Sunday, January 12, 2014

Love, To Stay... For Everyone

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. (John 15:12)

This weekend we’re beginning a new series called “Love, To Stay” (based on a book by Adam Hamilton of the same title) in which we’ll be exploring biblical perspectives on love, sex, grace and commitment in intimate human relationships, and what it takes to create and sustain healthy, meaningful intimate relationships across the course of a lifetime. 

And while I’ll be using marriage (the most sacred of all human relationships, and the metaphor God most commonly uses in the Bible to talk about his relationship to us) as the primary lens through which to talk about these issues, it’s important to know that this is not a series exclusively for married people, or even for those who want to get married in the future. Instead, both singles and married folks, young and old, those currently in committed relationships and those who’re not, can all benefit from this series.

If you’re single and never married, you’ll gain insights that can help you have successful intimate relationships in the future (whether you want to get married or not).  If you’re a widow and/or widower, not only can this series help you in your current friendships, but can encourage you to share the wisdom you learned in your marriage with those who need it in their own marriages today.

Those who are currently married will obviously benefit from the things we’ll be talking about, as well, whether you’ve been married for one year or 60!  In fact, one reason I felt led by God to share this series in the first place is the struggles shared with me in pastoral counseling by many married couples of all stages over the last few years from our congregation and community.

And finally, all people (singles and married alike) will gain insights from this series that can help enhance the friendships and family relationships they have in the present. 

So, you see, I’m designing this series with everyone in mind, regardless of your age, marriage status, or stage in life.  I pray that you will come expecting God to do wonderful things with and through you in your current and future intimate relationships, and that He will open your mind and heart to new ways that you can create love that stays and lasts a lifetime!

Always remember that God loves you and I do, too!

P.S.  As an added bonus to our married couples, please mark your calendars and watch the bulletin for two additional relationship-building opportunities we’ll be offering in conjunction with this series:

(1)  Love, To Stay Marriage Encounter” event (February 21-22): A Friday night-Saturday marriage enrichment seminar hosted by Rev. Jim Higgins.  Cost is $45/couple.  Pre-registration required.

(2) Personalized opportunities to renew your marriage vows:  look for upcoming dates in late February-early March for 30 minute renewal times hosted by Pastor Brian for you and your spouse to renew your vows.  Free, but reservation will be required.


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