Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. Ephesians 5:1-2
We have been discussing Hollywood’s formula for love sex and lasting relationships and the phases we have naturally learned to go through as a part of dating and being in love. Last week we ended with the idea that God’s formula is the exact reverse order of what we have learned. Let’s compare the two formulas, and consult with God’s word. (Sorry, the chart has been omitted to blog posting )
Look at the verse from Ephesians at the top of the page. Notice that the first 2 phases of God’s plan for Christian living are listed right there for us! Become the right person instead of looking for the right person. Imitate God by first reflecting to how God loves us, and then be so filled and renewed with that love that it changes you and turns you into the person God wants you to become. It is important for us to build a relationship with our Father and creator before we try to bring someone else into it. Next, instead of falling in love; walk in love. This means walking in love for others the way Christ did for us; sacrificially committed! Phase 3 in God’s plan for us is fixing our hope on him and seeking to please Him through our relationship. We can very easily make idols of the person we are dating when we have our priorities mixed up, but if week keep focused on God then we can have confidence that we are doing it the right way. Phase 4: If you fail, do not be discouraged. Bring it to God and start back with phase 1.
Verses for Reflections:
Luke 16:13, Luke 12:32-34
Let me start with a commonly known story for the search of living happily ever after.
Sarah is 25 she is smart and has a degree, and a good job. She has worked hard to get where she is., but Sarah desires love. She is single and has been hurt in the past but she has faith that there is someone out there that is perfect for her. With so many people in the world there must be at least ONE! Sarah has her eyes on a gentleman that works in her office. He’s handsome, hardworking; they get along well, and seem to have a good connection. Sarah talks to her friends about him, blushes when he’s around and dresses up just for him to notice her. One day he does, and they start dating. Shortly after dating they are sleeping together and staying at each other’s place overnight. They are both happy. They fall in love and everything seems to be perfect in Sarah’s life. Sarah can see a future with him although he it’s sure he wants to be married or have kids. Sarah puts everything into this relationship. She does everything she can to keep his attention on her, so that he won’t want to leave and will eventually see her as his bride. Sarah notices one day that there seems to be distance between her and her boyfriend. The distance between them grows and after a couple of weeks he breaks up with her. Sarah is devastated. A year later Sarah has labeled that relationship as” it wasn’t meant to be” and goes in search of the “right man”.
Does this story sound like something you have heard before? Maybe you are going through this right now. Maybe you have been the consoling friend rehashing why it didn’t work out over a cup of coffee. Or maybe you have watched women in your family search for love in the same manner. In this first chapter we are going to discuss the 4 steps of the Hollywood formula according to Chip Ingram. 1. Find the right person. 2. Fall in love 3. Fill your hopes and dreams on this person for your future fulfillment 4. If failure occurs repeat steps 1, 2, and 3. We don’t realize how much Hollywood, media, and fairy tales have influenced our thinking and trained us that this is the proper way to carry out a relationship. This week we will discuss what went wrong. Next week we will discuss how God wants us to make it right.
Verses for reflection
Song of Songs 2:1-7
Ephesians 1:4, 5:22-33