Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Someone has suggested that marital love generally moves through three stages. First, there is romance when the couple is completely infatuated with each other and the electricity flows. But, this ‘honeymoon’ stage tends to fade with the passing of time. The couple finds out that each other has faults. She is usually running late and he does not pick up after himself. And so, the second stage of marital love is tolerance. They learn to put up with each other’s foibles. They learn the ‘dance.’ He develops patience and she unselfishly adjusts her expectations. Then, as more time passes, the love deepens, reaching the third and final stage of acceptance. This is the mature love stage. The couple has learned to overlook each other’s faults and sacrifice for one other. Love in the third degree sets in and the couple experiences deep affection and life-long companionship.

[Trouble comes when one or the other in the marriage gets restless in the tolerance stage and decides to try and rediscover romance again with someone else. In reality, what they are doing is delaying the ultimate fulfillment of acceptance/mature love.]

I think people can tend to cycle the same way in their relationship to the Lord and His church. When you first come to Christ and into the church, you are swept off your feet. You think, “This is the greatest place in the world!” You are moved in every worship service. You can’t get enough of the friendship of other Christians. You are infatuated. Then, after a while, you discover some faults. A pastor forgets your name, the music that was so uplifting becomes routine, the preaching is not as compelling, you have to look for a parking place or a seat, you have to wait in line to check-in your child. You begin to criticize and you begin to hear of other churches you might like to visit. You want to rediscover excitement of that ‘new’ feeling. But, it’s only when you stick through the tough times and the disappointing experiences that eventually you reach the mature stage of loving the church in spite of her faults.

And Jesus said in Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” I have sometimes heard this verse quoted incorrectly/backwards…. “For where your heart is, there your treasure is also.” But Jesus said if we want our heart to be in something, we should put our treasure there first; then the heart will logically and naturally follow. I am sure that this is why we are admonished to tithe as a matter of obedience and to give offerings as an expression of generosity. When our treasure is invested in the Lord’s church and its mission, locally and globally, our hearts will be in it for the long haul. We will move from infatuation to investment to intentional commitment. Without giving as an expression of our love, we will become disillusioned, distracted and disinterested. If we obediently and generously give our treasure, our hearts will remain faithful until death.

Pray with me…. Our Father, you have been and will consistently be the gold standard for faithfulness to us for all of our lives. We love knowing that beneath us are your everlasting arms, that when we draw near to You….You will draw near to us, that Jesus is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Your love for us is the love we want to manifest for Your church. May it be reflected in our priorities….the investment of our time, our treasure and our talent. In the name of Jesus we pray, amen.

Pastor Ken

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