How To Stay In Love – If You Want To Stay In Love …

Have you ever fallen in love? Do you recall how it was to be in-love? How long did the feeling of love last?

June Series Flier Hill City- How to Stay in Love (Whatsapp & Instagram)

This month’s sermon series is delivered by Muriithi Wanjau(M.W) aka Pastor M, co-preaching with a trained psychologist who also happens to be his better half of the last 22 years Carol Wanjau(C.W).

M. W: It’s the easiest thing in the world to fall in love! You don’t have to be a rocket scientist. You could be rich/poor, young/old, outgoing/shy, educated or illiterate. It’s so easy to fall in love in fact most people, if they were really honest, would admit that they have at least at one point fallen in love with someone they’ve never even met

C. W: It could be that TV actor or a famous singer or a news presenter on TV! And you had this enormous crush on them!

M. W: Falling in love today is extremely easy! As of Mar 1st 2013, there were 2,500 online dating sites in the US with 1,000 new ones opening every year, and another 8,000 in other countries across the world! Social media connects us to many more people than was ever possible before.

C. W: Also, in this day, we’re not restricted to where we grew up but have opportunities to work and travel in many different places, both locally and abroad. With all this exposure, it has never been easier to fall in love.

M. W: But we would also argue, it has never been more difficult to stay in love. Many in the younger generation are extremely skeptical about the possibility of staying in love forever. It feels like a far-fetched dream. And divorce is pretty common today.

C. W: In this country alone, one out of every four marriages end before their 20th anniversary.

M. W: Carol, you’re the psychologist. Why is it so difficult to stay in love?

C. W: There are many reasons. I can think of at least three common ones. The first is:

  1. Our Experience – The truth is, very few people today have grown up around healthy, romantic marriage relationships. Many people have grown up around marriages where people abused and abandoned one another or tolerated one another and stayed together for the sake of the kids.

Some of the unwritten rules of relationships is ‘Do unto others before they do unto you!’ It’s what makes some people so commitment-phobic, let me dump them before I get dumped! Another is ‘Do unto others as they deserve to be done unto’?

A second reason why it’s so difficult to stay in love is…

  1. Our Hunger –Sociologists say it takes a child to growing up in a home where they get respect, encouragement, comfort, security, support, acceptance, approval, appreciation, attention, and affection to engage in healthy relationships for life?

A disturbing statistic states that 60% of Kenyan women are likely to be single moms by the time they’re 45. This basically means a huge number of children born in this country this year will be born into homes where there’s no Dad… and most likely no stable male influence. This is not to argue that single parents can’t raise children well; we know many who are. But if it takes all those things we mentioned earlier to equip someone to engage well in a healthy relationship, the fact that many children in our country will never have a meaningful relationship with their father is a huge problem. It’s not their fault but it’s the reality.

The third common reason why it’s so difficult to stay in love is…

  1. Our Culture – Our culture has a really low threshold of pain relationally, which means that as soon as things aren’t working well, it’s time to move on! 

It’s not like back in the day where people said “I do” and what they meant was “I’m going to keep doing whether I like it or not, and whether she or he likes it or not, we’re just going to keep doing it”.

People who’ve been married 20 years plus who are still in love will tell you that every good marriage takes a lot of work, requires a lot of patience and endures a lot of pain. But the reality is that our experience, our hunger and our culture actively work against our ability to stay in love!

John 13:34-35 NIV  A new command I give you – Love one another.

It does sound basic. But it is remarkable in the sense that Jesus takes a word that we normally use as a noun and he makes it a verb.

You may have defined love as this thing you feel or as this thing you fall into like a swimming pool. But Jesus wants you to see love not as something you FEEL but as something you DO!”

What Jesus is saying is, if you want to stay in love, then focus on being loving, not on being in love!

You’ll hear married people often say, “She’s always doing this” or “he never does that” and “I just don’t feel like we love each other anymore”. When you dig deeper into what Jesus means, he is saying to you and I today, love is not something you feel, love is something you do! 

Vs 34 As I have loved you so you must love one another

Jesus is saying I don’t want you to take your cue from your experience or your parents. I don’t want you to take your cue from your hunger, how you feel or from your culture. Instead take your cue from ME. So how did Jesus practice love? He made a conscious decision to give up his own life so that we could live.

In the same way he says, “Don’t wait for them to act loving. Don’t wait for them to apologize. Don’t wait for them to acknowledge how wrong they were. Don’t wait for them to reciprocate. Treat them as if they deserved to be treated really well.”

You’ve got to do it before you feel it.

Actively loving the other person, whether they are lovable at that moment or not – that’s what sets you apart as a true follower of Jesus!

Over the next four weeks, we’re going to get really specific. What does it mean, to be loving? What does it mean, love one another? This is amazing life-giving truth that will transform all of us, married or single!

What Next?

  1. Do the 15-day ‘Love Stays Challenge’ – every day (5 days a week) do something loving for your partner(if married) or someone God has put in your life that you find difficult to love(if not married) based on 1 Cor.13, the ‘love chapter’.
  2. Have the love conversation – we want you to discuss the sermon questions in your LG. For some of you, marriage is a painful thought. Don’t skive LG this month; you have something very useful for others – you know what doesn’t work. Share that wisdom. Some of you single and have few good models of working marriages. LG is where you get to see real couples with real issues yet seeking to be faithful to God.
  3. Recommitment – the last week of this month, we’ll have a recommitment of marriage vows. If you’re in a come-we-stay relationship and would want to have God bless your marriage (maybe you’ve found a wedding expensive) we want to do a free wedding for you perhaps during one of our Sunday services, so long as you commit to do the NDOA class.

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