other teeth, rather than losing them all and perhaps even killing yourself due to an infection because you did not want to see a dentist.


And let's wrap up with question #3:


3. Does it draw you closer to God?

Anything in your life that pulls you away from your walk with God, is that thing worth ANY temporary gain?

Jesus asked the question, "What does it profit a man if he should gain the whole world, but forfeit his soul?"

NOTHING.... I repeat, NOTHING.... is worth trading your relationship with God.

"Yes, but I still go to church." So does the devil.

"Yes, but I still read the Bible." So do some Atheists and satan worshipers, and satan also knows it quite well.

"Yes, but I still listen to Christian music." So what?

The question is not whether that relationship causes you to do more religious stuff. The question is whether that relationship draws you closer to God.

Not religion. But a intimate, not-just-in-the-head, real-life relationship, walk, moment-by-moment dwelling in the Love, the Peace, and the Righteousness of God?

If not, drop it like a burning coal. It is toxic. It will hurt those you love. And it will ultimately destroy you.

Many people have stayed in destructive relationships like this, thinking that they will eventually save the other person. But this almost never happens.

We could spend time looking at examples in Scripture in which the Godly person was drawn away from God and destroyed because of their bad relationships. But present-day examples are too numerous to count.

And I will simply say this: IT IS NOT WORTH YOUR WALK WITH GOD.

And your own attachments, your own desires, your own feelings... these are all
temporary and fleeting, no matter how eternal they might feel.

When all these things have faded into oblivion, You and God will both remain. And you will see Him face to face.

Will you have to say, "Sorry God, that destructive relationship was more important than You?"


1. Love is Patient.

2. Love is Kind.

3. Love is not Jealous.

4. Love does not Act Unbecomingly.

5. Love does not Seek its Own.

6. Love is not Easily Provoked.

7. Love does not Keep Score.

8. Love does not Delight in Unrighteousness.

9. Love Bears All Things.

10. Love Believes the Best.

11. Love Endures Everything.

12. Love Never Fails.